Dec. 2, 2021

How to Utilize Cold Email to Fill Your Sales Funnel

How to Utilize Cold Email to Fill Your Sales Funnel

In today's episode, we delve deeper into the elusive holy grail of sales – the cold email that pays off. The general advice is: keep your email short, sweet, and to the point, and don't try too hard to sell yourself. But how exactly do you get your wordsmith skills to that point, and how to create a call to action that effortlessly galvanizes the reader? Our guest is Shawn Finder, who is a tennis aficionado, author, co-host of the 0 to 5 Million podcast, and Founder of Autoklose. A clear jack of all trades, Finder chats to me today about the challenges and goals of prospecting emails, and shares his top nuggets of gold for getting your foot in the door. It's a pain point for so many salespeople, but he smoothly outlines ways to be efficient and manage it all, amid an inundation of technology and the responsibilities of multichannel networking. We talk about creating a routine for personalization, with learnable examples of using current events to create positive feelings and that elusive initial connection. We also get a concrete list of principal do's and don'ts – specific word count, the 3 second rule, and more – plus actionable advice for upping your click rate and making it easy for the person to answer a call to action. Intent data, the divided opinions on the use of gifs, it's all in here. Just click play and let's dive in.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Some background on our jack-of-all-trades guest, Shawn Finder.
  • Discussing the catalysts for the pendulum shift in emailing and data.
  • How Finder went straight from professional tennis player to a director of sales position.
  • What has changed for better and worse in the industry.
  • How inundation of digital tools can also hinder the efficiency of sales.
  • Where cold emailing stands right now, and why it's the number 1 channel.
  • Finder's advice: don't send an email unless you have 2-3 nuggets about the recipient.
  • Great examples of openers that take advantage of current events.
  • How Finder approaches the balance of ICPs and personalization.
  • The principal do's and don'ts: ideal word count, the 3 second rule, and more!
  • Discussing the most effective style for your call-to-action.
  • Finder shares a genius hack – this one will blow your mind!
  • Are you using your tools to their full advantage?
  • The pros and cons of videos and gifs, and how to use them – if at all. 
  • Finder outlines the exact schedule and structure of follow-up emails. 
  • Intangible ways to follow up while driving growth and prospecting.
  • Creating warm-up steps before the call to action.
  • What's the next frontier? Finder predicts his integrated vision for the future.
  • The challenges for older sales generations to evolve with technology.



“Sales leaders are giving salespeople way too many tools to use on a daily basis... you need to let sales people go and sell” — @FinderShawn [0:09:52]

“People, you do not send an email unless you have 2 to 3 nuggets of that person.” — @FinderShawn [0:15:32]

“You can't just rely on the ICP, you still have to personalize it, but knowing as much as you can about that person that you're prospecting to will get you in front of that person quicker than the competitors.” — @FinderShawn [0:18:58]

“You want to make it sound like you are having a one-on-one conversation with that person. If that same email was sent to you, would you open and reply?” — @FinderShawn [0:34:34]

“If people think you're annoying, it's not a bad thing. If people think you're persistent, it's not a bad thing. You have to be in between persistent and annoying.” — @FinderShawn [0:40:12]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Shawn Finder on LinkedIn

Shawn Finder on Twitter

Shawn Finder on Instagram



0 to 5 Million podcast

Sam Capra on Linkedin

The Sales Samurai B2B Sales Podcast


Title Sponsors:


