Cold outreach, whether it is calling or emailing, can be a rollercoaster. Nobody wants to be bothered, and they project that out onto their potential clients. When reaching out, a startup can catastrophize about how the other party is perceiving their outreach and assume that the other party is growing annoyed or starting to hate them. While this will sometimes be the case, oftentimes people are just busy. Especially when it comes to business-to-business sales.
It is unpredictable from moment to moment. You can go from getting cursed at in one breath, to closing an important client deal the next. This volatility has a discouraging effect on many, and understandably so. It is negative reinforcement of the action and we as humans aren’t programmed to seek out more pain.
This can then lead to an aversion to following up with cold outreach campaigns to avoid negative responses. Some business owners are unsure, in light of this, as to the magical number of follow-ups that will get results but won’t get you chewed out by an angry individual.
So, what is the right way to follow-up? How many times can you reach out without being annoying? And with what frequency should you follow-up?
Statistical data within the sales industry shows that the most effective cold outreach approach is to follow-up 8-10 times as that is when most deals close. After that, you should consider them a dead lead. Despite this data, the average number of follow-ups that business owners do is three. There is a clear gap in the recommendation and action of businesses.
How can your business overcome this to achieve goals?
If you’re unable to deal with the stress, take the mental hurdles away by outsourcing. There are two ways to do this:
Hire either a full-time employee or a contractor to do your cold outreach. Get them to call people to schedule a meeting with you. This way, you only deal with people that want to talk with you about your offers.
Automating your campaign with email marketing is an easy way to distance yourself and take the decision of how often to follow-up out of your hands. You can automate all ten follow-up emails to send at ideal times. This can save you the emotional turmoil and allow you to distance yourself from the process so your emotions don’t cloud your decision on the frequency of outreach.
Here is an example of an automated email schedule:
Day 1: Email one.
Day 3: Email two.
Day 5 or 6: Email three.
Days 11-14: Email four.
One week after email four: Email five.
Two weeks after email five: Email six.
And so on.
This builds a sense of urgency on the front end, as well as a sense of scarcity on the back end of the email campaign.
While you want to build scarcity towards the end, do not rely on emotionally manipulative email copy. Go for respectful and friendly by wishing them well and letting them know where they can find you.
Cold outreach isn’t for everyone, and that’s ok. These workarounds can allow your business to grow, without subjecting yourself to direct confrontation and stress.