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Best sales email templates and worst mistakes in outreaching top sales executives

Sales email best practices as told by Nancy Nardin, Mark Roberge, Gerry Moran, Tibor Shanto, Craig Elias, David Dulany, Alice Heiman, Elinor Stutz, Brynne Tillman, Mario Martinez Jr., Bob Perkins, Dan Swift, Victor Antonio, Jack Kosakowski, and Kendra Lee

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Bad Example

Email

Thank you for connecting back to me, Nancy!
I see that you’re the Founder at Smart Selling Tools Inc.
If you are open to taking a look, I have something revolutionary to share with you.
We’ve developed an artificial intelligence software that syncs with your LinkedIn account. It helps you identify your exact target audience, connect with others in your industry, and generates daily qualified leads in a significant way.
I only work with Management Consulting companies
because I know your audience and understand what you need.

Would you be interested in setting up a quick demo with our Director so we can show you how the software works? If you like what you see, we’ll even set up your campaigns for free, no strings attached. Thoughts?
[Name hidden]

Comments

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Nancy Nardin

Founder, Smart Selling Tools, Inc.
Co-Founder, Vendor Neutral

Don’t fake your way to personalization. This LinkedIn message smacks of the bare minimum effort.

  1. The ‘Inc.’ after my company name tells me it was grabbed from my profile.
  2. Even worse is that she mentions she only works with Management Consulting companies. That is the category I’m under on LinkedIn because nothing fits better, but it is not what I do.
In addition, the message was sent to me immediately after I accepted her LinkedIn invitation.
Don’t follow this formula:
1) invite to connect
2) pitch
3) use the ‘fields’ from LinkedIn in your template.
Do follow this formula:
1) view my website
2) find out what I do and what I would be interested in
3) invite me on LinkedIn
4) don’t pitch me as a prospective client because I am not
5) say, “I know you’re an expert on sales technology. We have a solution we thought you’re audience would be interested in knowing about. Would it be possible for us to give you a demo and get your thoughts?”
It never ceases to amaze me how salespeople are so willing to go after companies/contacts who aren’t real prospects. In this case, I have a feeling they used their own software to identify their ‘exact target audience.’ Remember this if you’re in sales: “Don’t send marketing campaigns – you are not in marketing. Instead, talk to people authentically with personalized messages. Leave the marketing to marketers.”

Good Example

Email

Hi Nancy,

After poking around your site, I noticed you’re using XYZ Mkt software.
They are a great vendor when starting your email program but we find that companies often outgrow their level of support and functionality.
At ABC corp, we help over 150,000 growing businesses address some of the following questions:
How can I spend less time managing email?
How can I ensure my emails aren’t going to spam folders?
What ways can I drive more revenue from my marketing efforts?
If any of these questions resonate with you, it would be great to chat through some strategies that can help. What’s the best way to get some time on your calendar?

Comments

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Nancy Nardin

Founder, Smart Selling Tools, Inc.
Co-Founder, Vendor Neutral

Let’s break it down…

  1. OK, you’ve offered proof that you actually did go to my site and there is a valid reason for your outreach.
  2. Complimented my decision, and legitimately pointed out why it might be time to consider something else.
  3. Established credibility without making the email too much about them.
  4. These questions offer value [what should I be asking myself]; at the same time, it builds curiosity for their solution.
  5. Good call-to-action, and doesn’t put the onus on me to click on their calendar.

Bad Example

Phone call

The worst outreach was a sequence of three voice mails that were literally the exact same voice mail. The content is less important. The content was the standard here-is-what-we-do, etc.

The issue was the voice mails were the exact same down to the word. I actually play the voice mails to my students at HBS and they always get a bunch of chuckles. I understand that it takes more time and is more complex to customize a cadence of voice mails than to simply pay someone to “smile and dial”.

However, the math that illustrates whether this approach is cost effective does not account for the long-term brand degradation that occurs with the 99% of potential buyer that do not call you back.

