How to Sell Without Unsolicited Pressure
Stop asking for a “quick call” without showing value
Stop asking for a “quick call” without showing value
“Let me know when you’re free for a quick 45-minute call?” their email said.
I immediately blocked them from ever contacting me again. There’s nothing quick about taking 45 minutes of someone’s life to sell them on something they might not need. However, in marketing and as marketing professionals, your inbox, LinkedIn, and social media profiles are full of outreach providing “solutions” from a service you’ve never heard of.
They don’t want to help you, they want your money. Saying:
“We can triple your revenue.”
“You’re leaving $10,000 a month on the table.”
“We can help you build strategic relationships through flow-directed customer optimization.”
All they seemingly want is a “quick” call. Their price is obscured and their methods are even more so. So how can you do cold outreach to sell without this unsolicited pressure?
1. Be Exclusive
I don’t sell my services, I restrict them. Being a member of certain websites (LinkedIn is one example), makes me accessible to everyone and their pet cat. Accessibility will devalue your services. Is Kanye West responding to LinkedIn “Inmail?” Of course not. Popularity begets exclusivity, exclusivity, in turn, begets respect.
This is the first thing people read when they get to my service profiles:
I get a lot of requests for my services on <service provider> after people read this description below.
80% of those people aren’t serious about hiring a professional, but it costs me time & money to respond to those people. If you’re serious about working with me, click the link in my profile or go to https://shor.by/geraintclarke (or Google Geraint Clarke Shorby) to book in for a £50 introductory call.
I can only work with clients who are serious about actually getting work done. Unfortunately for some, that expertise and experience comes at a price. I cannot or will not be able to respond to calls or messages saying “What do you think the best way to market my product is then, mate?”
My work results in tens of millions in revenue for clients, so I’m unable to dedicate time to those who don’t respect its value. Therefore, all “browsing right now” and “request a quote” opportunities will, unfortunately, have to be ignored.
** End of notice **
Feel free to copy what you want out of that and tailor it to your services and results. It’s definitely led to fewer time-wasters and given me more time to write or work with the clients who value my attention most.
It’s potentially abrasive, but I no longer chase “leads.’ I have bookings, or I have free-time.
If you’ve ever tried to engage the services of a busy web-development firm, you’ll know exactly how this feels. They want to work with you and they don’t give a **** if you like their price or not. They’re so confident that their service is worth it, that if you don’t pay, someone else will.
That makes exclusivity a powerful aphrodisiac and sales tactic.
2. Be Precise Where You Can
The main reason most services seem so desperate is that they’re so vague in their promises. “We can triple your revenue” may sound precise, but when they don’t know your revenue, how do they know they can triple it?
It’s only while thinking about this that you realise it’s a blanket, catch-all email designed, not for you, but for everyone. So if you’re sending that type of email to sell your service, you need to stop. Now.
The ones that get through the net are the custom, tailored ones. Perhaps mentioning three or four products in the store. Perhaps the person performing the cold-outreach actually bought one.
To triple revenue for a client earning $200 a year is easy, to triple it for a client earning $10million a year is almost impossible with one service alone. That means you need to set realistic expectations or you’ll be dismissed.
“You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” — Will Rogers
With that said, to generate a sale, do some research and be as precise as you can. Get the person’s name. Maybe watch a few company videos, tell them your favorite bit when you email them to sell your service.
Open with flattery, but be precise with the details that you share, including the price. I can’t stand it when a company tries to sell me a service and doesn’t mention the price.
Tip: If you don’t have any way to research your client, take your best case study and lead with that. e.g. “Our software helped CNBC to get 87% more clicks. We think it could help you too. At just $0.10 per 10,000 unique visitors, it could be the most cost-effective solution you’ve ever implemented.”
It’s not specific to my business, but it’s precise to the results and to the cost. A much easier sell than requesting a “Quick 45-minute call to walk you through the features.”
3. Give First, Take Later
Through the power of reciprocation, you feel like you owe someone who’s given you something of value, for free. Put into action, I hired an SEO firm that sent me an email (through a client) saying “<company name> has lost traffic from Search Engines.” Inside the email was screenshot proof from their tool and free, easy to implement tips for improving our SEO. I actioned them, then contacted the company to engage their services.
It was probably the fastest $2,500 they ever made, and proof that by giving first, you can take later.
Sales and marketing isn’t always a one-way street. It’s more like fishing. You throw the bait out there and one of four things can happen:
Sometimes the fish will swim by it and won’t care, it’s not for them (non-leads).
Sometimes they’ll take the bait and escape (a warm lead that shows some kind of intent via sign-up or clicks, but doesn’t purchase).
Sometimes they’ll take the bait, get hooked on but escape before being landed (abandoned cart customers).
Sometimes they’ll get hooked on and you can reel them all the way in (a purchase).
To some degree, it’s a numbers game, but to an even greater degree, it’s about skill, precision, experience, and the right offering. Both in fishing and in marketing.
Don’t sell with force or pressure. Drop your bait and let the customers swim to you.