Here are four ways to start conversations with prospects who have little desire to talk with you.
1. Give a solution to a problem you found.
I received an unsolicited voice message on LinkedIn from Nelly Jebran
Here’s Nelly’s message:
“Hi, Josh – been following your posts and love your overall message, especially the 1:1 role-plays, which have been helpful in my biz dev job.
One of my colleagues shared a play from your Badass B2B Guide, and I noticed some awkward sentences and instances of problematic grammar/syntax. I hope you don’t mind, but in the attached PDF, I put some markups and recommended fixes.
I’m wondering if you’d like me to look over your guide, just so the written message matches the impact of your content.
Regardless, keep up the great work.”
Why did this work?
-The acknowledgment was genuine and sincere because it was specific.
By giving away free and high-quality work, Nelly showed me what I could expect if I hired her.-No, no risk. Instead of telling me how awesome she was, she showed me how much more awesome I could be.
-She was humble (“I hope you don’t mind.)
I hired Nelly the next day.
2. Give ideas. This post is an example. This is my preferred cold calling approach. Here’s what I say, “I’m sharing a slideshow on what cold calls that book meetings have in common so you can steal them for your SDRs. Does that sound like something you’d like to see, or am I way off base here?”
3. Give a laugh. When Dale Dupree sold copier machines, he’d send prospects a red sponge that looks like a brick with a note that said, “If you’ve ever wanted to throw a brick at your copy machine, throw this instead. Instruction: Place brick in dominant throwing hand. Aim. Throw. And call me Dale Dupree, the Copier Warrior. When you make people feel good, they want more of you.
4. Give a gift. When Jeremy Leveille ✅ noticed that a VP of Sales was on paternity leave, he sent a onesie embroidered with the company logo. That hits differently than a $5 Starbucks card.
Give more than you ask.