Do you ever feel like you could win far more business if you could just find a way to get in front of more of the business people you want to connect with?
You may have experienced significant challenges around creating consistent new business pipelines.
Relying on referrals is becoming increasingly ineffective for you.If whatever you’ve tried in the past has left you feeling confused and overwhelmed, during this article, I’ll solve that for you by showing a simple 6 step prospecting system that will show you…
“How to dictate any number of high quality first meetings you want with your dream prospects each and every month…”
This means taking a proactive stance and identifying the companies and/or people that are likely to be a great fit for you, and then making direct contact with them with an OUTBOUND approach.
The 3 Ways Of OUTBOUND Prospecting
1) Cold Calling
When we mentioned outbound prospecting above you may have froze a little and maybe instinctively recoiled.
You had a gut reaction.
And maybe even a sense of fear that I was going to tell you about a remarkable new elevator pitch, cold call opening line or even a new method to ‘overcome’ the gatekeeper.
Was I right?
If I was right, then RELAX, you have nothing to fear.
Nothing I outline for you is about cold calling.
I’m going to show you a completely new system that doesn’t involve any cold calling.
I’m not going to BS you here.
I can make cold calling work.
AND… given enough time and desire on your part, I can make you into a star cold caller.
- I can guarantee you don’t have the desire to want to learn. You’d prefer to have a way of lead generation that avoided cold calling altogether
- I can guarantee that as a busy business person you really don’t have the time to spend years crafting your expertise or the time each week to put in the hours – ‘making dials’
- I can guarantee that if you’re running a team you know that the skills to be a great cold caller are becoming harder to find in new staff members
Trust me, I know.
I’ve been there and trained thousands to be effective cold callers.
There are three main reasons I’d suggest this is no longer an effective outbound strategy for contacting and connecting quickly with a target prospect.
i) Everyone’s sending LinkedIn messages.
LinkedIn is becoming a hotbed of automated messages from fake profiles and endless invites to join peoples’ groups.
This isn’t helped by the amount of courses advocating that the best way to build your expertise is to create a linkedin group and get your prospects to join.
This is creating is an environment where messages are lost among a sea of spam, group invites, and connection requests.
No matter how great your cold email via LinkedIn is, it’s almost certainly destined to fail before you press send.
And even if you don’t trust me about the success rates on LinkedIn messages then ask yourself a question.
“Are you likely to build your desired sales pipeline and scale with the 15 allowed InMails (LinkedIn paid emails) on the basic paid plan?”
ii) Communication preferences are changing
I have no way of being certain… but I’d hazard a guess that you’re like me.
I’ve turned off all message alerts from LinkedIn and the only time I see messages is when I choose to log in — which may not be often for many people.
And even if you aren’t like me, I’m willing to guess you use your personal (not work) email address on LinkedIn.
Our research shows that around 80% of LinkedIn contacts use their personal email address.
Don’t believe me?
Download your contacts and check for yourself.
It makes sense when you think about the number of people who use LinkedIn primarily as a job search tool.
People also want to safeguard their access in the event of a sudden job change.
Therefore, you’re contacting people with a business message that’s going to their personal account.
That’s if… and it’s a big IF… they even get email notifications of LinkedIn messages in the first place.
And the higher up in an organization you go, the chances of them logging into LinkedIn decrease significantly.
Targeting senior CEO’s by LinkedIn inmails?
You’ll need it…
That leaves the third and our recommended outbound prospecting strategy – Cold Emailing.
iii) Cold Emailing
What you’re about to be shown is a systemised way of identifying highly qualified prospects based on your Ideal Prospect Profile (IPP).
Along with a process that makes first contact with them via a systemised cold-emailing program.
We often see results like this utilizing this system:
- 70% response rates to your cold email
- 60% of those responses turned into a first meeting
“So that’s a staggering 30% of the people you contact eventually turn into a first meeting.”
