I see reps go back and forth and forth and back on this - do you start a sequence with an email or a call?
I'm drawn to the idea of a call first. I always get more info out of a call vs. an email, and if they don't pick up I can reference a follow-up email in the voicemail I leave.
I know a lot of reps like to send an email first so they have something to reference on the follow-up call/VM. Makes breaking the ice a bit easier.
Interested to hear what everyone thinks!
I think the answer is …. it depends. Referencing an email that is sent first and does not serve up great content is just referencing an activity. Referencing an email that does provide great content/value and then leaving a voice mail that says ” I hope you found the white paper useful. Would love to chat and see what else you might be interested in.” that makes more sense to me. PS – soft closes are mandatory in this selling climate
Flip side of the coin. The double tap starting with voice mail. The voice mail has to be super specific and well articulated. Then, rather then leave a phone number, you can say “No need to call me back. Sending you my contact info via email shortly and you can respond there”.
These are just scenarios but you get where I am going. Hope this helps.
Thanks, @bertuzzitrish! I’ve been hearing a lot about effective VM techniques lately – love your approach.
Being confident in your VM strategy definitely swings the pendulum one way. If you’re uncomfortable leaving a VM, I see a lot of reps use the “email first” approach to give them something to lean on. If they had a solid VM plan going into their outreach I don’t think they would need the crutch.
And YES to the double tap! 😁
Excellent tips! Sharing these with my team today
As you wrote, depends on the situation, but I have very good experience with calling first.
Totally on spot!
Love it @bertuzzitrish – I couldn’t have said it better
agree with “it depends.” I know we start a lot of sequences out with an email bc it gives the rep a “script” of something personalized.
that being said, calling is where we book the majority (~70% last time I checked) of our meetings so calling the same day is still part of our strategy!
I’ve always called then emailed, but it has been a discussion through management about trying an email first.
Additionally I sometimes don’t know a name or email before I give a cold call due to the businesses I serve.
Would be interested to hear what others have to say.
I always start with a call. Few reasons why:
– They might answer! Book that meeting! or get a referral to the correct person
– You may learn they no longer work at that company. Time saved with sending a bunch of emails they never receive
– You get an OOO reply. Use for building rapport in your email/future conversation
– It’s more fun! (ok, this one might be more me).
To echo what Trish said, I call first and leave a voicemail exactly how she has it written. I reference the voicemail in the subject line of my follow-up email. Every prospect is part of a story. The voicemail is chapter 1.
Correction on bullet three – you hear an OOO message on their voicemail greeting, or a gatekeeper tells you. You can also learn how to pronounce their name correctly, or maybe they’ll give you an alternate number to call.
I agree with @nimit because the point of reaching out is to connect with the person.
A phone call gives you control of the conversation rather than reacting to an email. The other benefit I’d add is objection handling. It’s much easier (if fully prepared) to overcome objections because you’re still in control. It prevents the back and forth email exchange and the chance the person never replies to your response to their objection.
Yes! Great points. There’s so much we can’t control in sales, so need to capitalize on any opportunities we have to control the conversation
Wow, how times have changed from my days where there was no email / linkedIn etc. We prospected from newspapers and casual observation – or went and knocked on the door!
Anyway, as one who hates (and still does) cold calling I always have a valid REASON to make contact but the trick is being heard above the “noise” of all the other phone or email traffic.
Before you send anything or lift that phone – do your homework – or due diligence as some love to call it now.
Who do you want to speak with and WHY. There’s plenty company info out there and the company website can be quite informative. Word of warning – a nice high tech website means diddly squat! We have been approached by companies who have spent a fortune on an all singing and dancing website..when we look up their company profile and see how they’re doing – we more often that not reject them as potential clients..or get paid up front! yes it IS OK to say NO, hard for newbies but trust me – it pays off. No point sitting on “china eggs” – they’ll never hatch!
A phone call first off is fine but you may have to get past the secretary who is paid to screen out calls – so you have to be very good on the phone . So many secretaries destroy good business propositions because THEY think they’re the decision maker. They are NOT, but they DO have influence and LOTS of it – so never hack them off, be nice to them.
Also remember there can be multiple people in the decision making process. You need to reach “the MAN” as we used to say:
That’s the THREE people who all have a different say in what you want to do.