Comments

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Mark Roberge

MD, Stage2Capital, Professor at Harvard Business School, Former CRO, HubSpot

The best approaches I have seen lately use a CTA on the outreach not for a demo or even a discovery call but instead a next step that is branded for maximum value for the buyer. Often these CTAs are opportunities for the buyer to understand how their capabilities are comparing to their peers, such as a benchmarking exercise or assessment.

In the early days of HubSpot we branded this first discussion an inbound marketing assessment where the buyer would share their demand generation goals, design, and performance and we would benchmark them against their peers with counsel on what has worked to improve them.

There was no discussion about the product. It wasn’t labeled as a discovery call for the buyer, even though from a sales process perspective that is exactly what we were doing.
This CTA approach is often more aligned with where the buyer is in their journey, attempting to frame the opportunity correctly first before learning about solutions. The approach also tees up the seller nicely for the next conversation, as it is clear to the buyer the value they will receive in exchange for honest answers they provide about their current performance and strategies.

Give it a shot. Come up with a name for the discovery call that will be appealing to the buyer and make it the cornerstone of your CTA in the initial outreach.

Bad Example

Initial Email

Hi Gerry,

As you are a Certified Partner of ABC Services, would you like to connect with decision-makers from companies currently using ABC?

We have verified information of C-Level, VP-Level, Director level and other job titles, you can touch base with them via direct business emails and phone numbers for all your sales/marketing, services and other business needs.

Do let me know the target criteria (Job Titles and Geography) you wish to target, so that I can get back with counts, samples and more details for your review.

Appreciate your response.
[Name hidden]

 

Follow-up email #1

Hi Gerry,

I have been trying to get in touch with you to see if there is a mutual fit between our company’s expertise and your goals around.
Please review my previous emails and let me know your thoughts.

Comments

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Gerry Moran

Tech Marketer, Founder, Marketingthink.com

“Flirt with me before you ask me on a date.”

Now, here’s a way a seller who does not understand that my priority is the buying journey, and not the selling process. Telling me why I should connect with you is pretty presumptive on the first communication, and passive aggressiveness does not a nurturing or follow-up strategy make. Here’s where they went wrong:

  1. They asked me a closed-ended question about a fact I did not know—that I was a Certified Partner of ABC Services. This sales rep did not do their homework to understand that I lead social media marketing and not email-based demand generation
  2. Poorly written emails with lousy grammar and punctation immediately is a big strike against being able to start a relevant conversation
  3. Targeting targets, hmmm
  4. No one likes passive aggressive follow-ups

Good Example

Initial Email

Hi Gerry,

I noticed that you’re utilizing PDF’s like this on your website:

This is awesome content and an integral part of your marketing strategy.

But, this is what we call a ‘single dead-end asset’ that has no clear buyer journey attached to it.

Though B2B content is not often as entertaining as Netflix content, buyers expect to be able to access it in a similarly easy and personalized way (and binge when their attention is there).

When our customers removed the friction in their buyer’s journey, they were able to:

  • Keep prospects engaged longer
  • Optimize their content performance
  • Generate higher quality leads

I’m hoping to coordinate a time for us to review how you can give your buyers the experience they need to progress through the funnel quickly. What do you think, Gerry?
[Name hidden]

 

Follow-up email #1

Hi Gerry,

I noticed that you’re utilizing PDF’s like this on your website:

We know that 77% of buyers agree that B2B purchases have become too complex and challenging.
Purchase ease has a significant impact on the value customers perceive, which is why it is so essential to enable your buyer to find the right content for them no matter where you engage them.

I’d love to connect to review how we can help remove friction in your buyer’s journey to accelerate velocity. Do you have some time early next week?

Thanks!
[Name hidden]

Comments

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Gerry Moran

Tech Marketer, Founder, Marketingthink.com

“Good relationships always start by putting the other one first.”

Consultative, authentic, and creative approaches will make an attention-getting first impression. It’s vital that every salesperson comes across as a potential partner and not a virtual cashier. They need to establish credibility by showing me in the first touch that they ‘get’ my ecosystem and my place in the ecosystem—I can tell that they offer a solution given their email address. This salesperson understands how to use content to start the conversation.

