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4 questions to ask to find qualified prospects on LinkedIn

Tactical Selling

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4 questions to ask to find qualified prospects on LinkedIn

In today’s issue, I’m going to share my 4-question process to find qualified prospects on LinkedIn.

If you can replicate this process, you’re much less likely to get ignored by prospects, because you’ll have a good reason to reach out.

Unfortunately, most SDRs don’t have a solid process for finding qualified prospects, so they are burning through lead lists and starting too few conversations as a result.

Finding prospects who reply is about using the digital footprint they leave behind

Without identifying and using this footprint, a few challenges arise:

Challenge #1: No relevance: it’s hard to get replies if you’re not using personalization in your outreach.

Challenge #2: Bad timing: your prospects are most likely not actively looking for the solution you’re offering.

Challenge #3: It’s harder to connect: your prospects ignore your message because they feel you have no clue about the problems they are trying to solve.

You can overcome all of these challenges by building a better system to find qualified prospects on LinkedIn.

Here is the 4-question process I follow:

Question 1: Who am I trying to find?

My first step is to clearly understand who I’m trying to find. I like using an ICP matrix with the Ideal Customer Company and the Ideal Customer Title.

I also use the ProActive Selling methodology to differentiate between Above The Line buyers (ATL) and Below The Line buyers (BTL). Here’s an example ICP matrix:

ICP matrix

Question 2: What are their problems?

Now that I have precise ATLs and BTLs to go after, I’m asking myself about their problems. In general, they have problems related to initiatives they are working on.

For example, Head of Sales Development/SDR Managers have initiatives around outbound pipeline creation. They face problems like:

  • low reply rates

  • spray and pray from SDRs

  • SDRs miss their targets regularly

I could go on forever, but these are common problems Heads of Sales Development are trying to solve.

(Note: if you’re interested in building problem-oriented cold messages, step-by-step, go check my Cold Message System.)

Question 3: Who are influential people speaking about these problems?

When my list is done, I’m able to look for people who speak about these problems on LinkedIn. I recommend using the LinkedIn search bar to find influential people speaking about these problems.

For example, if I type “reply rates”, “spray and pray”, or “SDR targets”, I can find relevant posts or people who regularly post about these topics.

Tom Alaimo

You can then check the LinkedIn profiles of of these people who post and find out if they regularly post on the topic. In my example above, Tom Alaimo would be an excellent influencer to follow.

Question 4: Where are they interacting?

Finally, I’m checking where my prospects are interacting. They are often active in the reaction/comment section of the posts related to the problems they are trying to solve.

Let’s take the post we found from Tom Alaimo. He talks about an SDR being stressed because she missed her June target. He then gives tactical and mental tips to solve the problem.

I went to the reactions/comments section, and I found 17 prospects I could reach out to (SDR Managers, Head of Sales Development, VP Sales).

Now I can get in touch with them and mention Tom’s post as a trigger + ask them about the problem mentioned in the post. Some prospects may have liked the post because they are aware of the problem, or looking for a solution. Two good reasons to start an outbound conversation.

(Note: if you’re interested in building an outbound prospecting system with a 38% reply rate, go check my New Outreach System.)

And these are my 4 questions to ask to find qualified prospects on LinkedIn.


TL;DR:

  • Question 1: Who am I trying to find?

  • Question 2: What are their problems?

  • Question 3: Who are influential people speaking about these problems?

  • Question 4: Where are they interacting?

 

Cheers,

Thibaut

P.S. When you’re ready, here are 4 ways I can help you.
 
  1. Build your outbound prospecting system from scratch here (200+ students)
  2. (NEW!) Write cold messages that get a 38% reply rate and 27% meeting rate here (20+)
  3. Book me 1:1 or for your team here
  4. (NEW!) Sponsor my newsletter & get 3k+ eyeballs on your ad!
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5 steps to creating prospect curiosity

Tactical Selling

Join 3K+ subscribers to Tactical Selling. Every Thursday, you’ll get 1 actionable tip on starting conversations and booking more meetings.

5 steps to creating prospect curiosity

In today’s newsletter, I’m going to share my 5 steps to creating prospect curiosity in your cold outreach.

If you can replicate this process, you’re going to catch the attention of your prospects and get them to stop in their tracks to learn more about what you can do for them.

Unfortunately, most SDRs don’t have a solid understanding of what motivates prospects to reply, so they keep sending the same, product-oriented messages, and being ignored.

Creating curiosity gets prospects to keep reading your messages.

Without curiosity-inducing elements in your messages, there are a number of problems that arise:

Problem 1: Your message doesn’t stand out. Prospects quickly dismiss your outreach.

Problem 2: Prospects only scan your message. Your message isn’t even fully read.

Problem 3: Your message gets ignored. As a result, prospects move on and keep doing what they were doing before.

You can overcome all of these problems by creating curiosity-inducing elements in your cold outreach.

Here’s how I do it, step-by-step:

Step 1: Understand their problems

In a previous newsletter, I share my 3-step process to understanding your prospects’ problems.

