I’m quickly going through my email. I opened an email that I knew would be a prospecting email, but I decided to read it since it had made it through all the filters I set up. I made it through the first 2 sentences:
Hope you’re doing well! We are sorry for reaching out randomly.”
I stopped there, adding the email to my spam folder to block future communications.
The problem, we can never be prospecting randomly. Yet most of what I see is just that, a random outreach because someone has guessed my email, phone number or social profiles. At least this individual was honest in his note, he admitted that it was purely random. He had done no targeting, no research. He had not taken the time to think about what I might be interested in or what might attract my attention.
Our prospecting must be purposeful and targeted. If it isn’t, we are wasting our time, our targets’ time, and destroying any brand/personal equity we may be trying to develop.
Why would a purely random outreach be likely to produce results? Why would we invest even a moment of thought in doing this? Sadly, I think we don’t invest thinking time in doing these outreaches. We have millions of emails, we generate phone numbers by the millions, social channels enable us to reach anyone we want. And we know that if we send things in volume, we might get a 0.0001% response. So sending enough things out might get us a few leads–but probably not customers.
There are people that generate huge response rates from their prospecting. I have one friend who generates at least a 50% response rate from each prospecting outreach he makes.
What is different about what they do? What causes them to produce the results they produce?
We know the answers–yet we don’t pay attention to them.
Nothing they do is random. Every outreach is purposeful and very targeted. These people focus on their ICP–people and organizations that are most likely to be facing the issues these prospectors solve. The content of these outreaches is carefully focused on things the target prospects are highly likely to be interested in. The outreach is always about critical issues they face, never about the products the prospectors sell.
They recognize their targets are drowning in information, some of it useful. They realize they have to stand out, they have to be different if the targets will read and respond to these outreaches.
It’s actually pretty easy, because their “competition” for prospects’ attention is random outreaches by virtually everyone else. So their targeted and purposeful outreach is different, their focus on the targets and their interests, not on pitching their products stands out.
We know the answers, nothing I’ve written in the previous paragraphs is new. I’m, frankly, getting tired of sounding like an echo chamber, writing the same thing in post after post. I see hundreds of other articles, read dozens of books, participate in well attended webinars where the same principles are discussed.
Yet we consistently fail to pay attention. For reasons I don’t understand, we fail to do the work that drives success, choosing instead to do things that we know don’t.
These people that are purposeful in their outreach never talk about 1000’s of emails, 1000’s of phone calls, and so forth. They know that if they do the work, it produces results.
Random, unpurposeful outreach means we don’t know what we are doing. Is that what we want the recipients of those outreaches to think about us?
We can be better than this! We must be better than this!