Speaker 0    00:00:01    Coming to you from Orlando, Florida, Orlando, Florida, and streaming around the world around the world. You're not tuned in to the sales samurai podcast. The only B2B sales podcast, providing unfiltered unapologetic views and tactics directly from the sales trenches. Here's your host, Sam Capra.  
Speaker 1    00:00:27    Welcome to another episode of the sales samurai. Thanks for listening. Before we begin, do us a favor, take a moment to subscribe and download on today's show. We're going to be discussing how to utilize cold email to fill your sales funnel and have an amazing guest for you guys. Sean finder is really kind of a Jack of all trades. He's an author, he's a co-host of the zero to 5 million podcasts. And probably what you're most known for is the founder of auto close, which was actually acquired by vanilla soft back in 2020, Sean man, welcome to the show. How are  
Speaker 2    00:00:59    You? I'm great, Sam. Thanks for having  
Speaker 1    00:01:01    Me. Well, man, it's an absolute pleasure. I mean, we were just talking offline. I hope I didn't interfere with your golfing and your outing of yesterday. I mean, did I preparation for our podcast? Did I?  
Speaker 2    00:01:11    No, no. I went after work yesterday. He got a quick nine in a, just to get the new golf clubs a little bit, uh, use that can say  
Speaker 1    00:01:20    That's the most important aspect of the podcast, getting it on, playing a little golf. That's a whole, that's a completely different podcast we'll do later, but that's awesome, man. Hey, I am really excited because this is actually one of the topics I we've done a couple shows on this around cold email, but I'm really excited to be talking to you for the simple fact that this is such a huge aspect and it's, it's such a pain point for a lot of the sales professionals. I work with my network, so on and so forth that they can't get enough of this because it is still a big conduit to driving pipeline. So we're going to talk about that and I'm really excited about it. But before I do, I like to give the audience a little context for those who don't, aren't familiar with you. I know most of them are. Can you kind of give us the audience just a quick background to kind of what you've been doing, what you're up to your Sean?  
Speaker 2    00:02:04    Yeah, so I grew up as a, a national, a world ranked tennis player became an entrepreneur after that because I had to choose between continuing my education or going pro in tennis. And I decided to continue my education. I started my first company, I would say 2014, which was exchange leads, which was similar to the old jigsaw, which was acquired by  
Speaker 1    00:02:27    Yeah. I used  
Speaker 2    00:02:28    To love Jackson. So we created the same thing and got a few whale clients right at the beginning. Um, and then we just looked at what's next. We have the data and we had a lot of our clients were saying, well, we love your data, but we now need something to email that data. I'm like, well, let's build an email tool. So instead of, uh, paying the Canadian government, a lot of taxes, we built another tool and launched all our clothes in 2017, which was actually just recently acquired in October of 2020 by  
Speaker 1    00:02:55    Congrats man. That was a big acquisition. That was a great acquisition for you guys. Yeah. I forgot you guys. You're up in the Toronto area. So it was funny how you guys were able to pivot that exchange and go to auto close. And that really gave me some context. I know you've given us a lot there. Hey, I love the test. My daughter's a tennis player, so we may have to take that offline. Uh, but secondly, is this whole email and I don't want to go too far down the rabbit hole cause I know we're going to talk about this. There was kind of this pendulum shift in like the outreaches, the sales loft and all these type of solutions evolving. Like what do you think was the biggest catalyst? I'm just more curious than anything, how all those things kind of came to shape.  
Speaker 2    00:03:34    So for me, what it was was I was looking three to five years down the road in about 2015, 16, I was saying, you know, all these companies, you have companies like, you know, sales offering out, we should do that sales engagement email. Then you got the zoom info's and you had, at that time, some of the other, you know, database USA and all the other ones DMB that do the data. So my whole thing was, there was only one company at the time was called grow botch. That was actually doing a combination of both. So I'm like, I saw just consolidation in the marketplace for everything. And I'm like, well, why not just bring the email and the data under one umbrella, be able to sell both product lines. And that's what Kim, we just kind of looked at the data and said, okay, well people need data, but they also need to email the data. So instead of them going to a SalesLoft or outreach, let's build a similar tool, keep our data, people that are clients in house and had it all under one umbrella. That's how we came up with the idea of auto  
Speaker 1    00:04:23    That's fantastic, man. I love, and we'll kind of dig in there a little bit, but talk to me a little bit about obviously the tennis piece of things, but obviously you've got more into the sales side of things with exchange and then obviously into auto close before the acquisition for vanilla soft, talk to me, why sales, how did you kind of land in the sales?  
Speaker 2    00:04:39    And if you will, it's actually a pretty interesting story. So when I decided not to become a professional tennis player, I actually went and did my MBA in finance and I was working on the trading floors with the top five Canadian banks here and had, I would say no sales experience on the workplace. But at that point I stopped playing tennis and I was coaching tennis. So when I was coaching tennis, it was just like, you know, there's five coaches there there's clients that come in and looking for lessons. And I had to figure out a way of how can I sell myself to get that lesson, to get that private lesson. So what happened was I actually left my job with CIVC. At the time I went in for an interview and I was going through recruiter for a finance roles and he goes, listen, he goes, I have some financials because I have somebody in the computer software space and hardware space.  