In short, this is what you need to do:

  1. Understand their goals and metrics

  2. Find their initiatives and the problems they face

  3. Study the exact symptoms of these problems and highlight them

Once you’re done with these 3 steps, you’ll have a better understanding of what keeps your prospects awake at night, and you’ll be able to put yourself in their shoes.

Step 2: List existing resources

Now that you know what problems your prospects are facing, you can start listing resources to solve these problems.

If your marketing colleagues are doing a good job, they should have plenty of content available to address these problems. They often have eBooks, whitepapers, long-form blog posts, podcasts/webinars.

For example, my customer at SeedLegals help founders raise money faster.

They know founders face difficulties raising money in an economic downturn, so they have created a long-form blog post.

Here are some places where you can look for resources:

  • your website resource page

  • LinkedIn/Twitter from a thought-leader targeting your ICP

  • partner website

Step 3: Build a resource plan

Now that you have a list of resources that can be used to help solve your prospects’ problems, you need to do a bit of curation.

If you share a long-form post or a 45-minute podcast in your cold outreach, prospects will ignore you. No one has time to go through these resources, without knowing what they’ll get as a result.

You can curate the resources you have listed by summarizing the top 3 – 5 points of the resources. Here’s an example with SeedLegals post:

Problem table

Now I have a clear problem and symptoms, as well as curated resources.

Step 4: Shoot a teaser video

If you paid attention, you now have an outline for a teaser video on the specific problem you have identified. You can build the script of your video as follow:

  • Problem: {ICP problem} -> Founders cannot raise seed funding

  • Symptoms: {symptoms list} -> VCs do not reply, ask for seats at the board, and for bigger shares and smaller amounts of money

  • Resource: {resource name} -> How to fundraise in an economic downturn

  • Resource Plan: {key points} -> Understand how interest rates change investor behaviour, reduce burn rate, use agile funding

  • CTA: {link to resource + meeting link}

You can then record your teaser video with a video recording tool. I use Tolstoy to record my video.

Step 5: Tease the video

Finally, the last step to creating prospect curiosity is teasing the video in your cold outreach. I have written a full guide on my 4-step prospecting framework, but here’s how it looks like:

  • Trigger: A relevant piece of information about my prospect -> Mary, noticed you liked John’s 5-steps to raising seed funding in 2022.

  • Question: A problem-oriented question -> How are you avoiding wasting your time with VCs who ask more shares for the same amount of money?

  • Teaser: A mention of the resource in step 4 -> If you’re interested, I have a short video on what you can do to raise money in a downturn.

  • CTA: A close-ended question -> Interested in grabbing it?

If you have identified problems that are really relevant to your prospects, following these 5 steps will help create curiosity, and you’ll start more conversations as a result.

TL;DR:

  • Step 1: Understand their problems

  • Step 2: List existing resources

  • Step 3: Build a resource plan

  • Step 4: Shoot a teaser video

  • Step 5: Tease the video

Cheers,

Thibaut

P.S. When you’re ready, here are 4 ways I can help you.
 
  1. Build your outbound prospecting system from scratch here (200+ students)
  2. (NEW!) Write cold messages that get a 38% reply rate and 27% meeting rate here (20+)
  3. Book me 1:1 or for your team here
  4. (NEW!) Sponsor my newsletter & get 3k+ eyeballs on your ad!
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3 steps to understanding your prospects’ problems

Tactical Selling

Join 3K+ subscribers to Tactical Selling. Every Thursday, you’ll get 1 actionable tip on starting conversations and booking more meetings.

3 steps to understanding your prospects’ problems

In today’s newsletter, I’m going to share my 3 steps to gaining a clear understanding of your prospects’ problems.

If you can replicate this process, you’re much less likely to get ignored by prospects and much more likely to get replies and book meetings.

Unfortunately, most SDRs don’t have a solid process for understanding their prospects daily struggle, so they are constantly throwing USPs and features, and getting no replies as a result.

Getting replies is about showing you understand your prospects’ problems.

Without a proper understanding of your prospects’ problems, there are a number of challenges that arise:

Challenge 1: Prospects can feel they are in a sequence. They know you’re sending this email to everyone else, and they hate it.

Challenge 2: Your messages are ignored. Prospects don’t even read the entire message.

Challenge 3: You destroy relationships instead of building them. You are seen as an annoyance and your email parked in the spam folder.

You can overcome all of these challenges by building a better system for understanding your prospects’ problems.

Here’s how I do it, step-by-step:

Step 1: Understand their goals and metrics

Prospects are typically evaluated on a set of 1 to 3 metrics. They get promotions or get fired based on their performance against these metrics.

When building a new sequence, I list the metrics my prospects are evaluated on. Here are a few places where I look for information:

  • Podcasts/webinars where my Ideal Customer Profiles are interviewed

  • Job descriptions

  • SDRs/AEs I have trained in companies I worked with (or similar)

When I have an idea of the metrics my prospects are evaluated on, my next step is understanding their goals. I ask myself the following questions:

  • Are they trying to maximize or minimize this metric?

  • What happens if they miss it? What are the concrete consequences on their jobs/lives?

  • Do they have stretch goals?

Step 2: Find their initiatives and the problems they face

Once their goals and metrics are clarified, I start digging into their initiatives and symptoms.

