I follow a lot of sales gurus on LinkedIn. Maybe too many. One particular post from Christian Krause recently piqued my interest. His post was advocating for brevity and directness in cold email outreach, but I couldn’t help to think – does this always work for life-sciences?

His suggestion was simple:

/…/ Follow these tips👇

  1. Grab attention with a relevant research trigger
  2. Raise awareness about a business challenge
  3. Educate about the business impact (COI)
  4. Ask for validation and feedback

If you can do this in 50 words or less,
grade 6 language and
no filler words
then you are

While this advice rings true in many circumstances, its applicability becomes questionable when dealing with complex industries like life-sciences and the pharmaceutical sector. The brevity and simplicity suggested can be a slippery slope.

Consider this: you’re selling a new cancer research bioassay. It’s impossible to capture its essence and value in a 50-word email. Oversimplifying such a complex technology may erode your credibility with your educated audience and could even be seen as naive. Detailed explanation isn’t just appropriate—it’s crucial. I’m not advocating for a 2-page email, but a 3-sentence explanation of what your technology/service provides, is necessary.

3 main factors I consider when creating email campaigns:

  1. “Less I and more you”: the original advice from Christian’s post is one I wholeheartedly agree with. Shifting the focus from your offering to the prospect’s needs is a universally applicable sales strategy, regardless of the industry you’re in.
  2. Factoring in the Development Cycle: Life science industry is known for its lengthy development cycles, no one more so than drug-developing companies. Once committed to a vendor for drug manufacturing or clinical trial management, pharma companies are usually reluctant to consider alternatives, as it leads to potential complications and delays — luxuries these companies can seldom afford. You might not get them this month, but perhaps in a year when they start entertaining new projects.
  3. Relevancy —The New Personalization: In today’s hyper-personalized world, tailoring communication to a prospect’s LinkedIn profile is standard. However, in life-sciences and pharma, relevancy is key. It’s less about their job tenure or changes and more about understanding their work and challenges. Do they research biomarkers? Ask about their challenges with identifying the right marker panels. In clinical trials? Discuss patient enrollment needs, not just trial speed – a universal desire. Klemen, our CCO wrote about this topic at length – Be Relevant with your Outbound Emails.

Cracking the code of creating a great cold email is a topic I am highly passionate about and continue to research everyday, so if you have any thoughts & comments, even suggestions on what to read, listen or who to follow, do ping me on LinkedIn, please :).