When it comes to outreach, how you say something is often just as important as what you say.
Knowing exactly how you’re going to structure your messages is one of the most important steps you can take before you actually begin your outreach.
If you don’t take the time to figure this out, at best you’re going to end up with inconsistent results.
At worst, your campaign will fail miserably.
If you can master the craft of cold messaging, your results will speak for themselves.
You’ll find your messages being opened more often.
Your positive response rates will shoot through the roof.
You’ll book more calls, and ultimately, you’ll make more money.
Skipping this step will leave you low on time and money, and you’ll be burning bridges with prospects that otherwise would have become high-paying customers.
Worst of all, you’ll be left thinking that maybe you’re not cut out for this line of work after all.
Luckily for you, there is a way to learn how to write these messages.
It all comes down to a science, one that we’ve learned from years of experience and testing.
That’s not to say that writing these messages will be easy, quite the opposite.
These messages are going to require a lot of time, effort, and research in order to execute properly, but if you can put in the work needed to learn how to write them, you’ll be well on your way to closing more sales and meeting your business goals.
There’s three main components to writing great outbound messages:
Master all three and you’re a god.
In the world of sales, there’s a lot of confusion and varying opinions on how you should format your outreach messages.
They should be long, they should be short.
They should be friendly, they should be authoritative.
Everybody has an opinion, some of which are based on data, others based on feelings.
In truth, it all depends on your industry, your niche, and even your timing.
What worked five years ago might not work today, just like something that works right now might not work in the future.
Sales is a constantly evolving industry.
What we can tell you is what we’ve found to work. With years of failure and success, we have a strong handle on the science of extraordinary structure.
One of the most common opinions we have been hearing recently is that your messages need to be short.
Business owners, CEOs, and executives don’t have a lot of time, so it would make sense not to waste it by sending overly-long and padded messages.
However, we’ve found that longer messages actually perform better on average.
The catch is that they need to be straight forward, aggressive, and in-depth.
You can’t just add padding and expect better results.
You also can’t be “wishy-washy,” meaning you beat around the bush and don’t clearly define your intentions, something like:
“Hey John, thanks for connecting! I was just wondering if you would be interested in working together—if not, that’s okay too! Just let me know, thanks!”
Nobody needs their time wasted by messages like this.
If you’re going to interrupt somebody (yes, you’re interrupting them), there needs to be a really good reason for it, and you need to get to that reason as fast as possible.
This is especially true with high-ticket businesses.
If you spend the first few lines beating around the bush, chances are your prospects aren’t going to finish reading your message, and might even report you for spam.
Get to the point as fast as possible.
It’s also important that you establish authority with your tone and choice of words.
You need to make sure you are confident, and you tell them that you know exactly what their problem is and how you’re going to help them fix it.
This will put you in control, and will make them listen to you.
Be careful not to sound arrogant though, you still want to come from a place of selflessness—you want to help them solve their problems.
Next, you need to prove to them that you’re worth their time.
Why should they listen to you?
Be sure to include testimonials, case studies, and anything else that can show them that you’re the real deal.
Including these facts and statistics is a great way to immediately establish credibility, and will make your prospects more more likely to find you trustworthy.
Finally, you want to make sure all of your messages read vertically, meaning short, punchy sentences that are quick and easy to read.
This makes it easy for your prospects to skim through and keeps things less overwhelming.
Couple that with getting to the point as soon as possible, speaking in an authoritative tone, and proving that you’re worth their time, and you’re well on your way to writing the perfect cold message.
Just because you might write the ideal message doesn’t mean it’s going to get responded to, or even opened at all.
Most prospects won’t respond after just one message, so you’re also going to want to figure out how you’re going to structure your follow-up as well.
We’ve found that four messages is a good amount to follow up with.
Any more and you’re likely wasting your time, any less and you risk losing a client.
You need to keep these short and to the point:
“Hey, just wanted to follow up my last message and see if you were interested in my offer, thanks!”
These are simply reminders that you are interested in speaking or working with them, nothing more.
You’ve already stated your full intentions in the first message.
It might feel like sending multiple follow-ups without getting a response would just annoy your prospects, but this is actually most often when they respond.
People are busy, maybe they didn’t have time to get to your email.
Maybe they did and intended to respond but got sidetracked, these follow up messages are just there to get them back on track and be a friendly reminder.
The worst they can do is say no.
Now that you know how to structure your messages, you need to know how to respond to specific objections that your prospect might bring up during your campaign.
If you don’t deal with these when the time comes, or have a plan to do so, you’re going to lose a lot of potential clients.
These objections need to be answered in a very specific way, without giving away too much, but still satisfying the prospects enough to get them onto a call.
Sales isn’t about coming up with solutions all the time on the spot, it’s about preparation.
