Reply Method Guide

Increase Response Rates ∙ Set More Meetings ∙ Close More Deals

The average cold email response rate is 1%. The average success rate for a cold call is 1.48%.

If you're struggling to get prospects to respond to your cold outreach, you're not alone.

“What should I say?”

“How long should the email be?”

“How do we make our messaging less 'markety' sounding?”

Sound familiar?

What most sales teams end up doing is resorting to the template that works best. Or getting on Google to search for "best cold email templates" or "what to say in a cold call."

The problem with this approach is that it's too prescriptive. 

You never end up learning the fundamentals of effective messaging so that you can create your own email email templates and talk tracks.

Why copy/paste templates and scripts aren’t a great long-term strategy

When too many sales teams use the same templates, they stop working.

Email templates are usually never customized to the industry or persona. The messaging used for VPs of Sales at SaaS companies doesn't work the same way for VPs of IT at Professional Services firms. Different people, different jobs, different industries.

Instead of looking for the next cold email template to copy/paste, make your own cold email templates. Build your own talk tracks.

The goal of your cold outreach

Don’t prospect to make a sale, prospect to start a conversation.

That's fundamental principle behind every prospecting activity.

The goal of prospecting is not to sell your product/service.

Approach prospects with a service mindset. You have a great solution. They might have a problem you can help them with.

But if you don’t learn more about the prospect, you’ll never know how you can help them.

Earn the right to sell to prospects by first seeing how you can help.

A conversation has to start in order for a sale to take place.

The fundamentals of solid outbound messaging

We created the Reply Method to help remove the mystery of what to say when you're prospecting.

Reply stands for:

  • Results. Prospects expect to see relevant results you’ve created for similar companies with similar challenges. 
  • Empathy. Prospects want to feel understood. They expect that you know about their job, their responsibilities, and the challenges they're having.
  • Personalization. Prospects are inundated with terrible outreach these days. They expect personalized communication that shows your outreach was intended for them.
  • Laser-Focus. Prospects deal with more distractions than ever on a daily basis. They expect brief, succinct communication.
  • You. Prospects don't care about you, your product/service, or your company. They expect you to make them the hero.

Continue reading below to learn more about the Reply Method.

Our Clients Have Used The REPLY Method To Connect With These Brands

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Results

Get the prospect’s attention

Prospect needs to go from, “What’s in it for me?”

To… “This looks interesting.”

Results are the universal language in business. Every prospect understands a tangible result related to their job.

Connect your product/service to the prospect in a way that's easy to understand.

Avoid feature dumping. Or talking about your proprietary solution.

Focus on how you can make the prospect's life better.

Checklist for your outbound messaging:

  • Don’t prospect to make a sale. Prospect to start a conversation. Resist the urge to pitch right away.
  • Avoid sharing unrelated case studies or social proof with prospects.
  • Share relevant, tangible results you’ve created for similar companies.

What to avoid:

We run a training/consulting company with less than 10 employees. 

I don’t relate to companies like Google, Spotify, and Uber. The rep should have shared companies similar to Blissful Prospecting. And that at least sell B2B.

Instead of focusing on “influencer marketing” they could have talked about the results they create for their clients.

What to do instead:

This email landed a meeting because we shared our results with a similar nonprofit. The case study is with a similar organization, and we listed companies the prospect would also like to connect with.

Empathy

Show the prospect you're one of them.

Prospect needs to go from, “You’re not one of us.”

To…“You’re speaking my language.”

If I’ve had a tough day at work, talking to my wife about it helps me feel better.

Sara knows what I’m going through because we run our business together. She is capable of empathizing. Feeling understood is critical for getting people to open up.

Prospects are the same. Everyone wants to feel understood. They expect you to know about their job, their responsibilities, and the challenges they're facing.

There’s a lot of confusion on what empathy is in sales. If a prospect is feeling frustrated, it doesn’t mean that you should also feel frustrated.

It means you’re able to say, “I totally understand why that would be frustrating…”

Show the prospect you know what it’s like to walk in their shoes.

Checklist for your outbound messaging:

  • Lead with the prospect’s pain points, frustrations, or challenges where applicable.
  • Avoid sending outreach that doesn’t address what your prospect is struggling with in relation to your solution.
  • If you don’t know your prospect’s challenges or what’s important to them, do client interviews.

What to avoid:

This email has no empathy. The rep doesn’t address my content marketing challenges.

I’d be more interested if they talked about staying up on your editorial calendar when you don’t have a full-time marketing team.

What to do instead:

A financial broker sent this email to a small law firm. They highlighted specific challenges law firms have with lenders. And it worked.

Personalization

Show you’re not a spammer and that your outreach was intentional.

Prospect needs to go from, “[delete] clearly a mass outreach.”

To…“They did their homework.”

Mass outreach is affordable to everyone now. At the click of a button, spammers can send thousands of emails at a time for a few hundred dollars.

Prospects are desensitized to our cold emails and cold calls.

They're smart. They get automated messages every day and can spot them from a mile away. They're looking for reasons to ignore you.

Make it obvious that you did your research. 

Checklist for your outbound messaging:

  • Segment your outreach by industry and persona. Avoid sending the same message to everyone.
  • Personalize your outreach to provide the context and a connection to your solution.
  • Use personalized videos to add an extra pop to your outreach.

What to avoid:

There’s no personalization in this email besides my name, role, and company name. I don’t know why they’re reaching out to me.