What are they working on right now to achieve their goals? What are the tools/training sessions/services they are evaluating to avoid missing their goals?

Now that I know more about their initiatives, I can start listing problems they would typically face.

Are they having a hard time finding/implementing the right tools? Did they try training their teams, without success? Are they going to miss their goals because they can’t find a service provider to do a job they are incapable of doing?

(Note: if you’re interested in doing this exercise, step-by-step, go check my Cold Message System.)

Step 3: Study the exact symptoms of these problems and and highlight them

Finally, I list the exact symptoms of these problems, and I highlight them in my cold messages.

Problems are often not enough to get a reply. They tend to be vague and full of jargon. For example, “Not having an upsell playbook” is a problem a lot of my prospects have.

Symptoms of this problem are:

  • AEs are missing on easy expansion revenues

  • Customer Success Reps are only order takers, they have no sales skills

  • Expansion metrics are missed, quarter after quarter

I like to compare this with a doctor consultation. When you say “I have a cold”, you’re mentioning a sickness (a problem), but when your doctor asks you about your symptoms, you’ll say you:

  • have a runny nose

  • have regular headaches

  • feel exhausted

  • have fever

Think about what is more vivid in your mind? Problem or symptoms? It’s the same with prospects.

When you have a clear list of symptoms, you can highlight them in your outreach, like below:

Symptom table

And these are my 3 steps to understanding my prospects’ problems.

TL;DR:

  • Step 1: Understand their goals and metrics

  • Step 2: Find their initiatives and the problems they face

  • Step 3: Study exact symptoms of these problems and highlight them

Before you go, I’m considering launching an outbound sequence building/correction service. If you’re interested, just hit reply and tell me:

  • Who are your selling to?

  • What’s your reply rate?

  • What is your biggest challenge?

Cheers,

Thibaut

P.S. When you’re ready, here are 4 ways I can help you.
 
  1. Build your outbound prospecting system from scratch here (200+ students)
  2. (NEW!) Write cold messages that get a 38% reply rate and 27% meeting rate here (20+)
  3. Book me 1:1 or for your team here
  4. (NEW!) Sponsor my newsletter & get 3k+ eyeballs on your ad!
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How I survived not closing deals for 6 months

Tactical Selling

Join 3K+ subscribers to Tactical Selling. Every Thursday, you’ll get 1 actionable tip on starting conversations and booking more meetings.

How I survived not closing deals for 6 months

From March 2020 to September 2020, I didn’t close a single deal. I made exactly €0.

In today’s newsletter, I’ll share why, how I got back to closing, and what you can learn from my experience.

The first quarter of 2020 was going pretty well. I had closed a few 5-figure deals, mostly from referrals. I wasn’t prospecting at all, and I was convinced business would keep coming without much effort.

As you know, March 2020 triggered a worldwide panic and all the opportunities I had been working on got paused, and eventually cancelled. I was left without pipeline, and I had to start everything from scratch.

In march 2020, I learned one thing:

You should always be prospecting.

No matter your job title, SDR, AE, CSM, if you’re an individual contributor, you cannot ever stop prospecting.

You may find yourself in a situation where your pipeline is massive, and you think you won’t ever need to prospect again. You may have an assigned SDR, or inbound leads thrown at you daily.

This never lasts. Your SDR ends up being promoted, your inbound leads dry out, and you’re left without any opportunity to work on. When that happens (like it did for me), the landing is brutal. For me, it translated into a 6 months slump, and immense self-doubt.

Slumps happen to all of us. And you are more likely to encounter them in a tough economic times. Here’s how I got out of the last one:

Step 1: Set a survival goal

Forget your stretch goals and President’s Club Caribbean trip. When you’re in a slump, your goal is to get out of it quickly enough so you don’t end up fired.

You’re in survival mode.

For me, it meant having enough cash to pay my basic expenses (think salary, website hosting, email marketing, and LinkedIn premium). I cancelled my co-working contract, and I moved back into my living room.

I compared that number with the cash in my bank account, and it gave me my survival goal.

If I can reach it, I’ll live another day, if I don’t, I’ll start looking for a job, if I make more, I can start building my business again.

Step 2: Create a prospecting routine

Now most people stop at setting goals. But without a clear, daily action plan, you’re going nowhere.

I took this survival number and converted it into a daily prospecting target. This is when I came up with the Sales Process Calculator. I found out that finding and adding 5 new prospects per day would get me there.

Then I put a recurring prospecting blocker every morning from 08:00 to 09:00. During this hour, I would:

  • start with follow-ups

  • find 5 new prospects

  • contact them

To this day, I’m still following this routine and prospecting every weekday morning.

Step 3: Stop listening to your inner voice

These 6 months of slump were mentally exhausting. At the beginning, I kept playing doomsday scenarios in my head. What if I didn’t make it? What if I would never book another meeting? What if I couldn’t ever find a new customer.

But instead of focusing on these negative thoughts, I followed my daily prospecting routine. I kept showing up every day, and kept executing the plan. At times it was hard (ask my wife), but things started slowly moving after a few weeks.

