How to cut through the noise, land demos and calls with “dream clients”, and close high value deals ($1.8m case study).
Have you tried a whole bunch of strategies to get in front of the right clients, but it either hasn’t been as effective as you’d like, or the sales team are saying the leads aren’t “right”?
What if there was a way to not only get in front of the PERFECT, pre-qualified leads, but also that increases their willingness to talk to sales?
Well amigo, we’ve put together a step by step guide to help you do just that.
In fact, this was the EXACT strategy that one of our clients (an IT service provider) used to land a $1.8m contract with a “dream client”.
Before working with us, their lead gen used to be sporadic, mostly coming from referrals or word of mouth, or by flying all over the world, attending event after event.
One of the directors even said to us “I just want a lead generation system that brings in a few good leads consistently, without me feeling like I’m living out of a goddamn airport!”.
Given what they wanted, we helped to implement our “Introspect System” (stands for Introverted Prospecting System) into their business, building a multi-million dollar pipeline in just under 60 days, and helping them to land a $1.8m contract in just under 90 days.
The strategy focuses on doing direct email outreach, but in a different way to how most companies do it.
In fact, the reason why it’s called “Introspect” is because I was REALLY bad at the whole lead gen/sales thing when I first started my company (being a MASSIVE introvert), and I wanted a way to bring in GREAT leads, without coming across as pushy, sleazy, or spammy.
Ok, enough waffle (mmmm waffles) – let’s break down how the system works
Before we sit down to create a strategy with any client, we always ask the same question:
Is direct outreach the right strategy for this client?
The reality is that for some businesses, it isn’t the best choice.
For starters, it depends on the lifetime value of your customer. (Which is how much a customer is worth to you over the next 12 to 24 months, or however long they’re going to stay with you. But you already knew that, didn’t you? 🙂 )
If your business has a low lifetime customer value and relies on a high volume of sales, then direct outreach may not be the most effective method for you.
In the case of our client, direct outreach was a perfect fit. Each individual customer is worth thousands, if not millions, of dollars to them.
It was also critical to zero in and just choose two channels to focus on.
As tempting as it is to scatter your efforts across multiple platforms, you really only need to focus on one or two to have a really successful campaign.
So, for step one, ask yourself:
So you’ve decided that direct outreach is the right strategy for your business.
Your next step is to figure out who your best customers are right now.
But here’s the thing…
In B2B – there may be several “customers” involved in the sale.
Ideally, you’ll have mapped out your sales process, who you need to speak to within each step of the process, and who you need to approach first to get the ball rolling.
You know who you want to work with.
Now, you need to figure out where they spend their time.
I actually like to phrase this step as, “Who has my customer?“
You can find whole groups of them in both online and offline sources.
For example: social media groups, specific live or networking events, online forums… they may even be the audience of a particular Influencer.
For this particular client, we discovered that the audience they typically go for had all gone to a particular event.
It was actually quite easy to get a list of attendees for that event. And once we had it, we then had a whole group of prospects to reach out to.
Find that point of commonality and you can create powerful lists of people who are more likely to want to hear what you have to say.
Don’t move ahead until you know:
I do have one rule for this step though…
Don’t rely on lists you buy online.
There’s no guarantee that the list you buy will be any good.
Chances are, it’ll be full of people who have no interest in your service, and it’s more than likely they have all been hammered to death by hundreds of other companies who bought the exact same list.
You want to be VERY careful about how you build your lists.
If there’s too many irrelevant people on there, a lot of them will mark your emails as spam.
Too many bounce backs and spam complaints can actually get your entire email domain in big trouble.
It’s better to take the time to cultivate your own personal list. The quality will be much better, and so will your results.
Someone is always willing to do what you do, but cheaper.
But competing on price is a race to the death.
To stand out from the pack, you need to know what makes you unique. Something that no one else can claim but you.
Maybe it’s the scale of the results you achieve, a process you leverage, or a level of quality you deliver that blows your
competitors out of the water.
Whatever it is, highlight it and make it as detailed and tangible as possible for your audience.
Because when they know what makes you unique, you automatically separate yourself from being just another “me too” business and establish yourself as a unique and individual authority.
If your unique selling proposition is good enough, you become “The Only” in your niche.
As we’re approaching “from the cold” – having our USP front and centre will be very important throughout the process.
When we write emails for our clients, I often ask:
It’s one thing to say you’re the best at whatever it is you do.