Objection handling – try looking at them as “a request for more information” – in a presentation they’re called “BUYING SIGNALS”! .
In the old days we used to train objection handling skills drill style..he says / you say. Nope, that’s just like a boxing match – but you do need those skills, so learn them.
Objections? If it IS an objection, ignore the first one – if it’s valid it’ll come back up. Always ASSUME they’ll want to see you and more important BUY from you – if they were never going to buy you would not get the appointment – ever.
To avoid long “verbal sparring matches” on the phone when trying to get an appointment. I always used “appreciation”…as in ” I can appreciate that, BUT….”rather than discuss it on the phone etc” ….and go for the appointment. Save the sales presentation for the meeting! And NEVER EVER try and pitch someone who’s busy, expecting another visitor but can “fit you in” or heading out the door!
Make sure you understand what “dominant buying motives” are. Also first impressions – they REALLY DO COUNT no matter that someone on social media says otherwise. You have 10 seconds to make that impression no matter HOW you make contact . It is NOT superficial it’s human nature, ignore this point at your peril – you WILL fail. What you are saying and what he’s thinking while you are saying it can be two different things!
When you go to that meeting – dress properly and appropriately, remember to wash and shave (if you need to shave) – and clean your shoes (or buy new ones)! Arrive slightly early but never late and always have a “comfort break” BEFORE you go in! !
I personally prefer ALWAYS to go see the client. it’s MY comfort zone, not their’s! Yes this “new normal” (I hate that) may change that a bit – I hope not! I am (was) trained to operate in THEIR premises, I practice, they have to ad lib.
More to the point, it’s better to get up and leave if you feel you’re wasting your time than to try and throw someone out of your office! That just looks SO bad.
The old timers amongst you (and I hope there are some) will maybe recognise that this is the mindset of someone on the wrong side of retirement age but still going strong, having run sales teams of up to 60 people, built sales ops from zero to million pound (yep a Brit) turnover in months with a brand new sales team.
End of the day: be yourself, no one ever buys a fake dollar! Be honest truthfull and sIncere – and if you do not know, tell the client – find out and get right back to them.
I used to encourage my reps to call me from the client’s premises if they got a question that stumped them…those questions are called BUYING SIGNALS! …it always worked well and it got the sale – ALWAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If it was complex I’d ask to speak with the prospect directly! You really need to have something like that set up in your sales operation – it impreses clients / prospects no end when you say “let me call the MD to clarify this”….the WOW factor is immense.!
Some last words on being different.
if you’re pitching a company, read their annual report, it’ll be online – or request one BEFORE you go. We pulled a sizeable training deal with an upmarket clothing retailer because:
1) We read their annual report and noted the concerns of the Board – and we addressed them in our presentation.
2) It was commeneted by the client that the two people who did the presentation were IMPECCABLY DRESSED – this from a VERY high end clothing retail company, nice! (Avoid bling at all costs unless that’s your market).
3) | We sent a REAL letter afterwards to thank them for their business and confirm the details, it was printed on high quality, watermarked paper and signed in INK, not ballpoint. They LOVED it because…no one ever did that. Old school, YES – effective…VERY!
Here’s the thing, why re-invent the wheel when so much has already been tried and tested. If something works for you then use it and stick with it, if not try something else.
It takes time but what some people say is “canned” will sound natural in time – personalise it. Just pick a track and run on it.
Good luck all.
Loving the level of detail here, @tam. Epic.
@ajalonzo really great question and something that if you can stay consistent with one approach versus the other, I’d bet you’d see quite an impressive result. My team has. ***Free templates below***
The Back and forth and forth and back (depending on how often) isn’t always a good idea. TRUST me I’m not saying don’t A B test or try different approaches but you have to consider the facts. As you know being a BDR or SDR is tough enough as it is, and as you elude to you ALWAYS get more out of a call or LVM referencing an email, over sending a cold email first.
Open rates, click rates, and reply rates are 3-4x higher for me and my team when we call first, LVM (the most likely outcome on the first call) pointing to an email.
Although you’re right many reps like to send emails first to “help break the ice”, or to “reference” but honestly is that an effective approach? and does it help the prospect or buyer solve their problem? Does it break through the noise or add to it?
i.e. “Hey [prospect name], This is [rep name] with [rep company] the reason for my call today is to see if you got my email I sent over?”
