Inbound selling is kind of like being set up by mutual friends — there’s a pretty strong degree of confidence going into the relationship that things will work out.
However, outbound sales is more like going on a blind date — it’s a little bit harder from the get-go, but with the right approach, things could work out for both parties.
Here are some of our favorite tips for outbound (that you can also use for dating if you’d like, no extra charge!):
1. Don’t come on too strong.
If you lay all your cards on the table on the first date, what’s the point of a second or third? Don’t overwhelm the prospect by explaining all of the many reasons why you’re great in the first interaction. A) it’ll probably wind up being really long-winded and they won’t read it/listen to it, and B) well, nothing else really matters if A happens.
2. Find out if it’s a mutual fit.
One of the goals of your outreach should be to figure out if there’s a mutual fit — it’s better to get a “no” than no answer at all (no’s are actually valuable…we’ll write more about this soon). This could be with regards to timing, budget or just overall needs, but give the prospect a chance to tell you if you’re aiming in the wrong direction.
3. Switch it up a little bit.
Don’t get too comfortable or too lazy. If you’re not getting answers from the prospect via email, diversify your avenues of outreach — pick up the phone, shoot them a LinkedIn message, or interact with them on Twitter. Not only will it make you seem more “human,” but it’ll also let the prospect know that you’ve done your research and that they’re valuable to you.
4. Always make it worth their while.
Your outreach should always create value. Nothing will cause a prospect to discount you and your business faster than if you send meaningless follow-ups with lazy calls-to-action or without restating your value proposition. Make sure that the prospect is learning something, or that the process is moving forward with every interaction.
5. Be pleasantly persistent.
This is something that we really believe in. Research shows that it takes somewhere between 7 and 13+ touches to get a response, and most teams stop after the fourth or fifth. Don’t make the mistake of giving up before you give the prospect enough time to respond…just make sure that you’re not being a creep and that you’re approaching it in a friendly way. 🙂
There you have it! We’d love to hear if you have any additional dating/sales parallels?