It’s another to be able to present people with evidence that proves it.
Anybody can tell you they can walk a tightrope across a volcano or make a million dollars with a single ad. Talking is easy.
But when pushed to prove it, very few people can actually pull it off.
Your case studies act as solid proof that you are the best at what you do.
They PROVE that you can walk the walk.
And it feels way more powerful and believable because it’s coming from someone else’s point of view (social proof).
For this step, you’ll need to get a case study from at least one of your clients that shows your prospects exactly what you can do for them.
It can be a written testimonial, a video, a podcast – the medium is less important than the message. But you’ll want to match the format to your target audience as much as possible.
Earlier we talked about knowing where your people are.
The next step is to actually go through and find their details so we can reach out to them.
Now, there’s a lot of different tech you can use to find their details online, and it’s worth keeping in mind that finding their contact email is only one small part of this.
We also want to find out what they have been posting on social media (LinkedIn for example), what associations they are a part of, or if they have been creating content etc.
Because when you know your prospects, you can personalize every single email that goes out.
People appreciate the fact that you’ve taken the time and effort to understand and see them.
It takes a lot more effort than sending out a single blast of a hundred emails with the same headline, but the results you’ll get from putting in the extra effort will be well worth it.
We’ll cover some of our list building systems and processes in another blog post – but some of the systems we like to use are:
By now you know:
You also have:
Now, it’s time to write your emails.
When writing any email, there are three key elements you’ve got to include:
Value comes from understanding what your customers’ key challenges are, and how you can help them overcome them.
Social proof comes from the case studies you created earlier, as well as testimonials, reviews, and results from other clients.
This helps you to get attention and build trust as quickly as possible.
As for humor…
That’s just about being yourself.
If you’re not an especially “jokey” person in real life, don’t push it and try to be someone different.
Just don’t talk to people like they’re corporate, because at the end of the day it’s not B2B or B2C – it’s H2H: human to human marketing.
Be human and talk to other people like they’re human too.
You’ll stand out from their inbox full of dry, robotic emails.
Want to get a template from one of our most effective email campaigns?
Let us know where to send it:
Now, while initial replies are GREAT, there’s also a certain portion of people that don’t respond.
Just because someone doesn’t respond doesn’t mean they aren’t interested.
People don’t respond because they’re busy, they haven’t read the emails yet, or a thousand other reasons.
If you TRULY believe in your product or service – then you owe it to the people to follow up.
With our clients, we write sequences that typically contain 5-8 emails spaced out over a month or two.
For this client in particular, because every client is worth so much, we also used direct mail and phone calls to follow up with everyone who had opened an email and hadn’t responded.
Speaking about tech – there are amazing platforms out there which will help you to automate the entire process (including stopping the email sequence once someone HAS replied).
Some of our favourite software for sending direct outreach emails are:
When you’re aiming for six, seven, or even eight-figure deals, you can’t expect them to say yes and then immediately move into working with you.
A lot of clients will need to talk about budget, go through paperwork, and get sign-off from the board and other
decision-makers. It can take a lot of nurturing and time.
And sometimes, even after all the hard work, it just doesn’t make sense to move forward with the sale right at that moment.
In the case of our client, it took about three months of demos and sales discussions to get the initial contracts signed, and a further month and a half of due diligence before final signoff.
Throughout this entire time, they checked in consistently to offer extra value and to keep top of mind.
Having a nurturing process in place for people who do say yes to a phone call or a case study but just aren’t ready to buy now ensures you don’t get lost in the day to day, and that you can maximize the results you get from your campaigns.
When you’re working with corporate customers, several people will likely be involved in the purchasing process.
This means you need to engineer the sales process to work in your favor. We recommend mapping out the entire sales process until you know each person involved in the decision making process (and their individual challenges, wants, and needs).
With this client, we worked backward from the initial contact and created a list of people who would have a say in whether they would purchase the service or not. This included knowing the individual needs of the CMO, COO, CTO, and CEO.
Questions we normally ask our clients during this step of the process:
Ok, so there’s been a lot of work going so far.
The last and final step is to…
So, as you can see, our Instropect Process takes a little bit of work.
The good news is:
Now – just in case you’re thinking: “Ok cool… but… We don’t have the capacity to do this ourselves. Can you help?”
The answer is Yes. Yes we can 🙂
P.S. we’ll be building a roadmap to get you more lead and sales, but hey if you want to take over the world, that’s cool too :slightly_smiling_face: