I just finished watching a few videos by Charlie Light who is an expert in Sales. We SEOs could use some of his tips.
Charlie’s has been putting out great videos on cold calling over the past few years and if you’re doing (or thinking of doing) cold calling – he is the goto person you should be following on Youtube.
Charlie has a handful of videos that are shot live as he goes about doing his magic of cold calling prospects. This is a fantastic way to learn his art!
The video I cover in this post is about growing your sales pipeline and is about an hour long. I figured a lot of the readers wont have time to watch it through – and may just want the gist of what Charlie is teaching and get the key takeaways.
So, I put together my notes and comments here…
Charlie runs Prospect Aim an agency that builds customized lead lists databases for businesses as per their needs.
Below is his video followed by my notes and key takeaways.
10 Ways to Grow Your Sales Pipeline
Before I write out my notes on this video, an important thing to remember (and Charlie stresses on this point), is that…
Prospecting is introducing people to your brand… it is not selling your stuff.
… You should not be selling – when you prospect!
You are basically delivering value upfront by showing them what it is you (can) do. By communicating with them and showing your worth by delivering micro amounts of but highly related “value” to them by your conversation with them, you move them on towards the selling phase.
You can use infotainment / edutainment to deliver value to the prospect – and eventually give them a CTA to do as a next step – that then pushes them into your sales (phase) processes.
This is a key point to understand and its an important aspect of the prospect and sales pipeline we’re going to lay out over here.
That said, I hope you’re excited… let’s get started!
Using Different Methods for Sales Prospecting
While setting up your prospecting strategy you can use different methods such as…
Having A Clear Strategy in Place – Your “Hook” and “Message Funnel”
You also need to make sure that you have a good strategy in place before you start prospecting, and don’t make one up as you go along!
Having a clear path will help you determine what to say when you are communicating with your prospects.
This means you are very clear as to what your “hook” is. You need to be crystal clear on your “messaging funnel / flow”!
What message are you trying to create in the prospects mind at this stage of the game?
For example, are you offering…
a free site audit, or
a free consultation call, or
a free ebook, or
a database of leads for them
Be very clear on your overall strategy and flow of messaging (your messaging funnel).
Don’t just setup a cold email campaign and assume you are good to go!
Focus 80% on the strategy and messaging and 20% on the setup. This is key.
Don’t just blast out random messages to 10,000 emails that you scraped for your campaign.
Pre-Qualify Prospects Early In The Call!
Charlie strongly feels that your prospect should know the price early on in the call (or before it if possible) and definitely before you do hard selling to them.
This avoids tire kickers and you can pre-qualify people early on so you don’t waste time on people and businesses that cannot afford your services.
Charlie feels that by telling them upfront (or early in the call right after you tell them what you are doing and you deliver some quick micro-value to them and get them interested)… you should tell them approximately how much they will have to spend for your services if they sign on OR get a budget from them.
Cold Email Tips
If you are sending out cold email outreach using tools like Lemlist, Mailshake, YAMM etc. then make sure your email is personalized using mail merge.
Customize your message using mail merge feature in these tools. Some fields could be…
Mention their industry
Use terms like “your agency” if targeting agencies instead of “your company”
Try to have the same designation across your campaign. For example – target Sales Directors in larger organizations, or for smaller companies you may target the Founder or CEO
Decide the type of companies or niches you are going to chase
Towards the end of this post I have inserted another video that I saw that shows you an amazing method on customizing each cold email that you send out effectively and efficiently – and that will give you a 30% response rate!! *wow*
Keep your very first message within two sentences.
Your initial message in your cold email outreach or Linkedin Direct message should not be more than a couple of sentences.
Keep it brief and do NOT list your services out! That will put the reader off instantly.
Describe what you do…what product you are selling… and then show them something that builds value immediately.
You can demonstrate and deliver this “value” through things like –
a link to a video
a case study, or
a simple offer for them for a free mini-tasting of the service you are offering.
People should quickly understand what value you are offering them… show them specifically what it is that you are doing!
To build this “branding through giving value first” – you can show yourself or your team doing what you do in a video, for example. Video works well as a tool to do this.
TIP – Make sure to add retargeting code to all pages you drive them to for the “view”, so you can then remind them through ads on your offer in the event they have not responded or opted in.
You can then slowly build up on more and more value… giving them more information and stuff of what you do, and eventually they will take the action you desire at a higher probability.
Just lead them on to things that pique their interest in each communication flow.
Here’s an example Cold Email that Charlie sends out…
When sending DMs (Direct message) to people on Linkedin – just be specific and to the point. It is fine to sell right away! Just don’t be aggressive. Keep it simple.