How is their solution connected to my problem? Why would a learning platform help us with our training/consulting services?

What to do instead:

This isn’t the best cold email I’ve seen, but I give the rep mad props for doing his research.

He called out specific client verticals we work with, our service offerings, and the method in which we deliver our services. He also took the time to read about me and noticed I follow UFC fights.

Laser-Focus

Get to the point

Prospect needs to go from, “[delete] don't have time for that.”

To…“Wait, what was that?”

Prospects are busy these days. The average person is exposed to 4,000+ ads every day.

Your direct competitors aren't your only competition. You're also competing with all of the other distractions prospects deal with every day.

Keep your outreach short and to the point—your chances of starting a conversation will dramatically increase.

For subject lines, keep it short and sweet. Limit them to 1-7 words, and personalize them with the prospect’s first name or company name.

A few favorites:

  • Hi Jason, I was researching Blissful Prospecting and…
  • Hi Jason, your mission to…
  • Hey Jason, I noticed…
  • [area of expertise] at Blissful Prospecting
  • Your [LinkedIn post, article, podcast, etc.] on [subject of content]
  • [sales trigger]

Checklist for your outbound messaging:

  • Keep messaging concise. Less than 120 words or 3-5 sentences is ideal for emails. Less than 30 seconds for voicemails. And less than 30 seconds for your cold call opening.
  • Be clear with your Call-to-Action (CTA). And limit it to one.
  • Does this help the prospect see the results we can help them create, empathize with them, or provide the context through personalization? If not, get rid of it.

What to avoid:

Does this make your eyes glaze over as well? It’s too long. The first five paragraphs are unnecessary.

What to do instead:

This email landed a meeting because it’s to the point. There’s one call-to-action and one link to look at.

You

Make the prospect the hero

Prospect needs to go from, “I get it! You think you’re really awesome!”

To…“This could help me...”

Prospects don't care about you, your product/service, or your company. It's a harsh reality many of us learn the hard way.

It's our job as salespeople to make them care. 

But you don't do that by talking about yourself. Or how great your company is.

Prospects want to know what's in it for them. Share what your company does, but show them how it helps make their life better. 

Checklist for your outbound messaging:

  • Are you making the prospect the hero? Or your company (or worse...you)? Don’t make it about yourself. No one wants to be Alfred. They want to be Batman.
  • Use “you” and “your” more than you use “I.”
  • Tell the prospect what’s in it for them.

What to avoid:

This email is all about what they do, instead of how I benefit. They use “I” and “we” seven times in the email. There’s very little in here about how they can help us win.

What to do instead:

This email is great because they use “you” and “your” more than they use “I.” They focus on helping the prospect reduce their time to market, as they did with another similar company.

How it all comes together

Now that you have the key fundamentals of an effective messaging, you can piece them together to create your emails and talk tracks. 

Cold Emails

Cold Email Structure:

[First name],

[Personalization]

[Empathy - address challenge/frustration or an understanding of what they do]

[Results - share relevant results

[CTA]

Here are a few finished examples following the structure above:

Email example #1:

Subject: Loved your podcast on Sell or Die!

Hey Jason,

Heard you on the Sell or Die! podcast. What you said about using videos to get the attention of busy prospects really stuck out to me.

Looks like personalization is a key part to your outbound success. One way our clients uses ABC video platform is to cut the research time for personalization in half. Thought it would be helpful for those cool videos you're sending.

Would sending your videos in half the time be worth a conversation?

John

Email example #2:

Subject: Hi Jason, I was researching Blissful Prospecting and...

Hey Jason,

Took a look at your LinkedIn post on cold calling. Loved your tip on going out to socialize at a coffee shop before making your cold calls. I’m an introvert, so found that helpful!

Not sure if you run into this, but a challenge I’ve heard sales trainers talk about is finding reliable data. Especially if your clients are prospecting within LinkedIn. One way our ABC tool helps is by getting data from LinkedIn into your CRM in half the time. 

Would that be worth a few minutes of your time to chat about?

John

Email example #3:

Subject: Call coaching?

Hey Jason,

Enjoyed your article on four ways to warm up your cold calls. I really liked the tip about warming up prospects by engaging with them on LinkedIn prior to your outreach.

Looks like you offer training/coaching to your clients. One of the challenges can be the time it takes to find patterns in what the resp are doing well and what they need help with. ABC Tool helps trainers like yourself get better results in less time with their clients by analyzing the call recordings for you. 

I’m curious—what kind of tools are you using to coach your clients through their cold calls?

John

Do your best to follow the recommended structure, but don’t be too rigid.

Cold Calls

The key is using a similar structure for your cold calls that's very close to what you're saying in the email.

Cold Call Structure

Intro: “This is [your name] with [your company]. How've you been?”

Purpose: “I noticed [personalization]. The reason for my call is…[empathy/results]."

Call Opening Example:

Intro: “This is Jason Bay with Blissful Prospecting. How've you been?”

Purpose: “I noticed the last post you put up on LinkedIn about growing a sales team. Loved your insight about hiring for attitude instead of skill...

The reason for my call is that I’ve been hearing a lot from Directors of Sales that the sales floor is quieter than they’d like it to be. Prospects aren’t responding to their rep's outreach and they’re looking for more ways fill their pipeline and scale their team’s results. We recently helped ABC Company increase their appointments per rep by 23% within a few months using our Reply Method framework.

Is that something you’re running across right now?”

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