Speaker 2    00:05:26    That's looking for a director of sales. I know you have no sales experience on your resume, but you kind of understand sales. And I think your personality with it being an extrovert, et cetera, you'd be a perfect person. What happened was I went in for the interview, did really well in the interview. The Roth would be $20,000 more than I would've gotten finance. I'm like, well, I'm going where the money's at. And I ended up taking that director of sales role, managing a team without ever doing a cold call or any sales in my entire life.  
Speaker 1    00:05:55    So, so let me make, I understand this correctly. So you were on the trading floor and you were kind of looking to do something different or a little different role within the organization, kind of went in for more of a finance position if you will. And then just somebody said, Hey, I think you're actually a better fit for this director of sales role that we have or we're looking at.  
Speaker 2    00:06:14    Yeah. And, and they, the recruiting for my use with Robert half finance division, they only had finance roles. He had one person who asked him a few days before. Do you know anyone that's interested in director of sales? And he just said, Sean, you just going for the interview, give it a go and see. And, uh, and that's what happened happening randomly going to a director of sales role for an email archive and company that sold the, uh, software and hardware. Um, and on the first day of that role as a director of sales, when I actually went to buy a list for my reps, when the data came up, the idea of exchange lists and started my  
Speaker 1    00:06:50    Well, that was a quick one-two punch for you, Sean. It was  
Speaker 2    00:06:53    The CTO of the company. I came up with the idea after we spent in wired some money for a list and the quality was terrible. I was walking. I remember right now I was walking in the hallway to get lunch in the, under the key in place, which is like, where all the bankers eat lunch. I was walking. Like, I don't know why nobody's created, like instead of doing quantity of data, like quality, he's like, well, we can do it out of Serbia, Eastern Europe. I'm like, well, let's do it. So he introduced me to his best friend who was a developer. It's been six years and he is still my co-founder and the developer is still my developer.  
Speaker 1    00:07:26    That is awesome, man. I always love to hear you, especially as you being a professional tennis player, I always love to hear the origin stories because I've yet, and I'm going to knock on wood. I still think it's going to happen one of these days. I'm not sure when I've never heard someone said, yeah, I was growing up as a child. And I always dreamed about being a salesperson and selling sales technology. That was my, always my life. I'm sure you were teetering between sales and do I want to be a professional? I mean, I'm sure that outranked tennis, at some point being  
Speaker 2    00:07:52    It was, you know, it, it came down to, uh, at the time when I was playing tennis, there was never a communion tennis player that actually made a living off playing professional. Now we have three people in the top 20, like tennis and tennis is amazing now. And I actually coached a few of the ones that are at the top tennis players now because they're both 15 years younger than me, but there was never a piece of my mom. My mom and dad used to say to me, they go, Sean, you, you know, you, you either can go pro. And if you don't go pro you're going to be a tennis coach or you can go the education and the sky's the limit. You can become an entrepreneur, et cetera, et cetera. I sometimes regret not going that route just because my old doubles partner still plays on the ATP tour. And uh, but I've, you know, I've had a successful run with both businesses. So I shouldn't complain, but I started playing again about two months ago, every week. So I'm getting back into it, but I'm not in the same shape. I was Sam in those days. Let's just say that I'm with you.  
Speaker 1    00:08:42    I just got a bed this morning and I stubbed my pine muscle just hurt for no reason, which led to me, stubbing my toe. And I'm thinking to myself, there was a point I actually played college basketball and I was really active. Like I can bounce back. Now I can get out of bed without hurting myself, but I understand, Hey, I always liked this piece of it as well, because you've been doing this a lot. I mean, you've been doing this a long while. I always like to ask, what do you think just from a sales perspective, I'm going to give you two scenarios from a sales perspective. What do you think has gotten better in our industry? And what do you think has gotten worse? So kind of give me both sides from what you've seen. You know, I've been in for a couple of decades now and I can still remember dialing from the yellow pages. What's gotten better. And then obviously, maybe what's gotten,  
Speaker 2    00:09:25    Okay, that's a great question. I would say the thing has gone better as people are now understanding that you have to go more multi-channel and you can't rely just on one channel. Therefore, you know, back in the day, you can just rely on knocking on doors and giving a flyer. Then it turned into, you can just cold call. Then it turned into email. But now what people are doing is they're kind of doing a combination of email phone, and definitely social LinkedIn, et cetera. So that's the good, the bad is that sales leaders are giving salespeople way too many tools to use on a daily basis. They have 20 tabs on their computer. And I always, and this is one of my guys that taught me a year and a half ago. He came up to me one day, cause I was pounding him on update your serum, update this. He goes, listen, you have two options, option a I can sell and make you a lot of money or option B. I can be a professional CRM. Inputer you pick what you want. And it was because there was 15 different tools and every company's just buying more tools and more tools thinking, well, that's going to solve the problem. It's not, you need to let sales people go and sell. You need to plan your day accordingly. Um, so I would say that is the good, and I would see more of the bad and the ugly,  
Speaker 1    00:10:36    You know, that's, uh, it's actually the first time that's actually where I'm asked that question quite a bit on, early on in the podcast. And I always hear, you know, good drives efficiency technology. It's always kind of hinges around technology drives efficiency and scale. That's great. Multichannel. The challenge I've always heard is it just creates a lot more noise where I used to be able to make a hundred emails. I get 50 meetings now, I guess not 2000 emails to get what, like just the noise is that much more exorbitant, but you know, that's a good catch on your side, Sean, because this inundation of technology where you're right now, I got 16 tools. I got BombBomb over here. I got my email tool over here. I got, you know, whatever other system over here and I'm trying to manage it all and still all the while do my actual job, which is actually sell business, which is actually what I've been hired to do. And that's a good catch on your side because, you know, as a sales leader, I find myself I've done that. I mean, I look at my tech stack. I'm like, geez, we actually got quite a few technologies for being the size of organization. We are. How do we effectively manage that? So that's, that's the  