“Hey [prospect name], This is [rep name] with [rep company] I sent over an email explaining what we do…”
or the higher likely hood you catch a VM
“Hey [prospect name], I wanted to let you know I sent over an email [insert value prop]”
In other words approaches like that, although might feel “more comfortable” in reality could do more harm than good.
what if you send the cold email, they open – you call and connect and you only get your name and company out before the prospect says “saw your email, don’t need it…. click”. You box your self in. You never gave yourself a fighting chance.
Our approach, and in my experience, Calling first and LVM pointing to email has been by far the most effective. Goes a little something like;
First Outreach 1: Call [LVM] / Email 1
Rings to the voicemail of the Director of IT:
“Hey [prospect], you’re probably all set, but I have an unconventional idea that might [insert value prop]. No need to call me back, I’ll shoot you an email. This is [Rep].
Email 1 sent while the VM is being left
I just left you a voicemail on your [officeline or mobile], I look forward to chatting with you!
I reached out [insert day/time] about [insert value prop/attention grabber]
This probably isn’t a fit right now, but would it be a ridiculous idea for you to see how other Director of IT’s are [insert value prop]?
Little longer winded of an answer then you were probably expecting but figured I’d share as much as I could! #pursuealways
How bad do you need the sale? If you need it NOW, call! If you can take the time to nurture, email first.
Agreed. If you need to fill the pipe quickly, sometimes you need to power through custom calls.
Prioritization is a big one.
The only answer to this is an A/B test. Every market is different. Especially in a WFH environment.
Excellent question and great tips. I really appreciate all the comments here. Thank you!
All great thoughts on this interestingly challenging topic.
If you have your ideal client insight, have your core messaging clear, and focused on why the lead/contact needs to talk to you I can see a call, email, direct mail, call (did you get my letter/card/what have you) sequence working.
The funny thing is – multiple touches wins the day – most salespeople stop at 2 contact attempts but statistically, sales are made on contacts 8 – 12 so the problem is clear. Touches that educate, add value and advance the knowledge of the contact so they have a reason to call can win the day in direct outreach campaigns.
My vote is in for calling first (human touch), email second with multiple value-added touches ongoing would be a strong outreach program.
Both – all at once. You can’t really control this because you can’t control if or when any particular person will read your email or answer your phone call. You have to try phone, email and social “first”. Why would you wait when when you don’t know which method will connect for that person?
Of particular concern in this conversation is that the discussion is around what feels right or what people think might be the best way to do it. I have learned that what feels best and we think is best is almost never the most effective. The only way to improve your results is to be as consistent as possible and change only 1 thing at a time and then measure the results. What matters most is what methods set the most discovery meetings that hold.
Depends.. But when it comes to emails – and especially cold emails I’ve created a checklist for myself that I go over every time when sending one out. I’m trying to keep it always in line with the newest standards. B2B is a different level. Here’s what I like to include: https://salesbooster.leadspicker.com/resources/personalized-outreach-key-elements-of-successful-cold-b2b-emails
I love this conversation. I think a lot of it depends on the type of sale you’re doing. Is it a sale to book an appointment and more of a transactional ask or is it a more drawn out complex sale you’re initiating? If it’s a transactional ask, email first isn’t really necessary. You’re just trying to find someone who is feeling an untenable situation and you’re bringing them unique value about them and their problems quickly. Then phone first makes sense. But I don’t have a problem with phone, followed up by a personal email and maybe back to phone. Referring back at each point to something personal and valuable to them.
I really like the idea of doing a double tap. It’s just speeding up the sequence I’ve been using, but let’s me tie the two touches together in a way I’m not doing now. I’m starting that tomorrow!
I think that if you have done your homework (and found a trigger event or challenge to overcome), it’s probably a good idea to pick up the phone and try to have a first chat rather than send an email, which is most likely to disappear in the corner of an inbox, which means you’ll have to call anyway. Save yourself some time (and the reference to an email your callee won’t even remember he received!); just call!
It might sound more appropriate to send an email (as a warning?) because prospects are not busy but indebted with work and deadlines (and sales calls!) but that’s only the case if you’ve got nothing valuable to talk about, isn’t it? Prepare your call well; consider a challenge you ‘know’ your callee is facing, and focus on discovering whether this challenge needs solved quickly. If there’s a challenge to overcome, your callee will give you time.