I also started collaborating with Skip Miller, and systemized my LinkedIn content production. As a result, my first few deals came in, and I started being recognized on LinkedIn for sharing my journey.

In conclusion, these tough 6 months forced me to pivot, develop strategic partnerships, and move my business online.

And if you’re worried about selling into a recession, I suggest joining Skip Miller, Tom Latourette, and I on the 7th of July 4:30PM CEST.

We’ll talk about why selling in a recession requires a mindset change, how to identify opportunities in a challenging economic environment, and we’ll share tactical tips to qualify and get decisions without delay.

Hope to see you there.

Cheers,

Thibaut

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

 

→ Grab my 5-star course, The New Outreach System: How I use LinkedIn to get a 38% reply rate and an 11% meeting rate. Buy it here.

→Work 1:1 with me:
 If you need help booking more meetings, I can help you. We’ll go through your current situation and what’s not working. We’ll build an action plan to land you more meetings and more money in your pocketBook me here.

→ Need training or coaching for your SDR or AE team? Let’s talk: If you’re managing a team but they are struggling to reach their targets, then I can help. Book an audit call with me and we’ll come up with a plan. Book your call here.
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9 things to do when starting a new sales job

Tactical Selling

Join 3K+ subscribers to Tactical Selling. Every Thursday, you’ll get 1 actionable tip on starting conversations and booking more meetings.

9 things to do when starting a new sales job

In today’s newsletter, I’m going to share 9 things you should do when starting a new sales job.

If you’re an SDR or an AE, there’s no way around prospecting, even if your new manager promised you wouldn’t need to build your own pipeline. Being able to bring your own opportunities will make you stand out, and help you keep that job you worked so hard to get.

Unfortunately, outbound prospecting is insanely complicated to get right from the get go.

It’s so complicated because it requires a structured approach.

Most salespeople are struggling with outbound because it takes so much time to produce consistent results, and as a consequence:

  • They get frustrated by the lack of replies

  • They prospect in burst instead of doing it daily

  • They give up after a few days of effort

But there’s something you can do about it.

Here’s how, step by step:

Step 1: Build a clear Ideal Customer Profile

An Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) is a simple representation of the type of customers you’d like to go after. I teach salespeople to create a matrix with the type of companies, and the type of job title they would typically go after.

Mine looks like this:

ICP matrix

Step 2: List the ICP’s problems

Second important step is listing the typical problems these ICPs are trying to solve on a daily basis.

A good way to find these problems is to google {Job title} challenges 2022. With the example above, it would look like “VP of sales challenges 2022”. You can also look for podcast or webinar recordings of buyers you’d love to work with.

A problem for VPs of Sales in the first column above would be to miss their forecasting by over 10%. It’s quite common and a key reasons VPs of Sales get fired.

Step 3: Find symptoms of these problems

Now that you know about the problems you can help with, your job is to find symptoms of these problems.

In my example above, a key symptom of the problem in step 2 is a U-shaped pipeline. With lots of early-stage opportunities and late stage opportunities, it is not uncommon that 30%+ of opportunities in late stage won’t close as expected.

U-shaped pipeline

Step 4: Find LinkedIn posts about these problems

Now that you know about the symptoms, you can start looking for these on LinkedIn. You can identify posts talking about these symptoms, or topics that are similar.

In my example above, a sales influencer posting about forecasting hacks could be a good start. You don’t need to go too deep on the symptom, but you can look for keywords that are attached to it.

This recent post of Sarah Brazier has over 100 reactions, and I just typed “forecasting” in the LinkedIn search bar to find it.

Step 5: Identify prospects who fit with your ICP in the post reactions

This step is mind-blowing if you’ve found a great post about the symptoms identified in step 3. Just click on the list of people who have reacted/commented on the post in step 4 and look for those who fit with your ICP.

If the post you have found is qualitative enough, you should have multiple prospects who are potentially having the problem. With the post of Sarah, I found 7 prospects fitting with my ICP in the reactions, and 1 in the comments.

Step 6: Create a prospecting sequence

Now that you have found some interesting prospects and a good trigger, make sure to create a sequence with multiple touchpoints. It would be too bad to contact these prospects, only to forget to follow up after a few days.

If you need a simple framework to write high-impact messages, go check this post I shared a few months ago.

Step 7: Use creative media

Getting replies is about two things: creativity and relevance. Relevance is displayed through the correct use of triggers, and creativity through the channel and media you are using.

That’s why I recommend using video or LinkedIn voice notes. These create pattern interrupts and help you stand out in a sea of cold emails and LinkedIn texts.

Step 8: Calculate how many prospects to contact to reach your targets

Knowing how many people to contact daily is simple, yet most people don’t know that number. In order to do it, I recommend identifying your sales/opportunity targets and converting them into how many prospects you would need to contact if your pipeline was empty.

You can use my sales process calculator to do just that.

Step 9: Prospect every single day of the week at the same time

Finally, having a blocker to prospect every single day at the same time is the simplest, most effective habit you can develop as a salesperson.

I block my mornings from 08:00 to 09:00 and I religiously prospect. It’s the first thing I do, before tackling any other task.