Speaker 2    00:11:35    Great catch you just for this podcast recording. I think I had to delete 12 of my tablet up there that might just be hitting me throughout the conversations. I'm like, I shouldn't have to delete all 12 just to go and speak for 45 minutes with some people.  
Speaker 1    00:11:48    This is thing is before our session, I airplane mode my phone on airplane mode, my apple watch airplane I'm airplane mode and everything. I almost forget most of the time. That's funny. Hey, I also want to dovetail off that cause we want to hop into the subject that we're going to talk about, but actually I'm going to save that for later. Cause I think that might be a good lead into the conversation. We're going to have what we're going to discuss today. And I kind of mentioned this at the very top is really how to utilize cold email to really fill the sales funnel. Right? I want to actually kick things off Sean, because I want to get your feedback on this. So it was like paint the landscape of why this is an important subject. And I know, you know, this is near and dear to your heart, but as I've been talking to a lot of people in my space, I mean kind of going back, look at some of the statistics on where is cold email right now.  
Speaker 1    00:12:30    So Hey, I want to share it and then I want to get your feedback on it. So cut a couple statistics. I've been reading. So by 293 million emails were sent in 2019 that expanded to about 306 billion, this or daily, by the way, not, not a year that's daily and that's supposed to expand in 2021 by 20 to 25%. So going back to that noise, right? So many emails, but yet B2B companies still say email is the best bang for their buck in driving conversations, revenue, whatever the case might be. So still, still very valuable, still better understanding still drives a lot of momentum. Hey, I want to get your thoughts on that from a landscape standpoint, where do you see those? The state of email and B2B currently,  
Speaker 2    00:13:16    I will say those numbers are skewed a little bit only because of the pandemic and the reason why is we had, when the pandemic hit, we had the highest growth over those months that we ever had. And the reason why is here, people now working from home, they don't have business phone numbers. What channels should you be using? More is email because you know, people are reading their emails more, they're sitting on their couch more they're on their phone more. So we found that our emails, like you said, 20 to 25%, that's the growth of the number of emails just in our platform that had increased over that time as well. So that number is very accurate. So I do think the email is still going up now at some point, I don't know if that's next year, two years, whatever that might be. It'll start the stable off a little bit and go back to what it used to maybe a little bit different, but email has become the number one channel it's because you know, people are always on some sort of technology and they're not driving to the office, not leaving the office.  
Speaker 2    00:14:11    They're not sitting in the office. So, but it's also very important that the biggest thing, I think people are making mistakes with their emails is the personalization though. Sam, I cannot tell you, people that did not use to send emails are starting to send emails now. And I can give you just one story of a client complaint a few weeks ago. And it was just like, it was just like, you have not sent emails of, you're asking me some questions like this. So I think people are starting to get familiar with it, but it's just not personalized. And people just make some very big mistakes.  
Speaker 1    00:14:41    Yeah. And that's actually, because I know, you know, obviously what you were doing an auto close and just your background, you've probably analyzed millions and millions of emails and you've probably got some amazing stories. I don't know if they're considered amazing, but you probably got some stories on some things that you say, Hey, or just don't don't ever do this. And then obviously the flip side of here's the best practices. And I'm going to jump into that, but I want to get your thoughts on this because you brought up personalization. So before we put the cart before the horse and say, what do we need to say? Like, we gotta do some preparation. Like what should be our routine? I mean, I hear, I see PS all the time. What's your value prop? Like how do I personalize this? So when I am getting to the stage of what my subject line looks like, what my body looks like, it's a relevant message to the relevant person. That's going to give a better opportunity to actually drive that next call to action. So what is the, what's kind of the foundational piece before we hop into the copy, if you will, of,  
Speaker 2    00:15:32    So I always tell myself, people, you got to, if you do not send an email us, you have two to three nuggets of that person. Now nuggets can be uneven. There's different. LinkedIn, you know, for example, SIM or anybody listening today, you want to send me a cool demo. You mentioned one tennis player. You mentioned one thing about tennis. I will tell you if I get 50 emails today, I'm replying to your email and it's the truth I do. So I've had people say, you know, Sam, like you said, your daughter's in tennis. I haven't to people. Must you say I'm getting my son in, in tennis. Sean, I have one question. They asked me the question. I know the follow up email is going to be their sales pitch, but it puts me in a good mood. So I think knowing two, three things, you know, I'm going to give you, I'm going to give the audience one thing that really works well for us.  
