executing outbound

Prospects don’t want to meet with just anybody, and they are 72% more likely to meet with you if they perceive you as an expert in your field. Of course, your choice of platform is a key factor on how your approach potential buyers and execute your outbound strategy; and with this guide, we intend to help you prepare a pitch that converts.

 

Cold Calling

If you’re going to call somebody unannounced and take the one true asset you can never give them back (time), you better be damn sure you’re making it worthwhile. The data shows you only have 5 seconds to catch their attention and stand out, so make it count.

The most powerful tool you can have at your disposal is a soft script. Build it like an outline rather than a word-for-word script. You don’t want to sound like a robot reading lines. Prospects can smell a script reader a mile away. Following a guideline will help you win more calls and avoid losing them by being too eager.
Open the call, explain why you’re calling, tell them what you do, reference pains you believe they may be experiencing, give an impression of understanding rather than asking them to spoon feed you. Reference a statistic in relation to a story. People remember stories 5x more than stats. Tailor a value prop, and close the next step.

Once you have your soft script built, it’s time to test. You’re almost never going to have the perfect script on your first call, so think of your soft script as a living breathing draft for now. You’re A/B testing a conversation. If you see something not working, swap it out for a new approach and see how it performs. Make notes, hone it in, and after a while you’ll be able to confidently have a conversation that follows a framework without reading from a piece of paper.

Remember, your goal is also not to get the prospect to talk. On a cold sales call, you should be doing the majority of the talking and selling them on the meeting.

Get the meeting, find a time that works for them.

Confirm their email (you should have this already if you’re calling them).

Thank them for their time, and immediately follow-up with a calendar invite and a quick confirmation email thanking them for their time. We also recommend following up with your prospect the morning of the call via email to reduce your no-shows.

 

Email Outbound

80% of buyers prefer to be contacted via email. That doesn’t mean 80% of buyers are sitting at their computer eagerly awaiting your cold-email. Whether or not your immediately interrupting them like some consider a cold call, you’re still requesting their most valuable asset to even read what you sent, let alone get them to take more time to respond.

When crafting your emails, mix creativity in your copy with a formula to keep them from getting over-designed, full of jargon and reading more like an infomercial than a human-to-human interaction.

Be odd, be memorable, but be direct First, watch your length. The emails should stay between 4-6 sentences. Practice writing short, concise sentences that are punchy. Your first sentence is going to be the most important because of how It’s easy to want to word vomit in your emails and tell your prospect everything about your company and how great you are and all of a sudden you’re writing a series of run-on sentences just like this one that start to drone on and by the end of this all you’ll have an email that… see what we are talking about?

Be weary of how you format your emails too. Bullet points suck and have been proven to decrease reply rates and deliverability. Same with formatting like bold and italicized words to add emphasis. It’s fine in a blog posts like this, but email outreach is a whole different animal and the HTML will trigger spam filters and your prospects will never have the chance to read your email.

Follow the golden rule: Always Be Testing. It’s important to remember that there’s no magic bullet for email copywriting, and even the best emails you write have an expiration date on them. I worked at a cold-email copywriting agency a few years ago and many of the tips/tricks we used then don’t work now. Testing is going to be critical.

Also, personalization doesn’t mean what a lot of influencers/companies will tell you it does.

Nobody cares that you know the weather or took time to look at their linkedin to find out what school they went to and their mascot. Personalization in cold email comes down to showing what you know about their problems and how you can help them.

You want to paint a picture of a better situation for your prospect. Using phrases like Imagine or Picture a …. in your opener an help create a visualization in your prospects head only using copy.

Continue Reading: The Science Of A/B Testing Sales Prospecting Emails

LinkedIn Prospecting

Despite what you might read from sales influencers about how you should never pitch a prospect on LinkedIn, we’ve found LinkedIn is a crucial tool for booking meetings. SalesReply data shows 98.3% respond on LinkedIn don’t reply to emails we’ve sent. There are many prospects that like to respond on LinkedIn, but are far less responsive on other channels.

This is why multichannel is critical to reach prospects on the channel they WANT to be contacted on and are likely to respond on.

LinkedIn is a far more manual outreach channel than most, but it can be worth it if you do it well and efficiently. Some tools allow automated outreach, but from our experience most have been shut down or even worse, can get your profile shut down. Tread lightly with automation.We’re not asking you to avoid it entirely, but be careful with how you incorporate it into your prospecting.

When you start adding touches on LinkedIn, you want to start by sending a connection request giving your prospect a reason to connect with you.

By following the connect-and-message formula, you can make LinkedIn an incredibly cost effective channel which is why we never recommend using InMail, which can run up to $10/InMail which is ridiculous.

Imagine sending 1k emails with multiple touches (2-3) for $10 per email. That could cost $20-$30k for an email campaign. Would you do that? Probably not. So why is LinkedIn different?

With your connection request copy, we highly recommend being direct about why you’re connecting.

Don’t be that person who sends an invite saying “I saw we work in the same industry and I’d love to expand my network!” and BAM, follow it up with a pitch.

One of the most successful LinkedIn campaigns we designed told the prospect “I’m not going to try and trick you. I’d love to connect because I think I can help you with {problem} – can we connect?” People appreciate transparency and honesty. Starting the message off with a poorly disguised attempt to trick your prospect isn’t a great way to start a relationship and will likely result in you getting.

Once important piece to note about LinkedIn, is that you need to be able to distinguish that LinkedIn is NOT email. You don’t want to format it like an email (e.g. including a signature at the end) because it looks automated and fake.

Keep your copy and formatting informal and conversational, but the important parts like your value prop, problem and story still apply.

 

Direct Mail Prospecting

Direct mail is your best opportunity to stand out and be creative. There’s no limit on what you can do to stand out. Start by picking the item and message you want to accompany it. We’ve found wine to be a consistently high performer, but have gotten creative with items like pies on Pi-day, collapsible laptop stands for remote employees, and wood engraved cookie boxes with the prospects last name and a small company logo, something they will keep for a long time and build brand recognition.

It’s important when picking the item that you don’t send something outrageously expensive. You’re trying to stand out, not make someone feel obligated to take a meeting they have no interest in because you sent them something super expensive.

A good rule of thumb is sending something that is worth less than they would make in an hour. A few minutes on a salary tool (like LinkedIn Salary or Glassdoor) and a calculator will help you come up with a rough estimate on this number.

One of the most common mistakes companies make implementing direct mail campaigns is sending it to prospects that haven’t been contacted before. Direct mail is highly effective as a follow-up channel, but can turn into an expensive mistake for stone cold, uncontacted prospects.

Roughly 7-15% of prospecting lists are made up of “Ghosts”, prospects that have never opened one of your emails, listened to your voicemail, or have any idea that you exist. Sending a Ghost direct mail is a great way to waste money because your chances of being able to follow-up with them are low, and follow-up is crucial to a successful direct mail campaign.

Of the thousands of direct mail items we’ve sent over the last 4 years across dozens of industries, less than 1% of prospects have followed up with us first.

That means we could waste thousands of dollars on direct mail that doesn’t convert a single meeting. The best way to follow-up to direct mail is on a personal channel, so avoid email for follow-up.

 

LinkedIn or calling add a human element that compliments the direct mail well. This leads to 50% higher conversions than only email. Treat the follow-up to a direct mail campaign as a mini-campaign of it’s own. If you spend money on the item, your goal is to make sure you get a response. An easy way to start the conversation is asking if the prospect received the item, why you sent it, followed by a soft call-to-action.

Once you get the conversation started, it’s time to convert to a meeting!