This is a brand new lead generation opportunity that wasn’t available up until the emergence of some major technology enablers and innovative sales techniques, over the last few years. And if you’d like to shorten your time to implementing these ideas then I recommend jumping into my flagship free training webinar available here
The technology and sales systems are growing at a pace now.
But you’ve still got time to ‘grab the bull by the horns’ and get a head-start on the competition.
And who knows… your competitors probably have no idea this system even exists.
There are 6 Stages of a Cold Emailing System that you must implement for It to be successful…
1) Create A Value Based Sales Structure
Question: What value do you contribute on your first engagement with a prospect?
When I ask my clients what value their prospects get from their first engagement , the answer, after a long pause and much head scratching, is generally something like:
“Well, none really. I have to ask them these questions to be able to qualify them, or to prepare a proposal or more in-depth demonstration.”
And there’s the problem.
If your goal at this very early stage of the sales cycle is to set a first meeting, whether physical or virtual, you should treat it very much like a product you can sell so it’s easy for your prospect to say yes to you.
Therefore, to effectively ‘SELL’ the value of engaging with you, you have to ensure you have created enough PERCEIVED value, that can be articulated as to why someone should invest 20 or 30 minutes of their time with you.
Without value why would anyone, apart from those really desperate for a solution and information hunters, agree to it?
“And if you have any style of value based sales approach then you are in luck because you have a head start over nearly all the other businesses out there.”
BECAUSE you’ve already created nearly everything you need.
To create this value based sales strategy, all you need is a few small tweaks to what you already have going on.
And by the time you’ve read this complete article you’ll have an entirely different perspective on how to create value for prospects.
If you can communicate value in the 20- 30 minutes (or however long) of your first meeting, then your conversion rates will go through the roof.
“You, or your prospecting staff (in house or outsourced) will be capable of articulating precisely what value someone will get by taking your first meeting.”
And the prospect will see it just ‘makes sense!”
And if you’d like to know more about my processes to turn your first meeting into a valuable product then register for your fee training masterclass here
2) Develop Your Ideal Prospect Profile (IPP)
The first stage in defining your IPP is to look at the characteristics of the best 20% of your existing clients.
One of our approaches to help you define your IPP is based on:
- Tangible characteristics such as location, industry, size, what software platform they are using and job titles
- Intangible characteristics such as their level of conservatism, their attitude to growth, their beliefs about external service providers, the aspirations of the key individuals and their attitude to risk
- Red flags such as things they say or do that indicate they wouldn’t be a great fit for your business. Do they complain about all of their existing providers? Do they refuse to give you straight answers to your questions? Do they stop short of providing you access to key people or information needed to evaluate best fit?
Once that’s nailed down it’s time to turn to identify where your prospects exist. You may be like almost every consulting business we speak to, that believe they have a problem in building highly targeted lists of qualified prospects.
The next section will hand you the technology to do that on a plate.
Just make sure, however, that you don’t really have an Ideal Prospect Profile problem…
3) Build Highly Targeted Lists
Once you have identified your IPP, the next stage is to identify the key individuals in those businesses.
This is where most businesses traditionally start to struggle…
Traditional methods of defining a target market are grounded very much in the way data lists used to be available. Companies rarely did much more innovation in building lists than hiring B2B list brokers.
We very rarely suggest our clients use list brokers anymore.
Their data is increasingly out of date, it rarely has a complete email address and they generally force you to buy in such massive quantity, that by the time you use the data it’s dated and degraded.
We see the bounce rate, or the un-deliverability of emails, on B2B list brokers data anywhere up to 40%.
“But with the tools I’m going to show you we can get the bounce rate down to as low as 3%.”
More emails correct and delivered = more meetings = more revenue…
The technology to build highly targeted lists and source contact details has developed more in the last 2 years than in the 20 years prior to that.
Services like Ringlead Capture (shown above) and egrabber, allow you to select information anywhere on any webpage and it’ll shoot off and scour the internet to create lists complete with email addresses, social profiles and background research.
Services like sellhack, and hunter,io are relatively low value subscription services that act as a window that sits on top of LinkedIn and other social search engines.