I hope this helps…
Currently we have been emailing first but before having a scheduled call task we treat the email engagement like a MQL. What I mean by that is if a lead engages with that first email (either an open or a click on attached content) we use triggers to ensure a Rep calls within a tight time window (ideally under 30mins) to increase the conversion to a booked meeting.
@ajalonzo – I have been a fan of using the agoge sequences Sam Nelson put together. You begin day 1 with an email, Linkedin connection request then a phone call.
You can learn more about it on this Linkedin post – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/writing-copy-closers-blueprint-2x-response-rates-sam-nelson
My only pushback on the apogee is that it uses the LinkedIn connection too soon in MHO. You have not yet earned the right to ask nor have you probably told them any part of your story yet. Would be interesting for you to A/B test moving it to middle of sequence to see if acceptances go up.
Thanks for your insights @bertuzzitrish! A huge fan of your book The Sales Development Playbook. It helped me significantly when I first became an SDR manager. Since my post, I came across SaleSources recommendations and will be changing up our Outreach sequences.
What are your thoughts on this? LI connection on Day 4. My team is switching to vertical-specific persona sequences now that we have implemented Terminus.
This is what I am considering heading into second half of the year.
Day 1 – Phone Call and Email
Day 4 – Manual Reply Email and LI Request
Day 7 – Send LI voice and Call
Day 10 – Follow Up on LI voice via text, Phone Call and Manual Reply Email
Day 14 – Drift Video
Day 17 – Manual Email
Day 22 – Reply Email and Phone Call
Day 26 – Phone Call
Day 30 – Manual Email
Day 30 – Generic Task – Switch to marketing sequence and send direct mail (if possible)
Direct mail was working great for us in January and February then everyone went remote. A handwritten letter goes a long way!
Have you tried the Basho sequence?
Again Nick, not a fan of the connection request so early in the process UNLESS you have very strong brand recognition. You need to earn the right to connect by sharing valuable information. You can always A/B test the strategy in your sales engagement platform. Feel free to prove me wrong. BTW, the reason connections are so valuable is that you can then use voice and video within LinkedIn. That is why you don’t want the ask to be a “throwaway” step in the process.
We have seen a ton of success with LI voice around day 10 through 14. I will look into A/B testing it and let you know the results!
Wait… I thought you can only use LinkedIn voice if you were a first degree connection. Am I wrong??
No, that’s correct. Our team has been utilizing the agoge sequence since last September. We always send a personalized message with our LI requests.
I understand your point on why we may have not earned the right to connect. Our ideal customers are talent acquisition teams who are the most active on Linkedin. The acceptance rate early in the sequence has been high enough to keep the requests on days 1 or 2.
We use Linkedin voice between days 10-14. If the connection doesn’t reply the SDRs send a quick messaging asking for feedback via text. My team learned that trick from @morganjingram. Since everyone is remote and email has been full of fluff, we have seen higher conversions on LI.
Call, text, (if you have cell), email, Facebook, LinkedIn… Assume the prospect has all methods of communication/notifications on a single device (ie. cell phone) that is attached to their palm. When you do a double/triple play, i.e. “blow up their phone” you increase your chances of getting their attention right now. Wash, rinse, A/B test, repeat until you figure out what works for the day/week/month. Be sensitive to the political, financial, environmental conditions that might be influencing the prospect as well.
Content shared in each touch is critically important as well. Think of it like bass fishing. Bass are very sensitive to different baits in different seasons of the year; and at different depths. When you enter a fishing hole, you might have to change your bait two or three times before you figure out what the bass are hitting. You also have to vary the depth of your bait. Bottom line, there is no silver bullet, one-size-fits-all approach with cadence and method used. You have to be like a bass fisherman: patient, experimental, diligent, crafty and smart.
So I always call first – the goal is to have a live conversation and then set up a more formal meeting. But I usually do not leave a message the first few times I call.
If after calling a few times, I do not get through, I will then send a short e-mail. But the main thing I am putting in my e-mail is that I will give them a call at a specific time and from my specific phone number. This leads to a lot more times actually getting a contact. Putting your phone number in the base of the e-mail will make it easy for the prospect to recognize it when you call and will lead to more times that call being picked up. If I do not get through to them on this call, I leave a well planned VM and then follow up with a more detailed e-mail.
