Categories
Tactical Selling

A simple prospecting shift to book more meetings

A simple prospecting shift to book more meetings

In today’s newsletter, I will walk you through an important mindset shift for salespeople:

Moving from booking meetings with total strangers only (net new logos), to booking meetings with people you already know.

This shift will drastically improve your prospecting results, as you’ll start a lot more conversations, and book more meetings as a result.

It’s important because it will change your focus from something that requires advanced prospecting skills – convincing a total stranger to meet with you, to something you naturally do every day – starting conversations.

Let’s dive in:

The biggest mistake

Most salespeople who are prospecting have one goal: turning strangers into customers. This approach is understandable, because that’s what they are measured on.

However, when you are focusing on booking meetings with total strangers only, you make your job a lot harder than it has to be. Without reaching out to people they already know (active customers, previous customers, partners, and so on), salespeople end up having less conversations, and losing motivation.

Before you know it, you’re sending hundreds of emails each week, without getting any reply, and you start worrying about reaching your targets. You change your messaging too often, and your inner voice starts doubting your capacity to book a meeting.

A better approach: focus on people you know

Here’s how I recommend building pipeline with people you already know:

  1. Create prospect tiers: What type of people can you reach out to? Existing customers, past customers, lost opportunities, partners, etc. ?
  2. Get accurate data: Is the contact info still relevant? What kind of trigger can you use?
  3. Build a sequence skeleton for each tier: What concrete steps will you follow to get them to answer?
  4. Write your messages: What are you going to write in your touchpoints?
  5. Set time blocks and execute: How can you protect your time to get in touch with these people on a daily basis?

Example: Booking meetings with past customers

For example, let’s say you have a good amount of past customers, but no active engagement with them.

Start by following the 5 steps from above:

Create prospect tiers: From all these past customers, you may have some who churned, some who worked with you for a few months, or standalone projects. List every prospect type and assign them to a different tier.

Get accurate data: Now that you have your list, you need to make sure your information is up-to-date. Is their email or phone number still accurate (check Kaspr if you need good quality data)? Did they change jobs? Did they get promoted? Find all the information you can to make your outreach message relevant.

Build a sequence skeleton for each tier: With people you already know, your chances of getting replies are way higher than with total strangers. But you can’t expect everyone to immediately reply and jump on a meeting with you. Using 3 touchpoints over email and LinkedIn is preferable because it helps you preserve your relationship, without being too pushy.

Here’s a sequence structure you can use:

Sequence


Write your messages: You have your sequence skeleton, now you need to write something relevant to get your prospects interested (check these additional templates). Remember, your messages should have the following elements:

  • be short (under 125 words)
  • give a valid reason for reaching out
  • tease curiosity

You can use the 3 following frameworks to do so:

First message:

  • Trigger: A mention of your relationship
  • Reason: The reason why you’re contacting them
  • Teaser: A short sentence to tease the curiosity of your prospect

Second message:

  • Trigger: A mention of your previous message
  • Question: A question related to a problem they had
  • Teaser: An intriguing piece of information
  • CTA: A simple ask

Third message:

Bump: A one or two words question

Here is an example:

Messages

Set time blocks and execute: You may be tempted to launch your sequence and contact as many prospects as possible, but it’s not the best idea. If you reach out to too many prospects at once, you’ll quickly lose motivation. You will end up with too many follow-ups at once, which will most likely discourage you.

Instead, create daily time blocks to protect your time, and add a set number of prospects to your sequence every day. I personally contact 2 expansion prospects per day, as part of my 5 daily new prospects to contact. This creates a steady input of prospects, which turns into a predictable output (replies and meetings).

Tying it back to you

If your job involves booking meetings with prospects (it should be if you’re in sales), start by creating tiers of people you already know, and get accurate data about them.

Once you’ve done that, build a sequence skeleton, write your messages, and include these prospects in your daily prospecting routine.

This approach will help you start many more conversations, and help you land more meetings, without having to focus on total strangers only.

And if you want a step-by-step guide on doing this, and much more, then go check my flagship course, The Prospecting Engine.

Hope to see you in there.

Cheers,

Thibaut

P.S. When you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:

→ Enroll in The Prospecting Engine

Need to train your team or invite me as a speaker? Book a call here

→ Sponsor my content & get 45K+ eyeballs on your ad

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Get my free, 4 min weekly newsletter. Used by 5.900+ salespeople to book more meetings.

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Get my free, 4 min weekly newsletter. Used by 5.900+ salespeople to book more meetings.

Categories
Tactical Selling

What I learned from the last sales job I ever had

What I learned from the last sales job I ever had

In today’s issue, I’ll share 3 key lessons I learned from the last sales job I ever had. If you can take these lessons and apply them to what you sell, you’ll be in a better position to start more conversations, book more meetings, and close bigger deals.

But first, a bit of context. The last sales job I ever had was an Account Executive position for a tech company based in the US. They had been successful in raising money and deploying their solution in many mobile apps on the US market. I stayed for a total of 5 months, before quitting and going on my own.

Here’s what I learned:

Lesson 1: If you don’t understand the product, your prospects won’t get it either

When you work for a startup, you may not have a product-market fit yet. The early funding is supposed to help the company find it, and help you sell you first deals. It’s especially true if you’re opening a new market (like I was supposed to do).