Superstar sales people already know what their prospects are going to ask and what problems they might run into during their campaign.
They are then able to weave their way through the process of answering those questions and solving those problems.
Objection crushing is about knowing what common objections you are going to face, and knowing how you’re going to respond to them.
An example of an objection:
You’re a financial advisor, and you reach out to one of your leads and offer your services.
Their response: “I already have an advisor.”
What do you say to that? (Yes, you do have to respond)
You should, at the very least, know five common objections or questions your prospects could ask during your interaction.
The tricky part is actually knowing how to respond to them, you can’t just answer them outright.
Why would they agree to join a call if you already told them everything they want to know?
You have to approach objections carefully, and come up with a plan to handle them.
First of all, you have to agree with the objection.
You can’t ignore it, and you can’t tell them they’re wrong.
If they say they already have an advisor, you say, “Of course you do!”
Make it clear that you’re both on the same page.
You know their situation, and you know how to help them.
After you agree, it’s best to give a mysterious answer, or simply allude to one.
Then, you redirect the conversation to the sales call.
Remember, you’re not trying to sell your offer during your outreach, you’re trying to sell the call.
Get them into a call, and let the salespeople take it from there.
Another key factor in objection crushing is establishing the status delta.
The status delta is the perceived difference in status between you and your prospect.
If your prospect thinks of you as the authority figure in your conversation, they will be more likely to comply and agree with you.
If you seem like someone who doesn’t need to be listened to, well—nobody is going to listen.
You go to a gym. You’re looking to get in shape, maybe tone up those abs. You have a six-pack but it’s hidden beneath a comfy layer of fat so you put on your gym shoes and spanx and go to the communal sweat factory.
You have two choices of trainers.
The first is a heavy set guy with a double chin. You see him outside before you enter and he’s smoking a cigarette. When he consults with you he’s drinking a Big Gulp filled with soda. He talks to you about a training regimen and mentions that the gym serves pizza on Fridays.
The second trainer is cut. She has the guns, she has the abs. She’s drinking a water bottle filled with wheat grass or something über-healthy. She mentions a bit of science concerning the kinds of workouts you might do. She explains the difference between toning things up and building muscle.
Who are you going to go with?
This is known as a STATUS DELTA and how you groom yours determines whether you are an authority or a poser.
The status delta answers the question: Why should I even listen to this person in the first place?
Now that you know how to structure your messages and how you’re going to handle objections, you need to make sure each message is custom-fit specifically for each prospect.
This is the most commonly missed step (and often the hardest), but it is also the most important.
Personalization is by far the most important part of your messages.
How many times have you received an email that was obviously sent to hundreds of others and actually read through it and took it seriously?
Even if the person who sent the message was a particularly important person, you still would be hard pressed to genuinely be interested in what they had to say if you knew it wasn’t being said directly to you.
If you are just copy-pasting your messages and mass sending them to your prospects, your results are going to be abysmal at best.
It doesn’t matter who you are or how important you’re perceived to be, if your messages aren’t personalized, nobody is going to read them.
A lot of people would argue that they do personalize their messages, they include the recipient’s first name in the opening line.
This is not personalization.
You need to make sure each one of your messages is relevant only to that person to whom it’s being sent.
It needs to show that you’ve done your research and you know who you’re talking to.
Don’t worry though, you don’t have to personalize the entire message, just the first line, but that line needs to be hand-written, well-researched and extremely personal.
How you find this information is up to you based on what resources you have available.
You could search their LinkedIn for example, go through their posts, see what they’re like.
You could visit their website or any other social media, anything that can help you tailor that first line to be super relevant and extremely effective.
This will get their attention, and make it feel like the entire message was hand-written specifically for them (even if it wasn’t).
This process is not easy, here at LeadRev.ai, it’s literally a full-time job.
We have employees research our leads all day and write them personalized first lines in their messages, every day.
That’s how crucial this step is.
If you don’t personalize your messages, you’ll burn bridges with your prospects, receive little-to-no responses, and the ones you do receive will not be well received.
This is the most commonly missed step in outbound, and it’s also a huge reason why most businesses fail at it.
Do your research.
Craft your messages as carefully and thoughtfully as you can.
Your prospects are the lifeblood of your business, and you want to make them feel like they are respected.
For high-ticket sales, this is the only way to truly capitalize on the rest of the hard work you’ve done up to this point, but once you do this, you’ll be able to cold sell to almost anybody within reason.
When it comes to writing your messages for your outbound campaign, it’s important to remember to get to the point, prove that you’re worth listening to, handle objections, and make sure each of your messages are hyper-personalized.
It all leads to this moment.
You’ve done the preparation. You’ve done the research. You have synergy in your teams.
Time for the battle-cry, the war paint, and into the breach.