The Art of Cold Outreach

By Madison Taylor
November 27, 2021
Black phone with chord

When marketing and sales align, everyone benefits. And this alignment doesn’t have to stop at simply agreeing on the same goals. Rather, each team can provide new perspectives on each other’s roles – especially when those roles can become monotonous. Those charged with cold outreach are perfect examples of teammates that could use a few new ideas. While every sales team has insight into their audiences that is invaluable, marketing has innate strengths in the world of strategy and copywriting. And having the marketing team approach them with a few new thought starters certainly wouldn’t hurt. Here are a few ideas from us marketers as it relates to approaching your cold outreach.

The Essentials

Cold outreach is a tough skill for anyone in sales to learn. Taking the first step toward mastering it is embracing rejection and not overthinking. You have to realize that rejection is not personal; it’s more productive for yourself and your team to approach cold outreach with a positive attitude, rather than focusing on whether or not your prospects are annoyed with you. If you feel uncomfortable with how many times you’ve reached out, you’ve probably reached out too much. If not, then own it. You don’t have to feel sorry for your prospects if you’re sure that your pitch offers truly beneficial products and services. Never apologize for offering value.

It’s beneficial to remain attentive to your contacts, especially when it comes to follow-ups. A beneficial skill to learn is to know when to stop sending follow-ups. If you realize that the next follow-up could actually annoy your prospect, then hold off. Instead of looking at it like you’re bothering them (hint: you aren’t if you play your cards right), approach your audience with a “help-first” focus. Lead with the message that the reason for contacting them is to bring a product or service of value to their attention. When you flip the script from “me-first” to “help-first”, you give yourself the opportunity to master genuine lead generation and conversion.

Work with your marketing team to establish a consistent brand voice amongst each sales rep. Compile ample research on your prospects and develop personalized scripts based on your research and the buyer personas that your marketing team has created.

Timing is Everything

One great challenge about cold outreach is that your prospects are busy, just like you. Experts say that 121 business emails are sent and received each day, so in the heat of the workday, it’s not uncommon that your outreach messages are simply getting missed amongst the chaos. Other times, it’s possible that your prospects’ or contacts’ needs have changed, even if you’ve contacted them recently.

What’s important to recognize is that timing can greatly affect the response rate or the overall outcome of your outreach efforts, and often there are factors out of your control. The best lesson is that you make yourself adaptable – learn from every single response, even the nonresponses, and adjust your approach based on what’s working and what isn’t. And remember to adjust as each response is a learning opportunity – as are non-responses. Learning to adjust your approach based on what’s working, or not working, can help tremendously.

The Big Picture

Do your best to gauge the connection between you and your prospects. If they have yet to show interest after a handful of attempts, then maybe it’s not a great fit and on to the next prospect you go. Take each outreach as a lesson – because each outreach provides the opportunity to understand your audience, and to understand which tactics are most effective and which are not. Crafting your outreach will take time and a degree of resilience that many will be quick to turn away from. But when you take the time to carefully master the art of cold outreach, your efforts will be undoubtedly fulfilled.