Speaker 2    00:16:10    And we've had many times and call it a little bit tacky, but it works is all, always look at like for example, the super bowl, the Kansas city chiefs win the super bowl. I have my sales team focusing for the next week, just on Kansas city. And the subject line has super bowl champs, great win, dot exit. And it works every time because if you get the right person, who's passionate about football, you've already won because it's the first really like, oh wow. Yeah, I'm in such a good mood. Can see chiefs won the super bowl, let me reply. And it works every time. So two to three nuggets are important, but if you can find a real life event, like, you know, if I was going to email somebody in Jamaica and Hussain bolt, when the a hundred meter dash, the Olympics, it puts them in that positive mindset. And they see that email like, oh, he was saying, he's from Jamaica, I'm Jamaican, et cetera. It works very well.  
Speaker 1    00:17:02    That's a great catch because you know, it's funny that scenario you painted about the Kansas state chiefs. I was born and raised in Kansas city. My whole family's chiefs fans, which I am too, but they're playing against my Tampa bay Buccaneers in the super bowl. So you're in a conundrum with me because you're going to pitch Casey, but it is. And we used to do that in a past life where, when someone won the NCAA March madness, it was the tar heels or something. We used to do the same kind of search for anyone that graduated from UNC. So that's a great, that's great.  
Speaker 2    00:17:28    And the college court and the great to the college sport college sports, when, because everyone in the U S is so passionate about college football, that you can literally go to ESPN, find out how that team did the day before. Say, great, win over ball state, put that as a subject line and then go into your pitch.  
Speaker 1    00:17:44    Only when I was like, Hey, somebody won the March madness tournament. That is a great catch. That ESPN should be almost like a trigger, a trigger as a, from a data standpoint, Hey, anyone that is like this and they had a victory in basketball, that's a great catch. Where does ICP? So, you know, I hear ICPC, ICPC keeps bubbling up from ABM and everything else like, like how do you approach ICP Sean, in the context of how you prepare for cold email and the whole,  
Speaker 2    00:18:09    We spent the whole weekend actually in the office. This is what a month ago. Um, just discussing our ICP is discussing the different content. And the reason why you have to know your ICP is years ago when we were their SDRs, it would be like, okay, we're going to go after these people, they have this problem. But if you think about it, you know, what is the problem? An SDR has as many demos on their calendar as possible. Now, if you're reaching out to a national sales manager, what do they want? Well, they want their, they want their SDRs to hit quarters. So they get their bonuses. So the messaging you're going to send, and if you go to an owner, an owner wants to spend less money by get a return on their investment. So you need to find these, the ICP is of anyone your prospect do and make sure that the pains or challenges that person's facing, it could be the same company, but each person, that company has a different pain or challenge that they're facing and something that they want to overcome. So I think is, is definitely the way to prospect. You have to, you can't just rely on the ICP stuff to personalize it, but knowing as much as you can about that person, that you're prospecting to will only get you in front of that person quicker than the competitors.  
Speaker 1    00:19:10    That's perfect, man. I think that's a great piece of feedback for the simple fact that, you know, I remember going back to good and bad. I remember the days of just dialing down the yellow pages and it was just kind of just throw it up and hope it sticks. And you know, I think that's how I bought the, when people say cold calling is dead. I think that type of coal that's what I think is called that type of cold calling, I think is that you've got to have an understanding of who really can benefit from your solution and then go after those. So I want to transition a bit because this is going to be the fun part of things. I want to talk a little bit about. You've been analyzing millions of millions of emails. So give me some of the immediate feedback, like the do's and don'ts like, what have you seen that has really just been, Hey, never do this versus some ideas around what they should be doing.  
Speaker 2    00:19:57    A few things. First subject lines, people now, as we've talked about earlier in the podcast, they're there on their phone. So they're on their mobile device. People still feel like they still need to send eight, 10 word subject lines. When if you look at your phone, you're only seeing three words. So if your three words don't resonate with that person, it doesn't matter what the other six are, because they're not going to see. And they're not gonna read your email. So getting that subject, like the three to five words, but the biggest mistake, I see it all the time, the first line in the body, paragraph of an email. So for example, if I said, hi Sam, my name is Sean finder. I am the CEO of auto close, and I can help you with dot, dot, dot, dot dot. Why am I talking about myself?  
Speaker 2    00:20:39    You already see my email. My name is Sean and auto I've already given you my name. I've given you my email. You have my website. So why are you even seeing, if I said, hi, SIM, I can get you 40,000 more views on your podcast today. You're more likely to reply to something like that than me staying high shot. So I caught the three second rule. The first three seconds, you have to hit that prospect with a pain or a challenge. If you don't have to do with a pain or a challenge, they're not going to read your other email. So that would be one thing. The second thing is either none too many call to actions. People might say Sam, so you can reach me. Here's my phone. Number six, four seven, or email Make it very easy for the prospect. Leave one call to action.  
Speaker 2    00:21:25    And the funny story I was mentioning earlier, Sam was this. I got a call on a client that was just complaining about all her clothes and like, what's wrong. He goes, well, I have a 0% click rate on this email. I'm like, okay, can you see the email? It shows me the moment. I can tell you right away while you have a 0% click rate. So that's the kind of thing you have to understand is one call to action, make it simple. And the last thing I would say is don't be salesy. Keep it. I say between 50 to 75 words, max, you want to be short, sweet and to the point and not try and sell yourself in that email.  
Speaker 0    00:21:59    You're listening to the sales samurai podcast. We'll be right back after this break.  
Speaker 3    00:22:08    Sales samurai is excited to announce the launch of the largest database of B2B sales resources on the planet. 600 plus resources with more added every single day search sort and filter, leaning, software providers, podcasts, books, blogs, and so much more, the best part. It's absolutely free to search. Go to sales, to start your search.  
Speaker 1    00:22:36    So the subject line about three words or less, because that's what they're going to see on their phone. That's going to drive. Do I get an open or do I not get an open? And then then initial sentence, Hey, I am Sam from flexing engage. We can all that is garbage. They're not going to move past it. Hey, but if we can drive 40,000 more views to your podcast, whatever that is, that that interest creating statement. If you will, to capture that immediate, you said the three second rule, right? Sean, that's the three second rule and then call to action wise. Well, let me ask you on that call to action is that cause there's like to your point, like I've heard a lot of different schools of thoughts on the initial email. Hey, you should ask for a meeting or you should not ask for a meeting, should ask a question in the first email just to get a re like they deal with you. Hey, I've got a question on my daughter's tennis to get you to engage then pivot and the w where, where do you land on that? What are you seeing from a best practice around that?  
Speaker 2    00:23:27    So it all depends on the niche and the industry, Sam, to be honest, I've, I've seen for us personally, some of our SDRs will go right into a Calendly, but others will ask a question like in SIM, are you currently using a sales engagement tool question mark, just a one-liner and you'd be like, well, yeah, we're using, you know, um, outreach. Oh, you know, what, what are the, like, what features do you like and what do you dislike? And then if they say, oh, well, we dislike how they have a disgusting user interface. Oh, well, you know, our user interface does day B, C, D, and then you go, I'd love to show you 15 minutes. So there's different ways to do it. We've analyzed it, it depends like it's weird because with computer software space, the count only really worked. But when we talk like insurance space, it's like, get to know them first and then doing the second or third  
Speaker 1    00:24:12    That's I think the common denominator we, we, we, we do in sales. I don't know if it's a universal, but I think it might be in talking through this a number of times. I think it goes back to that ICP and really understanding who you're talking to. Cause I was having this conversation before, you know, trying to call people in similar roles in, in personas, maybe even in the same industry. Right? So all insurance people at the same time, so you're not constantly pivoting. And your top track when I'm talking about a cold call, if you will, but even from an email standpoint, it does help your mind kind of get around. How do I want to approach this in a very effective, efficient manner? So I think that's a good call out. They're not one size does not fit all, but because you're right.  
Speaker 1    00:24:51    Callin leak, I've seen work fantastic in certain segments. And then I can't get anyone to click on it in other areas. So that's amazing. Talk, talk to me a little bit about, so you said 75 words or less, that's also kind of the ideal link from a body standpoint, be clear, concise to the point a call to action, the whole nine yards. What have you seen just from like things that are like, I hear video is a big thing now, like, Hey, you should be using a BombBomb. You should be using a video or whatever. Like what are you guys seeing around that? Is that a value? Is that a good way? Talk? I know it's all unique to the individual industry, but from best practices wise, how do you guys use that? Internally?  
Speaker 2    00:25:26    A hundred percent. And we mix in videos. We do mix in videos in our sequences. We might do two emails than a video. For example, if we do a webinar, we always do a thank you video after another little, little tip that I've done in the past that might work and I'll give it to the audience here is for example, say you have a, you know, you're looking for VPs in the manufacturing space and you got a list, get a list of 20 to 30 mikes that are VPs of sales in the manufacturing space, do one video saying, Hey Mike, I'm just following up. You can get 30 videos done with one video and you're saving yourself a lot of time and it works because it's personalized, but they don't know that you've said that the 30 different mics in the same space,  
Speaker 1    00:26:08    This is probably the best tip I have ever heard in my freaking life, man. That is amazing. I never even, and I am the king of trying to find any way of milk, getting enough juice from the squeeze. So that is fantastic, man. So go in, obviously identify all the mikes within your ICP, if you will, and then create that video, which is personalized because it is all Mike and then that is your BombBomb or your video or whatever solution you might be using at the time. That's fantastic.  
Speaker 2    00:26:38    You could even do it as far as finding all the VPs of sales in Texas and be like, Hey, um, I was actually visiting Texas last week, et cetera. You know, you can do different things and then just, you know, use it, get that one nugget to personalize it. And it really works.  
Speaker 1    00:26:53    Hey, so it's funny. Cause I want to go back to that because I think this is a big piece, was a lot of things you're saying are just driving efficiency and tips to maximize. And you said earlier, I, I challenged my people to get three nuggets about something, you know, like you said, you referenced the Kansas city chiefs, like, like how do you do, like, I always try to go to LinkedIn and I say, Hey, are they linked? Are they posting anything personally? And if they don't, then I go to their company. I said, what was the company talking about anything? And then my third kind of my see option is I go to the industry as a whole. I mean, that's kind of my baselines, like how, how do you guys, like, do you have a kind of a workflow that your team follows? Like, okay, Hey, we're going to check our first. And we're like, give the audience some ideas on what's the best way of identifying some quick nuggets for the,  