I have always emailed- and then called next day. BUT- when I call the next day if they don’t answer, I don’t leave a VM..
In my experience what matters even more than whether you connect via email or call first, is WHAT you say when you connect and does what you say meet the prospect where they’re at in their journey. For example, are they problem aware? If not what can you say to help them. Are they solution aware and educating themselves about that? If so, what can you say/provide that adds value. It’s all about what stage the prospect is at and what you can say to them that’s relevant at that stage to connect with them and keep moving them along their journey with you.
Both can be effective but there is a much better way, which is to get your customers to build your pipeline for you by advocating to their customers, suppliers and partners. Your content can be very powerful at creating engagement and inbound enquiries, and has the added advantage of building your personal brand if you do it well.
I accept that for volume and commodity products and services this may not be as effective, but for professional services, high value products and services, complex sales it is proving to be far more efficient, lowers the barriers faster and being permission based, is welcomed
I send a ‘pre-phone call email’ where I keep my email to only 30 to 40 words max which basically states my short intro with my intention to assist / help in meeting the prospect’s KPI’s and goal , then I get straight to the point of me calling them via the phone on a assigned date and time to discuss further. This pre phone call email gives them a heads up about my call which reduces the coldness on the phone as I would refer my email sent to them when I’m on the phone. Not necessary that this will work all the time, as sometimes the prospect would not have seen my mail or it would have gone into there junk. This I usually follow with large accounts, if it is a small or medium account I prefer phone call first.
this my 2 cents.
Joining in with the “it depends” crowd and adding that the best way to answer this question is to test! Test! Test!
Call first could be great today, but email first could work better tomorrow.
Call first could work great for one type or prospect, industry, or account, when others respond better to email first.
Either way, a well planned out test will give you hard data to reference when planning your sequence strategy once.
Furthermore, a thoughtfully designed testing process will give you a constant feedback loop to ensure you’re maximizing sales performance every day, week, month, and quarter!
I prefer to go for Email first as over the Vm we have a limitation of time and another hand in the email we have enough time and write whatever the information we want to provide.
So, If we go first with the Email then We can give the prospect enough information he might require.
This is what I thought.
I love this question and I don’t believe there is a right or wrong answer. I think it depends on the rep and the reason behind the outreach or lever we are using to break the ice. If we are calling because they attended a webinar we could be calling to make sure they didn’t miss our email with the link to listen again. If it is strait cold outreach you might not even leave a voice mail and just call. There is never a one size fits all approach to sales which is what makes it so much fun.
Called and then email. I reference the initial voicemail that I will be sending them an email. It works both ways though, but I have had more success calling and then emailing.
I mostly send email first so I do have something to reference especially when leaving VM.
I send a very brief, pain point focused email followed by a phone call and then an email with more content. I experience a high rate of email opens (60% of initial ones and 80% of follow up ones after phone call).
Completely agree with and echo the sentiments around, “It depends” — it truly does! Warm emails or even a LinkedIn message, followed up by a soft phone call, have been a solid approach.
I delete cold emails.
I would rather call first than email, because for the first contact we can know further about their storyies by talking with them, and then, I follow up by email, messages, or virtual meeting etc.
I have always called first as emailing is for wimps! Use the email to follow-up your VM or conversation.
I’ve been inclined to always start a sequence with an email first. I like to think that even if the prospect doesn’t click on the email they will see my name or my company name in their inbox and at least become aware of the company name. If they do click it gives the prospect a low pressure no-risk way to get a feel for what we do and how we might be able to help them. I completely get the reasoning behind the call first. I’d be interested in hearing what others think.
It takes 14 emails and 8 voice mails to get a response from someone who doesn’t know you. No BDR has the patience to do this and will quite. The best way to shorten this process is to use an impact mailing first and then follow up with a phone call. The key is to be able to afford the cost of this type of mailing. A breakeven analysis must be done, but if justified it cuts through the clutter. I have written a white paper on this if anyone is interested. John Coe
I think it depends on the rep and the industry you are operating in. I would recommend tracking the results of a side by side test to get a better idea on what works for you and your industry. I had a coaching client do this and the results were different for each rep. The better the phone/voicemail skills of the rep, the better the results overall.
