I was conducting lead generation on behalf of a client and received a response that made me smile. The individual said:
I actually looked at your link because you wrote a very personal and to the point note.
He went on to say that what I was offering wasn’t for him, but the fact that he took the time to respond should speak volumes to you if you’re in sales (and, if you’re an entrepreneur, you’re in sales).
What did I do that was so personal? Three basic things:
1. I read his LinkedIn profile.
Yes, that’s right. I read it. It seems simple and — to some — a waste of time, but it is a few minutes that goes a long way.
As someone who conducts cold reach-outs, when I’m on the receiving end of them, I know exactly why they bother me or why I’m happy to respond:
If you have clearly done your homework (which could mean spending all of three minutes reading my LinkedIn profile) and recognize I’m truly a good fit for what you’re offering, I’m interested … or, at the very least, happy to respond.
If it’s obvious you’ve sent the same message to me that you’re sending to another 100 people, I (shake my head and) move on.
2. I referenced his experiences.
This person had a long career in journalism — it’s clear he’s led an interesting life. When I wrote him a note, I mentioned that. Suddenly, he recognizes I care. He recognizes I took three minutes to read his profile. He recognizes I’m not a bot or an automated system.
I’m seeing him as more than a target.
I’ve read a number of articles lately that talk about solving problems instead of selling services. This is completely true, but let’s take it one step further. We should care about solving those problems. Caring goes a long way, and it can be felt … even through the written word on LinkedIn.
3. I was conversational.
I read a great article today about dealing with objections in sales and agreed with the concept, but the example language used was way too formal and “salesy” for me. My No. 1 tip when it comes to reach-outs: just talk.
Yes, it’s important to be grammatically correct. It’s important to spell things properly. It’s important to sound intelligent. But it’s also important to talk to people as though they’re human beings instead of a statistic.
You can tailor the language to the industry — a doctor will probably respond better to more formal conversation than a life coach — but don’t sound like you copied the text out of a Sales 101 textbook.
In closing …
I truly believe 10 personal reach-outs beat 100 stock reach-outs any day of the week. Yes, there are other factors to being sales savvy, but being personal is No. 1 in my book.
Spend that three minutes reading someone’s LinkedIn profile. Trust me, it’ll pay off.
About Chrissie Zavicar
Chrissie Zavicar is a B2B lead generator and personal brand strategist who works with passionate entrepreneurs and professional athletes. To learn more about her services, visit her LinkedIn profile or contact page.