Outbound Sales — The Messaging, Medium, and Method

forestYou know how to talk about what you do, right? You could probably talk about it all day long. But have you taken the time to take a step back and really ask yourself if you know how to sell what you do via outbound sales?

Inside vs. Outbound Sales

There is a big difference between inside sales vs. outside sales approaches. For a lot of people who have not done outbound sales before, they struggle with being concise when talking to prospects. It takes practice and a lot of revisions to take an outbound pitch and make it effective.

Talking to an inbound lead who has already expressed some interest in what you do, is very different than talking to and getting the attention of someone that for all intents of purposes is a complete stranger. So, how do you create an effective outbound campaign that people will respond to? Here are three good questions to ask yourself before getting started…

Messaging – What are you saying?

If you’re at the point of selling outbound, hopefully you have a defined value prop — but for outbound you may need a few of those and know how to pitch them in different ways, to probably some different people who care about different things. =)

You know who you want to target and have a general value prop but here is where you need to get creative and put yourself in the prospects shoes. What is going to pique their curiosity and get them to interact with you? Most prospects are going to appreciate you getting straight to the point, being considerate of their time while not coming off like a stereotypical salesy grease ball.

Take time to reflect on what it is about what you do that relieves pain in different ways for different people… you may only have one one person and one pain to start with, as you test and grow this will probably expand.  We typically recommend that you start broad and then narrow your target and your message as you find traction.

Medium — Where do you say it?

Truth is, we’re now digital people in a digital world. We hardly answer our phones unless we know who it is calling us, we check our social media accounts countless amount of times in a day, and probably have email notifications every time a new one comes in. So what is the best way to get in touch with people in a professional way? This of course, like a lot of things with outbound sales, is going to depend on your sale.

If you are selling into an industry that is typically casual and friendly, social media is a great option as it presents a more personal approach. Most professionals are active on sites like LinkedIn and Twitter and are willing to accept invite request. But be careful not to ruin this approach by quickly turning around and sending someone a sales pitch as soon as they accept your request, play it cool.

Outbound emails can work, if you execute it properly. Email and phone are highly used mediums for outbound and a lot of prospects are getting swamped daily by outbound sales. The key to outbound email templates are to keep it short and to the point, without being overly persistent. It’s helpful to take time to test out email cadences too, does it make a difference if you send three emails in two weeks time or five over an entire month? No matter your target, there is surely a difference.

Calling someone on the phone is still an effective way to get the attention of a cold prospect but does take another set of skills to implement fully. You need good phone skills and need to be able to think and react quickly to whatever that prospects on the other side of the phone is going to say. Timing of your calls also plays a large part of getting someone to pick the phone unlike social media and emails.

They all have their pro’s and con’s, so take some time and figure out which works best for you — maybe it’s one of these or a combination of them all.

Method— How are you saying it?

Outbound sales, like dating, you have to make the first move and keep making moves. It’s important to set yourself up with a game plan and stick to it.

At some point in your sales career you have probably heard someone say something along the lines of “it takes X number amount of times to get in touch with a prospect.” Sometimes that’s true and sometimes you just get the right person at the right time with the right pain and a good pitch. None the less, have a game plan in place. Whether it’s an email cadence of five emails over a month or 3 phone calls in a week, make the plan, stick to it, and learn from it.

If no one ever answers you, start again and ask yourself where in the process you’re falling short. Keep reflecting, keep learning and if after a while you’re still struggling, give us a call, we’d love to be helpful.