Do it for 30 days and see what happens.

 

And these are the 9 steps you can follow if you’re starting a new sales job. You can also follow them if you’re building a new prospecting sequence.

You may also want to check my latest course called The Cold Message System. It’s a tactical guide on writing emails and LinkedIn messages to get a 38% reply rate and a 27% meeting rate. It goes live on the 15th of July, costs €99 but you can pre-order it now for €79 with the code “prelaunch”.

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

 

→ Grab my 5-star course, The New Outreach System: How I use LinkedIn to get a 38% reply rate and an 11% meeting rate. Buy it here.

→Work 1:1 with me:
 If you need help booking more meetings, I can help you. We’ll go through your current situation and what’s not working. We’ll build an action plan to land you more meetings and more money in your pocketBook me here.

→ Need training or coaching for your SDR or AE team? Let’s talk: If you’re managing a team but they are struggling to reach their targets, then I can help. Book an audit call with me and we’ll come up with a plan. Book your call here.
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My guide to getting replies with cold messaging

Tactical Selling

Join 3K+ subscribers to Tactical Selling. Every Thursday, you’ll get 1 actionable tip on starting conversations and booking more meetings.

My guide to getting replies with cold messaging

In today’s newsletter, I’m going to share the exact steps you can follow to improve your messages and get more replies.

Writing clear cold messages (on LinkedIn or email) is essential if you want to get replies and book meetings. You’ll get the attention of your prospects, get them to read your message, and get replies as a result.

Unfortunately, most salespeople are struggling to write compelling copy. They understand their prospects’ problems, but they cannot communicate about them efficiently.

Their copy sucks because they follow cookie-cutter templates

We’ve all used them at some point. And these templates do not work because:

  • They are way too long

  • Everyone is using them

  • They are plain and boring

  • They are product and feature centric

But don’t worry. There are 4 simple steps you can follow to create your own templates and get more replies.

Here’s how, step by step:

Step 1: Find a big problem

If you can’t find a big problem, you won’t be able to start meaningful conversations with your prospects.

The big problem is the main issue your solution is solving for your customers. For example, my customers (VPs of Sales) have issues getting their teams to generate outbound pipeline consistently. They are fed with cushy inbound leads, and when times are tough, they starve because marketing budgets are down.

There can be more than one big problem you solve. Build a list of these problems and be as descriptive as possible.

Step 2: List precise symptoms

Having a big problem is often not enough. You may find that your problem is too vague to resonate with your prospects.

A good way to solve that is to list visible symptoms of the problem, just like a doctor would do. In the example of my VPs of Sales having issues getting their teams to generate outbound pipeline consistently, here are obvious symptoms:

  • SDRs are not reaching their activity metrics

  • AEs are complaining about having to prospect

  • SDRs rely heavily on automation

  • SDRs aren’t using the sales tools at their disposal

And I could go on forever. The idea is to create a list of visible symptoms of the big problem.

Step 3: Use these symptoms in your copy

Now that you know what the symptoms are, you can easily integrate these symptoms in your copy. Here’s an example of how I would integrate the examples above:

  • How are you preventing your SDRs from not reaching their activity metrics?

  • How do you deal with AEs complaining about having to prospect?

  • How do you prevent SDRs from relying heavily on automation?

  • How do you avoid SDRs not using the sales tools at their disposal?

As you can see, I always start with “How do you avoid/prevent” and give the symptom. It’s an easy way to show your understanding of your prospects’ problems.

Step 4: Tease a resource to sooth their symptoms

If you’ve done your job correctly, you should have the attention of your prospects. Now is the time to tease a resource to help sooth the symptom.

I wrote a blog post about this a few weeks ago, but here’s the summary:

  1. Find a blog post/podcast from your marketing team

  2. Find out what problem it solves for your prospects

  3. Summarize your findings in a quick video

  4. Add 2 call-to-actions

  5. Pitch the resource in your sequence

Here’s how a cold message would look like with the VP of Sales example:

“Fred, noticed you recently liked the post of Mary about 10 innovative SDR metrics to track in 2022.

Quick one: How are you preventing your SDRs from not reaching their activity metrics?

If you’re interested, I have a quick resource to share on how you can help your SDRs build a simple prospecting routine.

Interested in grabbing it?”

And that’s my guide to getting replies with cold messaging.

TL;DR:

  1. Find a big problem

  2. List precise symptoms

  3. Use these symptoms in your copy

  4. Tease a resource to sooth their symptoms

And if you’re interested in grabbing my course on writing cold outreach that get you replies, you can pre-order it for €79 instead of €99.

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

 

→ Grab my 5-star course, The New Outreach System: How I use LinkedIn to get a 38% reply rate and an 11% meeting rate. Buy it here.

→Work 1:1 with me:
 If you need help booking more meetings, I can help you. We’ll go through your current situation and what’s not working. We’ll build an action plan to land you more meetings and more money in your pocketBook me here.

→ Need training or coaching for your SDR or AE team? Let’s talk: If you’re managing a team but they are struggling to reach their targets, then I can help. Book an audit call with me and we’ll come up with a plan. Book your call here.
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How to use graphs to book meetings

Tactical Selling

Join 3K+ subscribers to Tactical Selling. Every Thursday, you’ll get 1 actionable tip on starting conversations and booking more meetings.