  1. Do your research and personalize your communication.
  2. Make me feel a little comfortable with a statement to show I still have room to learn.
  3. Tell a story with a metaphor or analogy, so it’s easier for me to get
  4. Show what others have done vs. what you can do to help me get the greater context
  5. A relevant fact teaches me something and goes a long way
  6. Adding an approachable call to action is a great way to trigger a response from me

Bad Example

Phone call

I had a call from a rep, clearly motivated (or wound up by his manager), their product was of no use to me on this planet. At first I tried to explain why I am nowhere near the demographic or “persona” as they like to label me. He tried to counter with rebuttals from people who may need his offering, which was not me, but his responses were trying to convince me why they are the best, ignoring or missing the fact that I was not a fit. While it was fun for a minute, he got rude, and the call ended.

Comments

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Tibor Shanto

Chief Sales Officer, Renbor Sales Solutions Inc.
Strategic Adviser, Charlie App

In general, I think it is unfair to focus on the last link in the chain, the poor SDR hung out by their company. Who provided the list, on what basis? What was he trained to do, fight to the end or work with the right prospects to get a mutually beneficial outcome? The rep did what he was paid to do, he could have brought some flare and style. But technically he executed their playbook. Next time they should train from the top down.

Good Example

Phone call

I recently had a call, first he said this, “I am so glad I found your YouTube channel, I bet you get a lot of people mishandling your name on sales calls.” He went on, “I wanted to ask, with all that great content you have, have you thought of leveraging it for residual stream of income?” Bam, got my attention, who doesn’t want to make money while on the beach? He then introduced his service, all in a way as to how it may help me enhance my inventory and fully monetize it.

Comments

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Tibor Shanto

Chief Sales Officer, Renbor Sales Solutions Inc.
Strategic Adviser, Charlie App

Personalization, the way it is done (butchered) today is just BS. He got real personal in ways that count for me, money and my content. None of the usual silliness implying that I am missing something, or that my efforts are falling short somehow. He did it in a way that stroked my ego, and suggested that I can take things “even further.” We’re still talking.

Bad Example

Email

Hi Craig,

After you signed up for our webinar, I checked out your website and I think you’d be a great fit to use us to help with your lead generation.

Would love to chat to show you how it works and see if you’d be interested in giving it a shot.

We have no phones! Pretty common with a lot of startups – further adage to the cold call being dead.

So, simply use this link to request some of my time and I’ll give you a buzz.
Let’s set something up!
[Name hidden]

Comments

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Craig Elias

Speaker, Advisor, Trainer, & Mentor, SHiFT Selling, Inc.
Entrepreneur in Residence, Bow Valley College
Advisory Board Member, SXSW

Here are ‘John’s top 5 mistakes and my top 5 pieces of advice on how he can improve his engagement.

  1. Not knowing what my current solution is. How can you describe how you are different (not better) if you don’t know what I’m already using? Ask what I’m currently using so you can reply with a unique, compelling, and relevant value proposition that tells me what I get out of using your product or service.
  2. Not knowing how satisfied I am with my current solution. If I’m satisfied with my current solution I’m not likely to switch. Ask how happy I am with my current solution so you know if I’m even likely to try you or switch to you in the near future.
  3. Telling me, a 57 year old who is a much better talker than a typer that you have no phones. If your sales team has no phones I’m assuming you’re so small you can’t afford them and if you’re that small your support team probably also has no phone and can’t service me once I become a customer.
  4. Telling me cold calling is dead. I’m 15th on LinkedIn’s list of the world’s top B2B Sales Experts. I teach how outbound, or cold calling as he says, is the best way to sell six and seven-figure solutions to recently motivated decision-makers (read: VPs or higher that are new in their job) who are more likely to switch vendors. Don’t alienate the reader. Know enough about someone to have something in common and use that as a bridge to start a conversation.
  5. Not including a phone number. Making someone, who might be mildly intrigued that has two minutes to themselves now to call and learn more, to reply via email is a big opportunity killer. People will say to themselves I’ll get to this later and later almost always turns into… you guessed it: ‘never’. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS include a phone number.