I also recommend that if you open with an email, that you follow up with a phone call. The reason is that, with today’s spam filters, the only way you really know if your email has been received is to follow up by phone. I go into more detail of the sales approach I use when I do this in my post, “Follow Up After You Send An Email!” at https://b2bsalesconnections.com/follow-up-after-you-send-an-email/ however I had found this approach highly effective.
Hope this helps!
I don’t believe there’s a right or wrong answer here. A mistake I see sales reps make is ASSUMING that their prospect is directly involved the sales process, or personally dealing with the problems your solution solves. If you sell Martech, for example, sales reps often waste tons of time writing personalized emails to marketing reps that are not involved in evaluating tools like yours – in this case, an initial phone call would be best to gather that clarity before personalizing an email. This also provides the huge benefit of having a referral to reference in your messaging moving forward.
If your ICP is very clear, I would start with the channel you’re more talented at, putting your best foot forward.
Personally, I am not excited about getting a call from a stranger in the middle of a working day. The average success rate of cold calling is around 2.5%. It means that cold calls can generate one appointment or one steady sales conversation a day.
Meanwhile, the average cold email conversion rate varies between 1% to 40%. The range is huge because it’s affected by several massive factors. It depends on your content and your understanding of email template guidelines. Email marketing and cold emails are less invasive and a much more creative way to get prospects’ attention, retain it and steer them towards making a target action or booking an appointment.
I believe that cold calls are replaced with pre-heated calls. It means that you can’t do cold calling anymore, but you can warm your prospects up with a couple of emails introducing yourself and asking for permission to call. Once that permission is granted, you can jump on a call and talk to your prospects, who would be a lot more eager to know you better.
If interested, check more here, I’ll be happy to discuss https://folderly.com/blog/cold-emails/cold-emailing-what-does-it-take-to-write-a-cold-email-template
I tend to call first and often get the usual responses: 1. No answer – 2. Busy right now – 3. No longer here – 4. Send me some information.
Based on above, I would follow up with a personalized and customized (research required) email, and would then call back within 3 days.
I think there is no actual standard approach that works all the time in today’s environment, besides one common denominator: The better Relationship you have with the Decision Maker the bigger opportunity you may have to serve.
Until COVID-19 I was always a proponent of a call first, and then an email, exactly for the reasons you describe, AJ.
Now that many people work from home, I can’t necessarily find their phone numbers, so I am using a mix of email and LinkedIn. What happened is that my reluctance to call has kicked in hard. But I do get decent reasons with this combo as well.
Always call first, in my opinion. There’s always the possibility that you could get them on the first call and save yourself time from manually creating the first email!
I do all of my prospecting via email first. I then build off of my lists for engagement and do calls and use LinkedIn to connect and engage.
Email first, something to reference yes, but also your script if you personalize it well!
Hey AJ, Great question! Why not both? However, I’ve seen my connections skyrocket when I see that they have opened my email. Makes the call less cold and you have something of reference.
I love cold calling and will prefer a short phone call, followed by the mail based on our discussion.
I think part of it depends on what you sell. I’m currently in a more transactional environment, so we have an email that goes out automatically when someone downloads a trial, followed by a call later that day.
Many times that email will generate responses before I even start for the day (it goes out at around 6am), so I can farm those email replies for efficient opp-creation. I’ll then call and leave a voicemail referencing the email (and asking for a reply to that email instead of a callback) to convert the rest.
I think email would be a good warm-up. Research and personalize your message to begin building trust, follow-up with a call.
It depends on the context of what triggered the sequence (demo? webinar? ebook?), but I’d say to generally lead with email first and then follow up with a call + VM.
I prefer calling first after that I adjust to the way my customer likes to communicate. I will do in person, call, text, email it personally doesn’t matter to me. Texting has become a lot more popular. I then screenshot the text and email it to myself to include it in the customer file or as a reminder as a follow up action.
Some great advice already on this thread, and as pointed out, really can depend on scenario and/or target.
I like to start with an email in-which I’ll try to reference a LI post that the person either wrote or participated in.. showing you’re interested and also have a POV.
After this, I can make reference to this in call and/or voicemail.
Always call first.
If i can’t get the person on the phone after a few attempts, I’ll send an email saying that I wasn’t able to reach him on the phone an that’s why I’m sending an email.