How to use graphs to book meetings

In this week’s newsletter, I’m going to show you how you can use a graph to catch the attention of your prospects, and get replies.

Great prospecting is about starting conversations, and to do that, you need to get replies. Using a graphical representation of a problem is a simple way to stand out, and start a conversation.

Unfortunately, most SDRs I meet do not know how to represent their prospects’ problem visually.

They don’t do it because they have no idea what problem they are solving for their customers.

When reaching out to prospects, SDRs typically:

  • Write long emails
  • Share case studies
  • Talk about their solution’s features
  • Ask for meetings without adding value in exchange


But don’t worry, I’m going to show you exactly how to stop doing that.

Here’s how, step by step:

Step 1: Identify a key problem of your prospect

Prospects typically reply to cold outreach when they think you can solve a problem for them. The best way to show your understanding of a problem is to write about symptoms.

For example, I talk to a lot of VPs of Sales and CROs. They are evaluated on their forecasting accuracy. If their team’s performance is way off for a few quarters in a row, their jobs are on the line.

An early indicator of a forecasting accuracy gap is a U-shaped pipeline. The team has a lot of early-stage opportunities, a lot of late-stage opportunities, but a lot less in between.

Step 2: Create a visual representation of this problem

Now that I have a clear idea of the symptoms I want to focus on, I’ll create a visual representation of the problem.

I like using pie charts or column charts as they are simple ways to represent data.

In my example above, I’ll open an Excel spreadsheet, create 5 sales process stages, and add some dummy data to reflect the problem. I then end up with a graph like the one below:

U-shaped pipeline
 

The graph above reflects the symptoms I identified in step 1. It is a common sight for VPs of Sales and CROs when they’re looking are their CRMs.

Step 3: Add a caption

I like to add a short caption to show my understanding of the VPs of Sales and CROs problem. In the example above, it’s: “Tons of deals in stage 1, ton of deals in stage 5, a few deals in between = unrealistic forecast”.

When the VPs or CROs read the caption, they can immediately relate and see that I understand what they are going through. If they don’t have that problem, they won’t relate, but if they do, they may reply.

Step 4: Insert in your sequence

Finally, I love to introduce the graph with a short LinkedIn voice note, a video, or a quick text.

Here’s an example:

John, many sales leaders I’m speaking with have sales forecasts looking like this thing below (insert graph of typical u-shaped forecast). Tons of opps in early stage, tons of opps in late stage, nothing in between.

If this looks familiar, then I have 3 ideas on how you can solve the problem.

Want to learn more?

I’ve been running this play for a month and here are my stats at the moment of writing the play:

  • Contacted: 41
  • Replied: 15 (37%)
  • Booked meeting: 11 (73%)

TL;DR:

  1. Identify a key problem of your prospect
  2. Create a visual representation of this problem
  3. Add a caption
  4. Insert in your sequence


And if you’re interested in receiving one play like this every month, go check The Monthly Prospecting Plays. It’s €9/month and you can cancel at any time.

Cheers,
Thibaut

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

 

→ Grab my 5-star course, The New Outreach System: How I use LinkedIn to get a 38% reply rate and an 11% meeting rate. Buy it here.

→Work 1:1 with me:
 If you need help booking more meetings, I can help you. We’ll go through your current situation and what’s not working. We’ll build an action plan to land you more meetings and more money in your pocketBook me here.

→ Need training or coaching for your SDR or AE team? Let’s talk: If you’re managing a team but they are struggling to reach their targets, then I can help. Book an audit call with me and we’ll come up with a plan. Book your call here.
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How to book meetings with LinkedIn voice notes

Tactical Selling

Join 3K+ subscribers to Tactical Selling. Every Thursday, you’ll get 1 actionable tip on starting conversations and booking more meetings.

How to book meetings with LinkedIn voice notes

This week, I’m going to show you a simple strategy to book meetings with LinkedIn voice notes.

Voice notes on LinkedIn are incredibly powerful. Most reps do not know they exist, and including them in your outreach strategy will instantly boost your reply rate.

Unfortunately, dropping voice notes on LinkedIn is harder than it looks.

You will feel insanely uncomfortable at first

Most people who have tried LinkedIn voice notes fail because of the following reasons:

  • They don’t know what to say

  • They sound super stressed

  • They speak without clear intention

  • They do not finish with a question

But don’t worry, I’m going to show you how you can fix that.

Here’s how, step by step:

Step 1: Know how to send voice notes on LinkedIn

Voices notes are hidden. If you go on LinkedIn with your computer, you won’t be able to send one.

The first step is to download the LinkedIn app on your mobile phone. Be it iOS or Android, you’ll have access to this functionality (if your OS is not too old).

Keep in mind that you can only send voice notes to people you are connected with (1st degree connection). Head to the messaging section, locate the person you want to contact, and look for a small microphone icon (like below):

Hold your finger on the microphone icon and you’ll be able to record a voice note (max 60 seconds). When you’re done, a confirmation popup will appear and it will be send to the recipient.

