A warm approach to cold sales; a consultant's guide to winning cold outreach

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It can feel like a race against the clock when a project ends, and you're looking for your next contract. Consultants are constantly looking for new clients and commonly come from cold outreach, which means reaching out to people or businesses you don’t have a relationship with. Cold outreach can be effective for generating leads and closing deals, but it's also criticized for being impersonal, pushy, and, ultimately, unsuccessful.

But what if we told you cold outreach doesn't have to be "cold?" Adding a warm touch to your cold outreach efforts can improve your chances of success and build meaningful, long-lasting relationships. In many cases, it's about more than how many leads and cold messages you have going but also how good those potential clients are.

We'll show you how to make your cold outreach efforts warmer and more effective by the end of this article. Whether you're a sales pro, consultant, or entrepreneur, you can master cold outreach with a warm touch and build meaningful, long-lasting relationships with potential clients.

Understanding the concept of cold outreach

Cold outreach involves reaching out to potential customers or clients without any prior relationship or connection. It could be via email, social media, or phone calls, and the purpose is to introduce your product or service and generate new leads. It differs from warm outreach, which involves reaching out to people who have expressed interest in your brand or have had prior contact with your company.

One of the common misconceptions about cold outreach is that it's a one-way street where the seller talks and the buyer listens. However, that's not the case. Cold outreach should be a two-way conversation involving active listening and understanding the potential customer's needs.

How to implement and master cold outreach with a warm touch

Now that we've covered the benefits of adding a warm touch to your cold outreach let's explore how to make it happen.

Step-by-Step Guide to warming up your cold outreach:

  1. Research the prospect: Research the prospect and their business. Use social media, their website, or other sources to learn about their needs and interests.
  2. Craft a personalized message: Use your gathered information to craft a customized message that meets the prospect's needs and interests. Use their name, mention their business, and highlight how your product or service could help them.
  3. Show genuine interest: Start by showing genuine interest in their business, asking questions, and listening to their needs. Avoid being too salesy or pushy, and take your time. Connect over a coffee or a meal if possible – there’s no rush here.
  4. Provide value: Offer something of value upfront, such as a free trial, consultation, or resource/insight that could help them solve their problem.
  5. Follow up: After sending your initial outreach message, follow up with a personalized message that shows you're still interested in helping them and are willing to answer any questions they may have.

Tips for crafting effective cold outreach messages

To succeed with cold outreach, you must prepare a message that excites people about your business. Your message needs to be tailored to the recipient, attention-grabbing, and provide value to the recipient. A poorly crafted message can come off as spammy and unprofessional and turn off potential clients before they even consider working with you.

To create effective cold outreach messages, research your target audience and understand their needs, pain points, and motivations. Your message should address these points and offer a solution or value proposition that differentiates you from competitors.

Effective cold outreach messages should be concise, personalized, and have a clear call to action. By crafting compelling messages, you'll increase your chances of getting a response and starting a meaningful conversation with potential clients. This is the first step in building a relationship, establishing trust, and, ultimately, closing a deal.

Here's an example of a cold email with a warm touch:

Subject: Interested in your success

Hi [Recipient Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I came across your profile on LinkedIn and was impressed by your experience in [industry/skill]. I'm reaching out to help you achieve more success.

I work with businesses like yours to [achieve a specific goal, such as increasing sales or improving customer satisfaction]. I've helped several companies in your industry achieve great results, and I believe we could do the same for your business.

I'm not looking to sell you anything now, but I would love to chat and learn more about your business and goals. Let's schedule a quick call to discuss this further.

Here’s a link to my calendar – it’s always open for you!

Chat soon,
[Your Name]

Strategies for building trust and rapport with potential clients

For cold outreach to work, you need to develop a lasting relationship. Knowing your potential clients and understanding their needs shows you care about their success, not just trying to make a quick sale. You'll have a better chance of getting a response, starting a conversation, and closing a deal if you build rapport and trust with them.

Even if you don’t make the sale, positive experiences with your cold outreach can lead to referrals and recommendations, expanding your client base even further.

When building trust with a new contact, always:

  1. Be authentic: Show genuine interest in the prospect and their business. Avoid using generic sales pitches and focus on building a relationship.
  2. Listen actively: Listen to the prospect's needs and concerns. Ask questions and show that you're listening.
  3. Provide value: Offer something of value upfront, such as a free trial, consultation, or resource that could help them solve their problem.
  4. Follow up: Follow up with the prospect after the initial outreach message to show that you're still interested in helping them and are willing to answer any questions they may have.