The good news for ‘John’ is that his email was so bad that I actually filled in his form to get him on a call and share the above advice in person.

The even better news for ‘John’ is that after him taking my advice I actually become a user of his solution.

Bad Example

Email

Hi,

Not sure this is the correct email to write to but I’ve been on your website tenbound.com and on Linkedin, and didn’t manage to find whom I should write to.

The colleague I am trying to reach is the one creating content and product descriptions – that is the one coordiating Marketing and SEO? It would be awesome if you could point me to the right one.

I am not trying to sell you anything – The reason I am asking is that my company is developing an x to create x automatically and I want to understand better how it is done without such a tool.
[Name hidden]

Comments

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David Dulany

Founder & CEO, Tenbound

  1. Didn’t know my name.
  2. Has no idea who I am or what I’m doing, just fishing for somebody.
  3. Dangling participle at end of sentence.
  4. Weird grammar and misspelled words.
  5. Final ask adds no value to me, there’s no offer or reason to spend time on this.

Good Example

Email

Hi David,

As the CEO of Tenbound and an avid content creator, we know you put a lot of effort into creating material people enjoy and want to share.
We’re creating a product to help with that, and we’d like to show it to you to get your feedback.
For 10 minutes we’d like to offer you a $10 Peet’s Card and a free copy of our research on the topic after the interview.
Knowing you’re an avid Peet’s fan, and want to gain more attention for your content, looks like a win-win.
Grab a minute that works for you on my calendar (insert calendar link) or let me know a good time for you and I’ll send calendar reminder.
thanks,
[Name hidden]

Comments

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David Dulany

Founder & CEO, Tenbound

Bad Example

LinkedIn

Alice, I see we both have Network Marketing on our profiles.
I have something to show you that I think you will want to see.

Please accept this invite and I’ll share details on what is going to change the future of our industry.

Tks, [Name hidden]

Comments

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Alice Heiman

Co-Founder & CRO, TradeShow Makeover

This is among the worst but I get a lot of them.

  1. I don’t do Network Marketing, so not sure why his person or software chose me to connect.
  2. He’s trying to pique my interest and have me wonder and all I’m wondering is why he didn’t say what it was and why he is trying to connect with me.
  3. Again, he is assuming I’m in his industry. I clicked ignore on his request. My suggestion is to do your homework before you send a message. Quality is much more important than quantity. If he had skimmed my profile or looked at my posts, he would have known that I am not a prospect.

Good Example

LinkedIn

Hey Alice, your profile caught my attention because you are always sharing such great advice for salespeople. I also saw you made the Reuters Top 50 Sales Experts list. Congratulations! I’m guessing your company is growing, and I’ve been able to help experts like you get in front of the right audiences. I don’t know if my service is right for you but let’s connect and discuss it.
[Name hidden]

Comments

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Alice Heiman

Co-Founder & CRO, TradeShow Makeover

Bad Example

LinkedIn

Hello there, I am a sales superstar, and I can help grow your business to stardom status. You will become a household name. I can greatly improve your personal life, too, and further your life ambition.
[Name hidden]

Comments

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Elinor Stutz

Motivational Speaker, Sales Trainer, Best-Selling Author, Smooth Sale

Founding Member, Sales Enablement Society

The worst approach in business is making assumptions. Guessing about the situation of others rarely plays out well, if ever. This short message provides an abundance of assumptions and sales errors.

Before contacting someone, read their profile, research their website, and consider how you may connect the dots between the two of you. I never brag about achievements, but they are on my varying profiles and website for all to see. The communication would have been quite different had he taken a moment to glance over even one page.

It is a cardinal rule always to address a prospect by name to gain their attention.

Upon reviewing his profile, it is evident that he recently graduated from college to enter the field of sales. I assume that the pressure must be severe for him to make quota, and he does not know how to handle the situation. Revisiting upfront research, he would see that I have held a long-time career in sales and entrepreneurship.