They allow you to build lists using the advanced search capabilities of services like LinkedIn and then they shoot off and research the internet for those people.
A fully completed contact record with their BUSINESS email address, telephone numbers and social profiles.
4) Build A Prospecting System
Once you have your highly targeted list you need to actually send out your first follow up emails.
You have a few choices for how you can do this:
- Smaller scale – through your gmail or outlook
- Larger Scale – This is one of the greatest technology enablers for this style of prospecting. Services like quickmail.io and Replyapp.io have sprung up and allow you to send out largely automated B2B email campaigns. They allow you to utilise templates. Send out to different ‘buckets’ of prospects. Send out multi touch sequences over days and months, and they even intelligently monitor your inbox to tell you when someone’s replied before taking them off future emails.
With these services there’s no reason why you can’t be setting up largely automated outbound cold email based prospecting programs within minutes.
And the best part is, all of this is super simple to hand off to a sales administrator or even a virtual assistant.
5) Outbound Contact
This is what most inexperienced consultants mistakenly think is the critical step in the system.
The email itself.
As you can now see it is only 1 part of a 6 part system.
An important part but it absolutely has to be in harmony with the rest of the system.
If you don’t build the right system, an email template used in our clients systems to get an 80% response will yield you a ZERO response.
So What Are We Talking About?
When we refer to building outbound contact by cold email most people assume it’s ’email marketing’.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
What we are talking about are highly personalized 1 to 1 emails to senior decision makers.
There are some very important characteristics of these emails:
- There is no fancy html
- They never pitch
- They have a clear call to action which we usually recommend is to elicit a response because that gives you the opportunity to bridge from the prospects response into a telephone call
- They follow a series of templates and are tailored to your specific business and target prospect
Can I Just Give You A Performing Template?
Yes and No.
I have made it a practice never to publish our top performing templates on the web.
Once they are, they’re copied and cease to be effective.
An example is from a contact of mine who posted her winning template on her blog:
And within weeks it was being used by at least 10 different companies, word for word.
Here’s one I received in my inbox:
And as you can see it is a 100% word for word copy.
This has a negative ongoing results impact for both the original sender and the copycats.
That is why I only ever share templates to clients and people who invest the time to talk to me personally which I invite you to do at the end of my masterclass training here
During some of those sessions, I share the ‘bullseye’ template that one client took and sent to 50 prospects. The same prospects who’d ignored previous contact attempts.
He was happy with the results. He generated $500,000.00 of sales pipeline within 30 days from a list of 50 prospects that had previously ignored him.
How much sales pipeline could you be creating with a system and template like that?
6) Work Responses
Once you begin to send out your emails you’ll see the results come to you in the shape of responses.
These can be categorized into no more than 5 to 10 similar responses that will differ in every business, but usually include:
- Sounds interesting – Please Contact me
- Send information
- I just bought
- I have a provider
- I’m too small/too big
- I‘m the wrong person
- A referral with details
- Not Interested
- No Response
Everyone Knows exactly what to do with the ones that say please contact me.
Cherry pick those immediately and create an immediate sale pipeline.
It gets better.
The long term money is in the left over responses, and usually make perfect prospects.
“The quicker you can engage them and build a relationship, the greater your long term revenue will be.”
I have a complete script that’s proven to turn EVERY response into a strong reason to engage with someone on a telephone call.
“Yes! Even if they say I’m not interested!”
And once you’re talking with a prospect, you can focus on articulating the amazing value they’ll get from the first meeting with you (step 1).
It’s beautiful because you don’t even need to pitch them on your capability, expertise, case studies or client on boarding experience!
And there’s the solution to finding out how you can create a predictable pipeline of high quality leads without cold calling or causing overwhelm by trying to make inbound ‘attraction marketing’ work for you.
And for more insight into how these approached bring instant results then you really should register for my free masterclass training here that shows the exact system clients have used to generate as much as $600, 000 in sales opportunities in less than 30 days. You can register here