Step 2: Create curiosity

Now that you know how to send a voice note, you need to know what to say.

I love using a simple framework for my asynchronous touchpoints:

  • Trigger: A problem-oriented piece of information (like/comment/event attendance/profile view)

  • Question: A question related to the trigger

  • Teaser: An intriguing piece of information to solve a specific problem

  • CTA: A simple question to start a conversation

Here’s an example:

  • Trigger: John, noticed you were also planning to attend Mary’s event on hybrid team setups.

  • Question: What are you doing to avoid boring participants to death with worn out webinar slides?

  • Teaser: Would it be a bad idea to share a 3 part framework to run engaging webinars with hybrid crowds?

  • CTA: Let me know and I’ll send it over

Step 3: Do it daily

You know how to send a voice note, and what to say. This doesn’t mean your voice notes will immediately sound great.

Now you need to build the habit of leaving voice notes on LinkedIn, otherwise you’ll try it once, and you won’t see any results. Like everything worth it, it takes a bit of patience and effort. You’ll feel like your voice notes sound terrible at first, but give yourself a goal.

Here are a few tips I wish I had when starting with voice notes:

  • Commit to sending one voice note per day, for two weeks

  • Practice with friends

  • Stand up and walk while you’re recording the voice note

  • See it as if you were leaving a Whatsapp note to a friend

And these are the 3 steps you need to book meetings with voice notes on LinkedIn.

TL;DR:

  1. Know how to send voice notes

  2. Create curiosity

  3. Do it daily

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Thibaut

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

 

→ Grab my 5-star course, The New Outreach System: How I use LinkedIn to get a 38% reply rate and an 11% meeting rate. Buy it here.

→Work 1:1 with me:
 If you need help booking more meetings, I can help you. We’ll go through your current situation and what’s not working. We’ll build an action plan to land you more meetings and more money in your pocketBook me here.

→ Need training or coaching for your SDR or AE team? Let’s talk: If you’re managing a team but they are struggling to reach their targets, then I can help. Book an audit call with me and we’ll come up with a plan. Book your call here.
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5 steps to building your prospecting routine

Tactical Selling

Join 3K+ subscribers to Tactical Selling. Every Thursday, you’ll get 1 actionable tip on starting conversations and booking more meetings.

5 steps to building your prospecting routine

Sales is a profession filled with clichés. From movies like The Wolf of Wall Street to Glengarry Glen Ross, most people think we’re money-thirsty, always grinding, sharks.

Sales, and prospecting in particular, is not about hard work.

It’s about consistency. About showing up every day and tackling repetitive, boring tasks.

It’s like a gym workout. If you work out for a week and stop, you’ll get no results. If you show up every day for months, you’ll create a habit, and you’ll see compounding results over time.

In today’s newsletter, I’m going to show you how to build that prospecting routine.

Let’s dive in.

1. Define your cruising altitude:

Prospecting without knowing how many people to contact daily is a recipe for failure.

There’s a simple way to fix that. Start by figuring out what’s your target. Maybe you need to book a certain amount of meeting, or your need to generate opportunities. Then, get a rough estimate of your meeting rate and reply rate.

You’ll be able to convert your target into a number of prospects you need to contact. Just divide this by the number of days you’ll be working in that period and you have your daily activity.

You can use my Sales Process Calculator to do what I did above.

2. Build a prospecting ritual

Rituals are incredibly important in sales. We have weekly sales meetings, offsites, sales kickoffs, and president clubs.

But the most important ritual is often forgotten: a prospecting block. Block 30-60 minutes every day at the same time. You can add as many prospecting blocks as you want, based on the effort you need to reach your cruising altitude.

Most reps do not protect their times and end up dragged into useless meetings (often from their bosses). They end up with no pipeline, they prospect like crazy for a few days, only to finish burnt out.

Here’s how my prospecting schedule looks like:

My prospecting schedule

3. Follow up every day

Most replies come from following up.

Prospects are busy. They often receive outreach messages or calls while they’re in meetings. If you don’t follow up, you’ll end up missing most of your opportunities to book meetings.

Instead, make sure you have a system to track your follow-ups. Here’s how mine looks like:

My prospecting tracker

Interested in my prospecting tracker it? You can get it here.

4. Find and add new prospects every day

Spending days building a lead list is a great way to miss to your targets.

If you need 200 new prospects per week to reach your cruising altitude, you may spend a whole day to find these leads and create your lead list. You can also break this into 5 blocks and spend 2 hours finding 40 leads, then 2 hours contacting them.

Contacting new prospects every day is like refuelling a car. If you run out of leads, your outbound engine will stop working.

5. Trust the process

Good things take time. Building a solid outreach system is a good thing, and it requires patience.

Instead of worrying about not seeing immediate results, stick to your process and give it a few weeks. A great thing about prospecting is that you don’t need to be incredibly talented or smart to get results. Start by setting a high input (add 20% to your cruising altitude) and see what comes out of it.

After a few weeks, tweak your sequence and messaging to see if your reply rate increases. Once you fixed your reply rate, tweak your conversations to increase your meeting rate.