Speaker 2    00:27:36    We use, we use, we use Chrome plugins. Um, but for us, the interests are right on the LinkedIn profiles. So like, for example, if you go to my, if you go to LinkedIn right now and you type in keyword tennis, I mean, you're going to see it on my profile. So I think, um, I think LinkedIn is a great tool. Um, our crab, all that different stuff. There's Chrome plugins, frigging that you can type in a keyword on some of these Chrome plugins and literally, um, it'll bring all the profiles that match that keyword. So, um, I, I still think LinkedIn is the best tool out there. If you're going really high up and looking for decision-makers maybe is better. Um, but depending on the size of the company, if you're looking for SMB companies, they might not be really an hour, an hour news. Um, uh, and funny, you mentioned Alor because the founder of jigsaw was the founder valor, Jim Fowler. He started jigsaw and he, then he sold jigsaw to Salesforce and they started out her.  
Speaker 1    00:28:31    I had so many jigsaw credits. It wasn't even funny cause I always input it all my life. And then when I went away, when Salesforce acquired, it stayed the same for a while, but I, that was one of my favorite tools of all time. And then, yeah, that's a different subject, but that's cool. I did not know that about the founder of jigsaw. I was actually the founder of Albert. Um, okay. So one thing I wanted to ask you about as well, because I've also tested this, I want to get your thoughts on this. You know, we're all trying to separate ourselves from the noise. Uh, you know, and through this email, a lot of the stuff that you've been giving has been fantastic tips, but like where do you fall? Like on gifts, I know gifts and images at one point in time, you know, the breakup email and the dear Gibeah emails. And Hey, if you're, if you're getting chased by a hippo, just let me know your email, me not interested, or number one, number two, like where do you fall on some of those things? So let's start with the gift and the image are those things. Are you guys seeing anything from that? Help me understand that a bit.  
Speaker 2    00:29:25    So it's funny you ask that because some people on my team are asking us to prioritize that as a development feature and me personally, I think it's kind of tacky, so I'm not totally against it. However, I would say this, I would not send one of those to a, a C level person. If you want to go and speak to somebody that's maybe an account executive or someone a little lower down on the decision tree pole, maybe it'll work. I make money. I've seen people put like coffees where they put their name on the coffee and they do it and stuff to me, it's like, let's skip the bullshit back and forth and let's get down to the point. What do you want? What do you want? What are you selling me? Is it, is it something I need rather than just do these images that you know, I laughed for a second and then don't take the person seriously. A lot of people on my team really liked them and love them. So I shouldn't put them down. But, but for me personally, I think they're a little bit tacky.  
Speaker 1    00:30:18    That's funny. You mentioned that for the simple fact that, you know, I've heard both sides of that coin. I was just doing a, another podcast and they said that there was actually a big drop gifts for a while was like really pop, like the open rate. I mean the apply rate. It's just, Hey, that was really funny. Whatever we're really spiked for about six months and just like anything in our space, it gets saturated and it just plummets and it's never a bounce back, like anything else. So I was curious if you were seeing, but it is neat to hear that your team, you guys are kind of divided house to some degree on what that looks like  
Speaker 2    00:30:50    On the priority. Just a little bit farther down that I keep, I keep pushing it down the list, but at some point I think I'm going to have to give in cause uh, one of our competitors does do it and the smaller guys really like to use it, but our bigger clients don't so it's one of those things. When we have a little few weeks for of time for a sprint, I'll probably put it in.  
Speaker 1    00:31:10    That's awesome, man. And then here's the one that I wanted to ask you about because what I've seen, cause you were mentioning, what's worked with you and what hasn't worked with you when people are reaching out to you kind of drives me mad is people try to personalize it, but they don't hook it back to how that's relevant to their solution. Like, like to your point around, they'll send me an image and it's a queue damage. But like how does that apply to what you do or what you're asking?  
Speaker 2    00:31:34    That's different. That's actually, if you can personalize it, like if you're going to send me a picture of a coffee, for example, I'm not a coffee drinker, it's not going to resonate with me. But if you personalize and you find that interest and then you find that image of the interest, like Andre Agassi, for me, that might be,  
Speaker 1    00:31:49    But here's the thing that drives me a little bit insane is I just received one the other day. It was like, coffee is for CLA coffee for closers, right. Something of that nature. It wasn't that exactly. But they sent me something like that. But then their solution, like I was like, so I'm thinking it's a sales tool that there's like, Hey, coffee's for closers. We can help you close X amount. But it was for some, like, I don't even know analytics solution. That was really, it was a real big reach. And I was like, this doesn't make sense to me. I just deleted. I looked at thing I moved like, but I've see that a lot in today's day. They're trying to be really catchy. They're trying to say, Hey, I know you're in Orlando, the house of the mouse. Oh, by the way, here's what we can do. Like that. Didn't like that doesn't do enough for me to say, yeah, you've done your research. Yeah. You looked at me, I'm in Orlando and that's where Disney world's that. But how the hell does that relate to what you're doing? What you're going to try and pitch me. That's not personalization.  
Speaker 2    00:32:38    I was going to pitch you SIM I just put something, you know, one of the professional women's tennis player says your, your  
Speaker 1    00:32:44    Younger daughter can be this soon and that will definitely get your attention. Okay. If that's the case, then I'm not going to be doing podcasting for very much longer. I'm not working any much longer. Talk to me a little bit of other, some other dudes do's and don'ts that you've kind of seen that maybe are more recent for you or your liking or maybe that you're seeing trending Sean that are some best practices that might, you know, we might be able to implement as well. Yeah.  
