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  • Writer's pictureLinda Wittich

Is it outreach or is it spam?

Updated: Jul 4, 2020

6 Tips for startups to increase outreach effectiveness without irritating your prospects.

Dear #fintech B2B Salespeople,

I empathize; we all miss conferences and the leads they generated. I applaud you for developing outreach programs to fill the funnel while you simultaneously work your personal network and focus on social media and SEO…but it feels like junk mail. You can do better.

My favorite quote is by Thomas Edison, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Outreach sequences work but only if you put in the effort. If you decide to take shortcuts, your outreach program will be counterproductive – they will alienate your buyers and potentially turn them into anti-sponsors.

For most salespeople who lack an army of SDRs, I recommend the “7-in-24 Outreach Program”: 7 touchpoints in 24 business days.

But as I said, an outreach program will only work if work too.

Make it about them and their challenges, not you and your solution

Revamp your message to be about your buyers’ needs. If you’re reaching out to different buyer personas, have different messages for each of them. What are their current and most pressing challenges? If you don’t know them, stop here and do your homework.

Personalize it beyond first name and company name

It means absolutely nothing if your only personalization is to include the individual’s name and company. Do some research: LinkedIN, Google and their website will give you ample data to discover what’s important to each buyer and their respective firm.

Shorten your message: Your value prop should be 2-3 sentences/bullets.

Tell them the benefit of your solution, not a description. Almost everybody in financial services have four needs: (1) Keep me out of jail – a/k/a regulatory issues, (2) Keep me from going bankrupt, (3) Grow my revenue, and (4) Lower my expenses. Clearly state how you solve one of these needs.

No lengthy documents or series of links. At most, link to a 1-pager.

Outreach programs are intentionally meant to be personal and conversational. A myriad of links on your website feels more like a newsletter and is just as impersonal. I recommend the first outreach include a link to your one-pager. The pdf should be downloadable, printable and include contact info. Rationale: click-thru identifies some degree of interest; downloadable makes it easy for them to share with colleagues.

Stop asking about Tuesday at 3p. It’s disrespectful.

This is one of my biggest pet peeves especially if you are targeting C-suite personnel. You know what their calendars look like: they’re in back-to-back meetings planned weeks in advance. I understand your desire to lock in a date and time but it should be at their convenience. Also be careful about overusing any auto-scheduling tool. Personally I love them but I’m not the norm. Rather than inserting your scheduling tool in the body of your email, just add it to your signature line.

Follow up. This is not a one and done program.

Most of your targets are super busy and unlikely to reply to your first outreach…and of course, you’re also very busy and apt to get distracted as your pipeline starts to replenish. The key to a successful Outreach Program is to stagger your initial outreaches so your follow-up tasks are not overwhelming. For a salesperson who is willing to dedicate 2 hours/day to prospecting, that means you add about 2 accounts/4 contacts per day but do it every day.

Outreach programs are a necessary tool in your lead generation program, especially while we're on a conference hiatus. Do the work and you'll see the results.


Linda Wittich

Top Line Focus, LLC

Helping #fintechs grow FASTER



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