Success in sales requires an effective outreach strategy. The more effective your outreach, the greater the number of meetings you will schedule with your dream clients. Outreach is how you fill the pipeline.
In the current environment, effective outreach is more challenging than ever. There are more sales organizations automating it, frustrating the contacts you are trying to reach with a brute-force approach. The companies using this strategy care nothing about how it harms salespeople who are making an earnest effort to reach the right prospective clients. Bubbling an email back to the top of the inbox is rude. Your contact had no interest in it when you sent it, and they still don’t.
The one platform for professionals, LinkedIn, is now spam central. The millions of us who use it no longer trust connection requests because we know the pitch is three minutes away. It is clear the people who employ these strategies have a different definition of words like partner or collaborate. The overwhelming volume of attempted outreach causes people to push the delete button on all electronic communications.
In 2023, you will have to adopt a One-Up modern sales outreach strategy, if you haven’t already. It is the only way to cut through the noise and earn the attention you need to communicate and schedule meetings with buyers. What follows is how to succeed at B2B sales prospecting.
Effective Sales Outreach Strategy
One of the reasons contacts reject a salesperson's outreach is because there is nothing valuable enough in the messaging that causes them to engage. Most communication contains blatant attempts to pitch. To build an effective sales outreach approach, you must eliminate these barbaric strategies from your own communications.
In a One-Up modern approach, the general strategy is to create value for the contact before trying to capture it for yourself. There are two kinds of salespeople. The first needs something from their client. We can describe this type of crustacean as being One-Down. The second type knows something that the client finds important. This type of salesperson is One-Up, making them truly consultative and able to create value, even through their outreach. The following techniques support an effective sales outreach strategy that will interest your prospective clients and cut through the spam.
The Trading Value Rule
The first strategy for effective sales outreach is called the Trading Value Rule. This rule requires you to trade value for any commitment you ask a client to make. Because the goal of sales outreach is a meeting with a contact, you must trade something your contact would find valuable—even if they never do business with you. This is how you build value.
In your outreach, you are not selling your company, your products or services, or a meeting. You are only selling the value you are going to create in a first meeting. Every communication should speak to that.
Your outreach should start with a phone call to prove you are a real person. In our current sales environment, sales organizations are so desperate to prove they are not bots, some of them insert a typo in their written communications to try to convince the recipient it came from a person. With a phone call, your contacts will know with certainty that you are a real, live human being.
When you go to the trouble to make a phone call, if you get a voicemail, leave a message. Briefly summarize the value you believe you can create and promise to call them back in the next 48 hours. Mention that you will also send them an email.
When you send an email to a client, make certain it provides them with something they will find valuable. Whatever you send should be a preview of the conversation, highlighting what the client might gain by giving you 30 minutes of their time.
Every interaction, including emails, should position you as an expert and an authority. You want your client to recognize that you can help them improve their results—without ever directly saying that. Instead, you prove it.
Patient, Persistent, Professional Pursuit
Many of our sales brothers and sisters make a call or two and then disappear. Your contacts don't know if you are a one-and-done salesperson or someone who believes you have something to offer. One-Down salespeople typically disappear once it becomes clear that a deal will take time. Some of the largest prospective clients you pursue will already have a supplier or a strategic partner. The long-term approach requires patience. Patience is the opposite of bumping up an email because you are unable to wait. Take the few minutes to get an additional marshmallow. Persistence works best when you are exchanging something meaningful for your contacts’ time, creating value with every touch, and maintaining your professionalism.
The phone should come first, but there are good reasons to use email, as long as it is different than the other clutter in your contact's inbox. LinkedIn, for all the spam and scam, is still a great place to communicate with your contacts—if you don't pitch the client. The other social platforms also work. Almost no one sends traditional mail, even though it is almost certain your contact will open it. To succeed with this technique, avoid sending a four-color brochure or anything that feels like a pitch.
There are many tools you can use to continually communicate value to your prospective clients and nurture your relationships with them. This type of outreach is a new form of sales collateral. It proves that you have ideas that are valuable to your clients. When you accomplish this outcome, you have an increased chance of booking a first meeting. The key to booking a first meeting and securing a second is to continually communicate value to your prospective clients. You want to be known as someone who has proven yourself as being able to improve your clients’ results.
To secure a first meeting, sales outreach should focus on trading value for any commitment, starting with a phone call. It then entails sending emails and mixing mediums that create value for your contacts, and pursuing them with patience, persistence, and professionalism.