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One small shift to unlock your prospecting

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

Moving from booking meetings to starting conversations.

This shift will help you simplify your prospecting, making it more relevant to you and your customers.

It’s important because it will change your focus from something you can’t control – booking a meeting, to something you naturally do every day – starting conversations.

Let’s dive in.

The biggest mistake

Most salespeople who are prospecting have one goal: booking a meeting. This approach is understandable, because that’s what they are paid for (as SDRs), or it’s the best way to maximize their earnings (as AEs).

However, when you are focusing on booking meetings, you tend to skip the most important part – generating interest from the person receiving your message. Without focusing on conversations, salespeople tend to pitch their products, insert meeting links in their messages, and turn prospects off as a result.

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 starting a conversation

Here’s how I recommend building your prospecting sequences:

  1. Review your ICP: What companies are you trying to sell into? To which job titles inside of these companies?
  2. Find big problems: What massive problems are these people trying to solve every day?
  3. List symptoms of these problems: What concrete symptoms these problems create?
  4. Find resources to alleviate the symptoms: Are there resources you can share to solve these problems?
  5. Insert point 3 and 4 in your messages: Ask questions about these symptoms, and tease the corresponding resource.

Example: Selling a Global Employment Platform

For example, let’s say you’re a rep working at a Global Employment Platform, helping HR teams hire the best talent worldwide.

Start by following the 5 steps from above:

Review your ICP: You may be selling this platform to so many different types of companies. Pick one Ideal Customer Company and find two Ideal Customer Titles (Above The Line and Below The Line). For example, you could sell to remote-first scale ups with distributed teams in more than 3 countries. Your ATL could be a VP of People and your BTL could be a Payroll Manager.

Find big problems: VPs of People typically have issues navigating compliance when hiring employees and contractors. They have big risks related to local rules around employment. Payroll Managers are typically dealing with increased complexity for each new employee in a different country.

List symptoms of these problems: Let’s say your prospect’s company is expanding into the French market. They’ll have huge financial risks if hiring a full-time employee as a contractor. This is called “disguised employment” and could get your prospect’s company into legal problems, which is a headache for a VP of People. A Payroll Manager’s symptom would be the time wasted on shifting from country to country to fill-in the payroll documentation for each employee, every month.

Find resources to alleviate symptoms: Your company should have some free resources to market to your prospect. In our example, a cheat sheet of all countries that won’t ever consider full-time contractors as disguised employees would be incredible valuable to a VP of People. A checklist on structuring your schedule to fill-in payroll documentation in different countries would be great for a Payroll Manager.

Insert point 3 and 4 in your messages: Here’s an example of a cold message to a VP of People:

“Martha, saw your press release on expanding into the French market in 2024.

Curious to know if you’re adding employees or contractors locally. If that’s the case, how do you plan on avoiding the URSSAF from considering your full-time contractors as disguised employees?

If that’s a challenge you’re faced with, I have a cheat sheet on French-speaking countries that won’t ever consider full-time contractors as disguised employees.

Worth a peek?”

And for the Payroll Manager:

“John, saw your press release on expanding into the French market in 2024.

Curious to know how you’re avoiding wasting hours (and neurones) filling-in French payroll documentation.

If you’re into it, I can share a 7 point checklist on structuring your schedule to fill-in payroll documentation in 180+ different countries.

Worth a peek?”

Tying it back to you

If your job involves booking meetings with prospects (it should be if you’re in sales), start by reviewing your ICP, and listing concrete problems they are trying to solve every day.

Once you’ve done that, list detailed symptoms of these problems, find or build resources to help solve these problems, and include these into your messages.

This approach will help you start many more conversations, and help you focus on what you can control.

And if you want a step-by-step guide on doing this, and much more, then go check my new course, The Prospecting Engine. I’m making it available for 50% off until the 31st of January.

Hope to see you in there.

Cheers,

Thibaut

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

→ (NEW) Pre-order The Prospecting Engine for 50% off (valid until 31st of January)

→ (NEW) Need to train your team or invite me as a speaker? Book a call here

→ Sponsor my content & get 42K+ eyeballs on your ad

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