Contrary to what Charlie preaches here – many people feel that you should first connect with people and then warm them up and then make a sales pitch. This is actually not ok as it would position yourself as being sleazy salesperson who tried to connect with them only to ask for a sale after a few communications or (pretending to be friendly chats).
And, I completely agree with Charlie.
Here’s an example DM for Linkedin –
It is always better to put your sales message that gives the reader high value right up front – so they know why you are messaging them in the first place.
Don’t ask for a phone call on the first message! That makes most people uncomfortable.
Give people an easier way to engage with you, rather than going for a phone call.
Use a good tool to automate stuff like Meet Alfred or Dux Soup to speed up your prospecting process. (However do note, that these tools are against Linkedin TOS – and so you should learn how to use them properly so you don’t get banned from Linkedin! Also keep up to date on the validity of these tools by visiting marketing forums so you know if Linkedin found out how to detect the use of these tools despite the measures the developers of the tools have put into place)
When you start with Cold Emails and Linkedin Messaging… you can see who opened your email, and then call only those people!
You can start the “lukewarm call” (nice word Charlie!) by saying something like…
Hey Tom… I sent you the email regarding xyz (and read out the pitch you already sent to them, so they can immediately connect to it or recall reading an email with that pitch.
Don’t switch the pitch, just because you managed to call them – because then that will confuse them!
Stick to your hook and message!
For example if your hook and angle of approach is giving a free website and you are calling a plumber – then you can just say… we are offering plumbers a free website redesign at the moment, would you be interested?
Youtube Videos for Getting Inbound Prospects
If you put out Youtube videos to generate leads (it works very well as a medium) then make sure that the videos you put out are showing yourself doing specific things related to the execution of the projects. The videos should show how you operate. Show real actual project work in process.
Simple training / explainer videos on what XYZ tend not to excite potential prospects.
They want to see actual stuff…
Show them things happening “behind the scenes” in projects you take on that clearly demonstrate and show your expertise in the execution of the task / project / field.
Like we have said above, make sure to have a clear offering ready when you make cold calls. Something that is free.
We are xyz .. and we do this and we are offering a free audit.
Then clearly spell out your CTA (Call-To-Action).
In the case of cold calling… your CTA it could be you asking them “So, what’s the best email that I can reach out to you to send over…. etc”
During the call, make sure to ask qualifying questions to identify their pain points… so you can see what you want to sell them in case they are not interested in your “core offer”. So, don’t try and sell them SEO if they don’t want SEO!
Find out what they need first. And, then see if you can help them in that area.
Social Media Direct Messaging (DMs)
Instagram and Facebook are great places to send out short specific messages. Make sure you target the right person and that you have a clear and concise and “easy next step” / CTA for them to take.
Just make sure that your direct message is compelling and targeted.
For example… you may target agency owners on Instagram with a Direct Message saying…
Hey Jim, I help agencies get leads online. This is me doing a live sales cold call here. (insert link)
Going back to an important point… make sure that no matter what medium your use, for all methods…
You need to figure out what is your messaging and your funnel.
Your Personal Network
Your personal network and contacts you already have is the best place to start.
Also, getting referrals from them or your current clients are the highest converting leads!
If you can come up with a way to quickly find companies that have similar clients but offer different services to them, than yours… then you can approach them to become resellers for your services to their clients.
Make sure that you do the selling to their clients as you know your product best…
They should give you the lead.
You should close it.
Send terms to reseller in PDF.
Social Media Interaction
Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Linked. These are all good places to start to interact with potential prospects. Pick one and build on it. Slowly build out the others and then focus your efforts on the channel(s) that are working best for you. If you do video, then Youtube is your goto place.
Just pick one platform and get good audience numbers on it first. Get one method right, then expand to others.
Don’t Give Up Too Early!
You need to be prospecting daily for a couple of months at the very least to see if your strategy and approach is working.
Don’t quit after sending out 100 mails or making 100 cold calls!
If you are cold emailing – then you need to send out at least 1000 emails to check if your strategy is working!
How To Do Cold Email Outreach Effectively
Here’s the video I mentioned above, which is an awesome way to mass customize your emails while doing cold email outreach for very high response rates.
I have not yet tested this method but it looks pretty awesome. Matthew says he gets 30% response rates with this! Which is fantastic!
In this video Matthew walks you through a very effective method on doing Cold Email Outreach.
I loved the way he shows how you can make sure that your series of cold emails look highly customized for each receiver. He says that this method gets him about 30% response rates!