For me, the worst statement is in reading that he can improve my personal life too. He doesn’t know anything about me personally or professionally. The declaration is outrageous. I did my best to mentor him on improving his approach politely. The messaging came to a halt. On my end, I deleted all of it.

One of my sayings is “Trust Is The Soul Of Sales.” Make your clientele the top priority. By asking about their experiences and opinions first, you begin to build the relationship, trust, and very likely the sale. Strive to earn a returning and referring clientele or the Smooth Sale!

Bad Example

LinkedIn

Hi Brynne,
I’d love to introduce you to COMPANY.com our mobile healthcare therapy app.

COMPANY.com.
It is a voluntary benefit.
We are offering discount pricing at $20 per family per month.
Commissions are 25% per family per month.
Please let me know if you are interested in additiona…

Response

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Brynne Tillman

CEO, LinkedIn Author, LinkedIn Sales Trainer, Social Sales Link

Host, The Sales Experts Channel

Founding Member, Women in Digital – USA

Name,
I’d love to teach you better ways to use LinkedIn to grow your business. If you are open, here is a link to my calendar http://scheduleacallwithbrynne.com please pick a time that works best for us to talk.
Brynne

  1. (yes, he or she didn’t even finish the message! I decided to have some fun with my reply that I sent without accepting the invite)

Good Example

LinkedIn

Brynne,
I just listened to Sell or Die’s podcast where you talked to Jennifer Gluckow on how to leverage LinkedIn for client referrals… it really resonated with me.

I’d love to connect and see more of your content in my newsfeed.

PS I consider myself a networker and a connector of people. If you ever want to jump on a 15-minute call so I can learn more about who I can refer you to, let me know.
[Name hidden]

Response

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Brynne Tillman

CEO, LinkedIn Author, LinkedIn Sales Trainer, Social Sales Link

Host, The Sales Experts Channel

Founding Member, Women in Digital – USA

Name,
Thanks so much for connecting with me on LinkedIn. I am so glad you took away some value from my interview with Jen, she is amazing.
I thought I’d share some additional insights that you might find beneficial as well. https://ptdrv.linkedin.com/fxs6f75.

If you have any LinkedIn or social selling questions, let me know, I am always happy to jump on a zoom call, reach out anytime.

Brynne

Bad Example

LinkedIn

Best Regards
Reply to [Name hidden]

Looking to connect and expand my network with like-enterpreneurs and highly motivated sales pros. See less
Reply to [Name hidden]

Mario,

I’m the CEO of XYZ. We are an experiential tech agency (video, event Livestream , AR/VR, social, mobile engagement) for b2b brand and agency partners. I’m confident there are synergies to explore here. Let’s set up a quick intro call.
[Name hidden]

Comments

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Mario Martinez Jr.

CEO, Founder and Digital Sales Evangelist, Vengreso

  1. In this example, the sales rep simply wrote: “Best Regards”. Clearly, this was a really bad attempt at a cut and paste or using automation on LinkedIn which is strictly prohibited by LinkedIn terms and conditions. We don’t have to dwell too deeply on this one. This is not what we call personalization. Period. This is just as bad as sending a message with no personal message.
  2. In this example, the sales rep sent this personalized message at the exact same time that his peer and his Vice president did. They were all literally one on top of the other as found under the “My Network” tab on LinkedIn. So what was clear from this was they were using either automation or a really bad script. Further, all three didn’t even address me by name. Their message was all about what they wanted. They were looking to connect… and expand their network. Buyers look at this and ask, “what value are you bringing to me” and “why should I connected with you”. Neither were answered in their personalized invitation. In this case, as a buyer, if I had no interest in connecting to expand my network, connect with like-minded entrepreneurs or highly motivated sales pro’s I would simply hit the “X” or “Ignore” button, which is exactly what I did
  3. In this example, there are several things that went wrong with the message. Let’s start with the obvious:
    1. There was no social greeting like “Hi” Mario or what we recommend to use “Hey” Mario
    2. There was no personalization at all. #ShowMeThatYouKnowMe
    3. Vengreso is not a “b2b brand or agency partner”, in fact, we have nothing to do with being a branding or agency marketing organization. So clearly you didn’t know who we are.
    4. I was clearly confident that we didn’t have any synergies
    5. You asked to set up a quick intro call but you failed to include the WIFM (What’s In It for Me) message. Why should I spend any time with you? Also, on cold connection messages, you NEVER ask for the meeting. You need to work your way to a conversation ONCE you’ve established a connection. Your goal here during the connection phase is to get the buyer to hit accept on that connection request. It’s what you do after they connect that will govern if you can secure a meeting.