It’s that simple.

Follow these 5 steps and you’ll be successful

Build your prospecting routine like your would build a new habit. Over time, you can add fancy tools and tactics.

When getting started?

Keep it simple.

TL;DR:

1. Define your input.
2. Protect your schedule.
3. Execute on your follow-ups.
4. Find enough new prospects daily.
5. Enjoy the journey, tweak after a few weeks.

Cheers,

Thibaut

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

 

→ Grab my 5-star course, The New Outreach System: How I use LinkedIn to get a 38% reply rate and an 11% meeting rate. Buy it here.

→Work 1:1 with me:
 If you need help booking more meetings, I can help you. We’ll go through your current situation and what’s not working. We’ll build an action plan to land you more meetings and more money in your pocketBook me here.

→ Need training or coaching for your SDR or AE team? Let’s talk: If you’re managing a team but they are struggling to reach their targets, then I can help. Book an audit call with me and we’ll come up with a plan. Book your call here.
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My go-to tactic to book meetings with decision-makers

Tactical Selling

Join 3K+ subscribers to Tactical Selling. Every Thursday, you’ll get 1 actionable tip on starting conversations and booking more meetings.

My go-to tactic to book meetings with decision-makers

Today I’m going to show you how to generate opportunities with decision-makers (Above The Line buyers as we call them with the ProActive Selling methodology).

You will discover the exact playbook I used to get a 39% reply rate from VPs of Sales and CROs, and how I got 75% of them to join an online roundtable I organized.

Unfortunately, most SDRs do not try this tactic because it looks a lot more complicated than it is.

The prospecting tactics you use today won’t work tomorrow

When I see SDRs prospecting, they are just copying existing tactics without ever updating them.

  • They use the same scripts as everyone else.

  • They use the same old channels.

  • They never try new tactics.

I’m going to share how you can avoid these traps and use a new play that actually works.

Here’s how, step by step:

Step 1: Plan a 45 minute online roundtable

Gathering business leaders of a similar industry is a simple way to create value. They love exchanging with peers and measuring how they compare with others.

You can block 45 to 60 minutes 4 weeks from now, so you’ll have enough time to prospect and gather participants.

Here’s an example of a simple roundtable agenda:

  • Intro (5 min)

  • Survey results (5 min)

  • Roundtable (30)

  • Wrap up (5 min)

Step 2: Build a survey to send to the participants

The problem with most roundtables is the content. Without guidance, it gets super boring, and participants often decide to skip it, even if they said they would attend.

To avoid that, you can create a simple multiple choice survey with the following questions:

  • How was your {previous quarter performance} vs your plan?

  • What are you implementing for {next quarter} and beyond?

  • How are you {current quarter goals} vs {previous quarter goals}?

  • What are you hiring plans for {next quarter} and beyond?

  • What’s your biggest risk for {next quarter}?

Feel free to add any relevant question for your industry, as well as collecting data that will make the roundtable more interesting.

Step 3: Build a sequence to invite decision-makers to the roundtable

Now that you have your roundtable and survey concept, you just need to create a few touchpoints to invite your prospects.

Here’s an example of the latest sequence I have used for a sales leader roundtable:

Roundtable sequence

Step 4: Run the roundtable

If you’ve followed all the steps, you should have a few leaders of your industry gathered at your roundtable.

Some of them may have to cancel or won’t show up, but the ones who fill-in the survey typically show up as they want to know the results.

Your job during the roundtable it simple:

  • Run introductions

  • Present the survey results

  • Facilitate conversations

You’re not there to pitch your solution or try to book individual meetings during the roundtable. You’re there to identify problems and network.

Step 5: Follow-up after the roundtable

When the roundtable is over, you have built relationships with all the participants (and the people who accepted the roundtable but didn’t show up), and you can do a quick follow-up.

Send an individual email to each participant. I love including a video, or even using LinkedIn.

Here’s what you should include:

  • Results of the survey

  • Key learnings from the conversation

  • Invitation to the next roundtable (you can do them quarterly)

  • A simple call-to-action, asking if the participant is interested in a quick chat to explore their problems in depth, and see if you can help

These are the exact steps you can take to create solid opportunities with decision-makers.

And if you’re interested in receiving one new prospecting tactic like this one every month, you should check my Monthly Prospecting Plays. Every first week of the month, I share a play that I have been using with detailed video explanations, a worksheet, and templates you can use.

These plays are reserved to people who have purchased the New Outreach System, and they cost €9 per month. Just purchase the system and you’ll get an option to subscribe for the plays with the purchase confirmation.

Cheers,

Thibaut

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

 

→ Grab my 5-star course, The New Outreach System: How I use LinkedIn to get a 38% reply rate and an 11% meeting rate. Buy it here.

→Work 1:1 with me:
 If you need help booking more meetings, I can help you. We’ll go through your current situation and what’s not working. We’ll build an action plan to land you more meetings and more money in your pocketBook me here.

→ Need training or coaching for your SDR or AE team? Let’s talk: If you’re managing a team but they are struggling to reach their targets, then I can help. Book an audit call with me and we’ll come up with a plan. Book your call here.