Text text text! Millions of $$$ in contracts and it starts with a text. Try it!
It depends on prior intelligence, I think AJ.
If you know they are evaluating what you sell, right now, call now.
If you are not sure if they are in the market or if you don’t know if you have the right person, write first or try the parallel approach.
If you are selling to a latent pain, try a rifle shot letter.
If you are sure they are in the market, but haven’t responded, get an introduction or try a campaign.
There are many ways to go. Choosing the best depends on what you know.
Jason Bay of BlissfulProspecting.com just put this question to the speakers he’s lined up for his Virtual Summer Tour – Think Outside the Script. By the way, the tour is free and so far, fantastic! He asked 28 sales leaders what they’d choose, email, phone, or Linkedin as their prospecting tool of choice. Here’s a link to his LI post and the video. https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6680835584585531393/
My sequences all start with ‘other’
View the LinkedIn profile (social trigger 1), apply the 5×5 method (spend no more than five minutes finding at least five things you can mention, reference, editorialize, etc) and click follow (social trigger 2) before making the next touch which recently has been….
Call first! When leaving the message I will tell them they don’t have to call me back because there is an email coming but if they prefer phone, my number is…
Call first and don’t try and connect with your main decision-maker. Discover as much information from each contact as possible so that you can email the DM a personalized compelling story based on the dynamics you’ve learned from individuals within the company. Ideally, where your product/solution fits in and the value you can bring based on the pain you’ve uncovered. Name dropping references and having a clear understanding of how the currently operate will set the tone and future call connections. Happy hunting.
Great conversation starter, @ajalonzo! I’ll echo many others and say it is situational, but typically I start with an email first and then call. However, for cold prospects, I treat the call as its own activity rather than a follow-up and lead with a strong pitch that doesn’t reference the email I sent.
My prospects are enterprise sales leaders, so chances are, they didn’t see my email swimming by in their sea of emails. BUT if you have a cadence management tool that tracks opens and clicks and they’ve interacted a few times with your message, then it makes sense to make a reference to your previous outreach.
@ajalonzo great question – as others have said I think it comes down to your target market.
We a/b tested an almost identical sequence during last 3 months – main difference is one starts with an email and the other with a call. and call first is hands down winning. not even close.
I like to warm the leads up a bit. A couple emails that provide a lot of value to their job title and industry. Fire some display ads at them. Then start calling with the opens and clicks
I start with an email following up with a call. I’m curious to hear what’s works best. I’d have to say there’s a bit of luck involved however it is a numbers game.
Do your homework on prospect first, and then definitely call. Be succinct, and leave a coherent message. Do this three times in a couple months before you send an email, then explain that you’ve left a few messages in that correspondence. Put your neck on the line, and be old school. But you better believe in what you sell and who you are, in delivering that item or service.
Depends what industry your in…. In my industry calls work best. Once i get a hold of a decision maker then I let them know that I will send them a follow up email with summarizing what we spoke about. Gives me a reason for a follow up and move the sales process to the next step.
We have always used the scenario where we send an email with a high level pitch and follow i up with a call if there is some interest (hard to judge though). This is probably the case only when you are trying to reach out to a larger group. Once we do the call, we do always send a more detailed mail if asked for. For a targeted audience, I would say calling directly and then sendign the content works better since you have the option to interest them one on one
Call if you have the direct number (text messages are also quite good and yes, still alive – or WhatApp).
if you don’t have the direct line, go for a short e-mail with a tailored intro video message (30s elevator pitch).
I lean more towards an email first strategy and train based on it. Sure, it gives you something to talk about when you call, “I’m following up an email I sent you yesterday”, but there are other advantages:
1 – It reduces the knee-jerk reaction of rejection that most people have when they are on the receiving end of a prospecting call. Think of yourself when you receive one during dinner with the family. We often have no idea what they’re selling – they could be letting you know that you won the lottery – but we blindly respond with “no thanks” or maybe something filled with more expletives.
2 – If they actually read the email which should mention something like, “If you don’t get a chance to get back to me in the next couple of days, I’ll reach out again”, they know you’re going to be calling and will be far less likely to instantly blow you off.
3 – Again, if they read the email and it clear, concise and compelling, your job is half done by the time you get them on the phone.