Good Example

LinkedIn

Hi Mario,

I attended the Sales Development Summit Webinar a few weeks back and remembered hearing you speak. I definitely learned from you that day and you motivated me just when I needed it. As someone who recently began their career in Software Sales, it would be an honor to connect with you.

Hey Mario,

Let’s connect! Being featured as one of the “Always be closing: Top influencers to follow on LinkedIn” means you’re making HUGE waves in the industry, and I don’t want to miss any of it! #KnivesSharpenknives

Comments

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Mario Martinez Jr.

CEO, Founder and Digital Sales Evangelist, Vengreso

These two messages come in as one of the top “best” LinkedIn connection request messages. Simply put the sellers showed me that they knew me by demonstrating they researched me, the buyer. Here are three ways they did so:
1. They greeted me with a Hi/Hey and my personal name.
2. They identified where they saw or read about me. This is an excellent way to connect. Always reference where you saw your buyer speak at, like at a conference, or leverage an article they were featured in (like in the second example). If neither of those items exist, you could always reference something the buyer posted on social media and include the actual link to their post/tweet.
3. Edify the person you are connecting with using words like “I learned from you”, “it would be an honor to connect” or “I don’t want to miss any of it”. Who wouldn’t want to connect with someone that makes them feel like they made an impact?
Overall these two messages were clearly hyper-personalized and the seller’s goal was to get me to press the “accept” or “checkmark” button and that they did. Their next goal now is to provide value using content that maps to creating brand awareness or help address a problem that the buyer has. This would be sent by the sales rep through a LinkedIn Welcome Message after I “accept” their invitation to connect.

Bad Example

Phone call

A few years ago I was driving to work and was talking to one of my reps on my company phone (on speaker phone) and my personal phone rang… without hesitating and while leaving my other phone live I answered…

Me: Hello, this is Bob.
Prospector: Hi, this is [Name hidden] with XYZ Recruiting.
Our company specializes in sourcing and placing high performing sales reps and leaders. Our focus is in the high technology areas but we also work with a wide range of industries. A key benefit with working with our firm is both retention and sales performance, in fact, our average sales placement achieves 5% above quota and…
Me: STOP! Do you know who your are speaking with? And do you know what I’m doing right now?
Prospector: Oh, I’m sorry… you are Bob Perkins.
Me: Well, what about my role?
Prospector: Um, um, I’m not quite sure.
Me: Well, I run an association that helps inside sales reps with prospecting…. would you be open to me giving you some advice?
Prospector: Sure

Comments

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Bob Perkins

Founder & Chairman, AA-ISP

From here I discussed 2 areas:

  1. Stop spewing stuff about YOU and what YOUR company does… I don’t use staffing firms or recruiters so I could care less… but if I did it would still be a big turn off.
  2. Do your homework, i.e. even a small amount of pre-call research to know who I am, who I work for, and what I do.

By all means, seek permission to continue.
Although there are differing opinions on this, find a point earlier in the call and sense if your prospect is distracted or busy and ask if it is an ok time to chat. After the call I had totally forgotten my other phone was still live… needless to say she heard my entire “coaching session” with the prospector!

Good Example

Phone call

Me: Hello, Bob Perkins.

Prospector: Hi Bob, this is [Name hidden] with xxxxxx, Im not sure we met but I wanted to say great job on putting on another successful Summit last week in Chicago. Was this your biggest one yet?