In many cases, the founders are convinced that their product is revolutionary, but they can’t quite explain you why. That was the case for me. I remember going to California for a 2-week onboarding bootcamp. I attended many product sessions, deal reviews, and so on, but I couldn’t grasp why people would buy what we were selling.

When I came back to Europe, I started prospecting and meeting prospects, but I was not capable to explain them what outcomes they would get from using the product I was selling. The pitch deck was focused on the features (woofing, as Skip Miller would say), but my prospects couldn’t care less.

Takeways:

  • Nobody cares about your product
  • Raising lots of money ≠ guaranteed success
  • What works in the US may not work in EMEA

Lesson 2: A founder is often a terrible salesperson

This last job gave me the opportunity to understand that selling isn’t a natural quality of many founders. They may be great at raising money, telling a compelling story to investors, or telling white lies, but they are often too focused on themselves to be good salespeople.

At my last sales job, I had the opportunity to go meet prospects in Paris, with one of the co-founders of the company. He destroyed every single opportunity I had been working on by reciting his fundraising deck. He was bragging about the “award-winning” technology we used, the size of our team, the crazy growth of the company, and so on.

There was just one problem. All these prospects were French, they didn’t really understand English, and they didn’t have any space to share what they were working on.

Takeaways:

  • Founders are often great at many things, but not selling
  • Their obsession with scale will hurt your deals
  • French people do not speak good English 😂

Lesson 3: It’s never about what you sell

This last lesson is the most important I learned from my last sales job. I had the opportunity to meet with Skip Miller during a 2-day training organized by the company, and it changed the trajectory of my career. I learned that everything your prospects are interested in is themselves.

They are only interested in understanding if your product can help them reach their targets, what outcomes it’s going to create for them, and how you can help them make a dent in their problems.

Takeaways:

  • If you don’t know your prospects problems, you don’t have deal
  • Nobody cares about what you sell, they care about outcomes
  • If you had the chance to meet Skip Miller, you were blessed

And these are the 3 most important lessons I learned from the last sales job I ever had. I’ve been working on my own since September 2018, and I like to say I’m totally unemployable as a result. Leaving this last job seemed risky at the time, but it was the best decision of my life, as I found out I was able to make money on my own terms, without having to report to anyone.

Hope this inspires you to be more intentional with what you want to do with your life.

Cheers,

Thibaut Souyris

P.S. When you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:

→ Enroll in The Prospecting Engine

Need to train your team or invite me as a speaker? Book a call here

→ Sponsor my content & get 45K+ eyeballs on your ad

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Get my free, 4 min weekly newsletter. Used by 5.900+ salespeople to book more meetings.

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Get my free, 4 min weekly newsletter. Used by 5.900+ salespeople to book more meetings.

Categories
Tactical Selling

3 intent triggers I can’t live without

3 intent triggers I can’t live without

In today’s issue, I’ll share 3 triggers I use every day to start conversations with prospects, based on their online activity. If you can identify and use these triggers in your outreach, you’ll start a lot more conversations, and you’ll book more meetings as a result.

Let’s dive in:

Trigger 1: LinkedIn post like/comments

This is the ultimate low-hanging fruit.

Your first step is to understand what kind of problems your prospects are trying to solve, and to identify influencers/thought leaders who speak about these problems on a regular basis.

When you have identified these influencers, you can follow them, and create a routine of checking their posts regularly, so you can select the ones that are useful to your prospects. Here’s an example.

When you find someone who fits with your ICP, you can export them with Amplemarket (or manually), and use the post as an excuse for reaching out.

Example:

“Mary, saw you also liked Kyle’s post about the new SDR/AE hybrid role.

Opposed to seeing how I helped 10 SDRs at Amplemarket do just that?”

Trigger 2: Champion left company

This trigger is my favorite because I can use it to contact two prospects, and potentially create two separate opportunities. It works when you’re working on a deal, and your champion leaves the company.

You can contact them to ask about their new gig with the following message:

“Josh, saw you recently left the company, how’s the new gig? Would it be a bad idea to hop on a quick call so you can tell me more about your goals?”

You can also contact the ATL (Above The Line) of the old opportunity and ask them about the project:

“Mary, heard that Josh is on his way out. Should we chat about the SDR training project he was working on, or is it leaving with Josh too?”

Trigger 3: New job

This trigger works well with people you already know. It can be from previous collaborations, lost opportunities, or active opportunities. I recommend avoiding lengthy emails, and simply asking them about the new job.

That’s how I start most of my conversations with people I didn’t speak to for a while:

“Harsh, how’s the new gig?”

I found that most people will reply, and they’ll immediately jump in to a business conversation if the timing is good (just like Aaron did below):

Image #1

And these are 3 intent triggers I can’t live without. If you can identify these triggers and use them when reaching out to your prospects, you’ll get a lot more replies, and you’ll book a lot more meetings.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Thibaut Souyris

P.S. When you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:

→ Enroll in The Prospecting Engine

Need to train your team or invite me as a speaker? Book a call here

→ Sponsor my content & get 45K+ eyeballs on your ad

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Get my free, 4 min weekly newsletter. Used by 5.900+ salespeople to book more meetings.

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Get my free, 4 min weekly newsletter. Used by 5.900+ salespeople to book more meetings.