Here's an example of a follow-up email that uses warm outreach:

Subject: Just checking in

Hi [Recipient Name],

Please let me know if you've had time to think about our conversation. I know how busy you are, but our services could help you achieve [specific goal discussed].

We’d be a great fit for [company name], but I'm not looking to push you. If you have any questions or want to learn more, I'm happy to schedule another call at your convenience.

I appreciate your time and consideration and look forward to hearing back from you.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

In this example, the follow-up email acknowledges the recipient's busy schedule and emphasizes the value proposition discussed on the previous call or email. The email also maintains a friendly and warm tone while trying to schedule another call. Being patient and understanding makes you more likely to build a positive relationship with the recipient and eventually close the deal.

Overcoming common cold outreach challenges

The rejection that comes with cold sales can be discouraging. You must stay positive, learn from mistakes, and keep improving. You'll get better results if you send customized emails, do your research, and push less for sales (but more for relationships). Take these challenges head-on and learn them to improve your cold outreach.

Here are some tips to remember:

  1. Get used to rejection and objections: Rejection and objections are part of the sales process. Don't take it personally and focus on the next prospect.
  2. Avoid common mistakes in cold outreach: Avoid common mistakes, such as using a generic message or being too pushy. Take the time to personalize your message and show genuine interest in the prospect.
  3. Maintain a positive mindset and stay motivated: Cold outreach can be challenging, but staying positive and motivated is essential. Celebrate small wins and focus on the end goal.

Tools and resources to make your cold outreach warmer:

  1. Sales automation software: Use sales automation software to streamline your outreach process and save time. It could help you schedule follow-up messages, track responses, and personalize messages.

Pro tip: Make personal notes about each prospect, like their dog’s name, whether they have a family, what book they were reading, etc. The little details go a long way!

  1. Email tracking tools: Use email tracking tools to track when a prospect opens your message and clicks on links. It could help you gauge interest and follow up at the right time instead of coming off as “pushy.”
  2. LinkedIn Sales Navigator: Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find prospects and build relationships. It could help you research the prospect's background and interests and connect with them professionally.

Leveraging LinkedIn to connect with prospects

Speaking of LinkedIn is a powerful tool for consultants to create relationships before sending a cold outreach message, instantly making the message appear warmer.

Here are some ways to leverage LinkedIn to build relationships:

  1. Research prospects: Use LinkedIn to research potential clients and learn more about their backgrounds, interests, and business. You can tailor your outreach message to their specific situation by understanding their needs and pain points.
  2. Engage with their content: Follow potential clients on LinkedIn and engage with their content. Like, comment, or share their posts to show your interest and build rapport. You can quickly get on their radar by doing this.
  3. Join relevant groups: Join LinkedIn groups related to your industry or niche. Engage in discussions and share your insights and expertise. This is a great way to connect with potential clients and establish yourself as a thought leader in your field.
  4. Connect with mutual connections: Use LinkedIn to identify mutual connections with potential clients. Ask for an introduction or contact the mutual connection to learn more about the potential client and their needs. Developing trust and relationships this way is a great idea.
  5. Offer value upfront: Share valuable content or resources with potential clients on LinkedIn. This could be a blog post, white paper, or case study that addresses their pain points. You can establish credibility and demonstrate your expertise by sharing social proof like this.

By leveraging LinkedIn to build relationships, consultants can warm up potential clients before sending a cold outreach message. This can increase the chances of getting a response and lead to more successful sales outcomes. Remember to be genuine, provide value, and focus on building a relationship, not just making a sale.

Master cold outreach with a warm touch and take your business to the next level.

Adding a warm touch can make all the difference in cold outreach. Keep your message concise, focus on benefits, and provide value upfront to generate interest and close a deal. If you're doing cold outreach, you've got to be positive, avoid common mistakes, and use tools and resources to make the process easier. These strategies will help you master cold outreach and take your sales strategy from good to great.

Written by:

Team at Mylance
Marketing + Content Team

Every Mylance team member has done consulting. We're experts, and we've seen what consulting enables: more time with our families, traveling the world, more time on passion projects, or to start that business we've been dreaming about.