If someone placed a nerf gun to my head and asked me to get 3 new leads by the end of the day, I’m pretty sure I could do it. You gain confidence in yourself after a while, and connecting with new prospects is a game of numbers and your approach.
Below are steps I’ve used to find success with my sales emails and LinkedIn connect requests. Each step kind of increases your odds of a response. As you will see, they revolve around making a personal connection and starting a relationship, not making a sale. Your initial outreach to a prospect should only have one goal: earning a future conversation. Keep it friendly and short. You’re trying to give them a reason for opening their mind and calendar to you!
First, connect with the person on Twitter.
Go ahead and like a few of their tweets. Starting a small and subtle relationship before a big one is needed always helps. You should be connecting with 20-30 people a day on Twitter or you’re missing a good pre-sales activity.
Know your product-market fit for them personally.
People can tell when a request is a Hail Mary vs a slam dunk or at least a logical link to their needs. Your market is big enough to only approach targeted people who can actually benefit from your product.
Start your email or connect request with a personal touchpoint.
Always spend 3 minutes researching your recipient. Know what school they went to, where they live, where they’ve worked, etc. Find where your life paths have crossed. Maybe your daughters both do ballet or you attended school in the same athletic conference :). If you have no clue what to say, this works: “Hello, Bob. Your name popped up in my feed as we have many common connections…”
Continue to show you know their world.
Spend another sentence talking about something your company has in common with theirs. Pain points, partners, industry trends, etc. I’ve found future trade shows you’re both attending to make for a nice and memorable reference point.
Mention a colleague or mutual contact’s name.
This step adds a perceived pressure to respond because the person wonders if the mutual contact referred you to them. Don’t lie obviously, but this can be the motherlode of tactics if done right. (Or mention something about the company they would consider to be known by few.)
Show your enthusiasm for your company or product.
In a world of noise and distractions, passion is big differentiator. We like listening to people with energy. I’m constantly surprised by how boring and impersonal BDRs and salespeople are in their outreach when $25k-50k or more is on the line! I’m not a robot, so they shouldn’t be. Showing excitement draws me in.
Respect their time. Ask for a 15-minute discovery call.
Only after breaking bread together and finding common ground should you ask someone to spend 45-60 minutes or more on a demo with you. This is like meeting someone in an easy setting before you ask them to waste a night going on a date with you. Kind of obvious, right? End with some date & time options.
(Bonus!) Leave them an out and ask if they’d rather receive more information first.
The easier you make a response possible, the more likely a person will respond. Show you care about starting a mutually-beneficial relationship more than the sale. If all they want is information right now, well that’s fantastic! You now have a new contact and hopefully the beginning of a friendship.