Me: (He immediately got my attention and I chatted a few minutes about the attendance… and he shut up and listened)

Prospector: Sounds like it was really successful…. Congrats! In fact, that’s why I’m calling. Besides being the Founder I see you manage an inside sales team as well…

Comments

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Bob Perkins

Founder & Chairman, AA-ISP

From here it was all back and forth and he convinced me to have a 2nd call with his company’s President to learn more about their outstanding prospecting training…. after a 3rd call I hired them to do some training.
The KEY takeaway here: On cold calls bring up something about THEM or THE PERSON in the first 10 seconds. It’s called extreme personalization and it works! I like to say, use the word “you” or “your”. Noticed how he said “was this YOUR biggest event…”?

Bad Example

Email

Hi Dan,

The financial landscape is constantly changing, and small businesses can’t rely on traditional financing methods to keep up.

Our company is a nationwide direct lending institution that helps small and mid-sized businesses quickly explore their lending options and obtain working capital in an often confusing and evolving environment.

We offer a diverse set of options for any situation including:

Merchant Cash Advances
Term loans
Invoice factoring
Equipment sale/leaseback
Commercial real estate

Simply reply and will give you the details.

Best regards,
[Name hidden]

Comments

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Dan Swift

CEO, Empire Selling

Nothing about this outreach is personalized to me or my business. I’m clearly on a list of hundreds of other executives of small companies. I like that he leads with thought leadership but we are self-funded so his opening statement doesn’t resonate with me. Then comes the pitch. If you haven’t got my interest from the start, why would I take any time to read your pitch. Then he throws their ‘diverse set of options’ at the wall in the hope that something sticks. His call to action is weak. Why would I reply? I did not.

Good Example

Email

Hi Dan,

The HBR article you shared on mental health and how bosses can reduce the stigma of mental health at work appeared in my feed. It’s a subject that is close to my heart. Thank you for sharing.

How’s your body holding up after playing so much rugby by the way? Great to see England beat Ireland in the weekend. Fantastic game!

Congrats on all your success with Empire Selling. I read ‘Our story’ on your website which is the reason for reaching out. If and when you are ready for financing options for your business, please do consider us for your needs.

Would welcome the opportunity to connect here on LinkedIn in the meantime. Stay warm. Looks like you are about to get hit with some really cold temperatures.

Best,
Dan

Comments

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Dan Swift

CEO, Empire Selling

Rather than share a good example, I think it would be useful for people to see what I would have written if I was him. I am active on LinkedIn. He could have mentioned something from my LinkedIn profile or an article that I had shared recently. This would have demonstrated to me that he’d taken the time to do his due diligence on both me and Empire Selling. The title of his InMail could have been “Mental health, rugby & congratulations”. That would have got my attention. And then perhaps the below. I would absolutely have accepted his connection request and been open to a conversation at the right time for us in the future. What was interesting is that the salesperson had some connections in common with me on LinkedIn. If he had been referred to me through one of my trusted connections, I would absolutely have taken a call from him.

Bad Example

Email

Victor,

Obtained your email address on LinkedIn.
Quick question for you… do you at all keep your options open in terms of making additional income outside of what you’re currently doing or do you have enough money coming in for the rest of your life that you don’t need anymore?
Thanks [Name hidden]

Comments

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Victor Antonio

Sales Trainer & Motivation Keynote Speaker, Sellinger Group

This is so shallow and manipulative.

  1. Shallow: I found your email on LinkedIn. That’s it? Just my email? Nothing else apparently mattered.
  2. Manipulative: Do I keep all my options open OR do I have enough money for the rest of my life? Yes and No are the only rational answers. You can smell the ‘spam’ on this one.

Lastly, he used a gmail account (e.g., [email protected])

Good Example

Email

Headline: Value-Centric Selling – How to Sell Value, Not Price

Hi Victor,

I came across your course on Udemy. My research found your work to be useful for a lot of people. To briefly introduce myself, I am [Name hidden], SVP of sales at XYZCo.com. XYZCo.com offers a course platform that serves the learning needs of corporations.
We are a top site in many countries of the world and were used by 100 million+ people last year. We are based out of Silicon Valley.

There is a strong demand for content similar to yours from our users. Hence, we would like to partner with you to bring your course to our users. There is an opportunity to monetize your content well with a potential to make $300 a month for new courses to $3,000 a month for top courses.

I would like to speak to you to provide information on how we can create additional value for your content. Please schedule a meeting (calendar link).

Thank you
[Name hidden]

Comments

fp_victor

Victor Antonio

Sales Trainer & Motivation Keynote Speaker, Sellinger Group

What prompted me to call? Several things:

  1. Headline of my own course in the title; that caught my attention.
  2. He mentioned my course on Udemy which means he is aware and knows my content (i.e., not a generic ‘we like your course’ email).
  3. Technology platform that serves 100+ Million. That’s a great market reach. Even if that is only half true, that’s a lot of eye-balls).
  4. He talked about a strong demand for my content and I agree with him (i.e., like mindedness).
  5. ONE course could generate $300-$3,000. I like that he put a number (range) which indicates he knows his numbers. Why? Well, notice the range wasn’t from $0 to $3,000 or up to $3,000. Also, I have 45 courses…the math looks good.

Bottomline, this email had three hooks: He communicated that he knew me (my product), he demonstrated credibility, or at a minimum intrigue, with the 100+ million person reach, and he focused on what is in it for me (revenue potential).

Bad Example

Email

Hi Jack,

You have some time this week to talk to you about what I do?

Comments

fp_jack

Jack Kosakowski

CEO, Creation Agency

What is the value prop of me spending my time to hear what you do? What value is derived from this type of outreach? I don’t even know what this guy does.

Bad Example

Email

Hi Jack,

Thanks for your time. I’d love to give you $100 to see a 20-min demo of XYZ, a new and innovative corporate card + expense management platform that’s completely changing the way we manage company finance.

Here’s what XYZ can do for CEOs and their finance teams:

XYZ is FREE to use and earns 1x to 7x rewards points!
Eliminate expense reports, receipt capturing & employee reimbursements
Close books in days (not weeks), without the witch hunts for missing receipts
Unlimited virtual cards and one-time-use “burner cards”
Control employee spend with card limits & budgets
Send & receive funds instantly (think Venmo for business)
Track, analyze & forecast expenses in real-time (within seconds of a purchase)

Join us for a demo and earn up to $100 to spend wherever MasterCard is accepted. Hope to see you soon!

See a demo, get $100 – >
[Name hidden]

Comments

fp_jack

Jack Kosakowski

CEO, Creation Agency

Paying me to take a demo? This smells of desperation, like the only value you can give me is through paying me for my time. This is a horrible approach and will keep your sales team on the phone with unqualified prospects.

What you should be doing instead. If you’re looking to book a meeting with someone on LinkedIn. Make sure you first start to understand what “value” means to them and how you can trade “value” for time. Most people look at money as currency but they completely miss the fact that time is worth more than money. What type of content have your prospects produced? How can you take that content and use it as currency to get visible, valuable, and connected in order to earn your way into an ask.

Your first step on LinkedIn should be to get connected and then create “value” driven conversation around something you have in common. Example: Share a video excerpt on LinkedIn and then tag the person that you are trying to get connected to. Once you are connected send a DM and reference the content to start the conversation.

If there is no common connection around commonality or context, it’s not a good time to make the ask on LinkedIn. You can’t be lazy. You have to work for it. Treat other people’s time like gold.

Bad Example & Comments

The person left a voicemail that was clearly scripted right from the start. She name-dropped companies they’ve done business with, talked about their skills as an organization, then went on to talk about what she could do for us. The voicemail sounded like the sales conversation she actually wanted to have. Now I wish I’d timed it for you! I suspect it was 3 minutes long. I listened just to see if it would get better—but then pushed delete.

 

Good example & comment:

The most recent best example was a prospector’s call who has started his conversation talking about how he could help my staff. As an exec, it caught my attention and I let him go on—and I’m tough to get past!

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Kendra Lee

Author, Sales Expert, Prospect Attraction Authority, Top Seller, Speaker & President,
KLA Group

Sales & Lead Generation Blogger, ChannelE2E