Speaker 2    00:33:08    So the number of followups, I think people don't understand that a cold DEMA versus a warmer email deserves different amount of followups. So I like to always say, you know, seven to 10 follow-ups for a really cold email, over 30 to 45 days or more emails. I say three to six, three to five, keep them very short. For example, your first email might be 50 or 75 words, but your second and third might be, Hey Sam. Um, as we close out the week, I want to see a few, uh, ended up seeing a, and then on Monday I'd be like, Hey, just following up as we, as we start the week. So keep them very personalized throughout not only the first email, but the rest of the sequence, integrate social. So different things you can do that are, I call them intangible. You can go on LinkedIn.  
Speaker 2    00:33:51    And I can just like, Sam's comment on Sam's view his profile, endorsed him for something. And I'm not calling Sam emailing Sam doing anything to Sam. Sam is just going to see her as newsfeed. Sean, Sean, Sean, Sean, Sean. So when I send that next email, I'd be like, oh, Sean sent name sounds familiar. I think, I think he commented on my last LinkedIn post. Let me see what he's saying. So doing these intangible things on LinkedIn really, really help drive that growth in that prospecting. So besides that, as we've mentioned, personalization, if you're going to do images, et cetera, still, I liked what you said. Keep them personal. If you're going to put something a coffee mug, make sure the person likes coffee. If the person likes tea, put a tea. So I think there's different things you have to do, but keep it personalized. You want to make it sound like you were having a one-on-one conversation with that person when they read that email, the most important thing is if that same email was sent to you, would you open and reply if you say yes,  
Speaker 1    00:34:46    That makes sense. Hey, so I liked what you were saying. Cause I, this actually is a nice segue to where I wanted to take this as well is, you know, we were talking about, I think you said that the good stuff about what's happening in sales is multi-channel we understand we gotta to be a lot of different areas and touch them in different ways. There's a couple of things there. You just explain one thing that I think many people miss, not everything you do is a call to action, like commenting or liking it. It's warming it up. It's it's, it's getting the like, so I think we lose like, Hey, why am I using that? LinkedIn? I'm not driving a call. Like I think sometimes we lose sight that it it's not the, every the battle it's the lore. Like you're, you're, you're, you're doing this over a period of time. Is that kind of the approach you take? And that's how you educate your team that, Hey, this is kind of a warmup step or this is just kind of an awareness step. Talk to us a little bit about that, Sean.  
Speaker 2    00:35:35    I always say a baseball games, not one in the first dinner. Your hockey is not one in the first period. So you have to take the same thing to sales. You have to be going into LinkedIn and commenting and building conversations. So Sam might comment than something. Comment on Sam's comment and ask Sam a question, get into conversation with them there. So you have to do those eight different things, those eight innings of groundwork and due diligence, and get to know that person before you bring in that close or in the ninth inning. So I a hundred percent believe that you need to be doing the groundwork and building that momentum. So that, that prospect not only sees you throughout those first data things, but when it comes to that ninth, then he's like, you know, I've already spoken to Sam a few times. Let me give him 15 minutes.  
Speaker 1    00:36:16    So tell me this as we're going through this, what's the next frontier, like when we're talking about like, all these channels are getting, like you were saying, you speak email and phone used to be able to do those two things and you were pretty successful. Then all of a sudden, now you haven't do social selling. It's LinkedIn. And it's a lot of this blocking and tackling, liking conduits all takes time and we all have quotas and all this stuff that we're being tasked with doing like, where do you think we're heading? Like, what's the next channel? What's the next frontier?  
Speaker 2    00:36:44    My personal opinion is I believe in the next one to three years and I'm looking into, there's only, there's a one or I think there's one company doing, I forgot the name is everything's going to be around intent data. And what I think is going to be is for example, slack, it's going to take intent from all the eight tabs you have up front, you have CRMs marketing, sales, everything BombBomb, every like LinkedIn, it's going to take intent. And it's going to kind of tell you in slack and say, Hey, Sam has done three touches, read three of your things. Two of your things he's, he's replied to, he's calmed down three things. He's your warmest prospect. And you take all the different stuff from all the different platforms into slack and tell you the exact date time when I should reach out to Sam. So I think it's going to be a lot of consolidating all these different tools into intent data. Um, it's going to be a big market. I've heard there's one company that actually just, just partnered with outreach, I think recently, but there's a company I think in 10 data's what's what's coming. Um, and that's going to be the next phase of sale.  
Speaker 1    00:37:43    And that's a good catch because I remember a few years back there was this opportunity analytics and it would tell based off all your activities and everything, what opportunities are most likely going to be able to close and in what period of time, but that's kind of the next step to it is that intent is it gives you an aggregate of all their interactions to truly saying so, and then that allows you as a sales rep. Hey, if I'm, if I'm having to make 50 calls today, what are the best five that I have the best opportunity to reaching or engaging with or talk  
Speaker 2    00:38:12    And it'll queue it up for you, it'll cue it up  
Speaker 1    00:38:14    For you. Gotcha. Do you think in that component, like as we're going down that path and correct me if I'm wrong, because this is my belief, I truly believe sales professionals are going to have to get much more technically savvy as we continue down because everything is going more technology banks. And not saying that everyone needs to be the next avant or bill gates or whatever, but like, we've got to kind of sharpen our, our, our acts a bit for the simple fact that things are going that way. Right? Because you said there's so many different tools out there there's going to be some consolidation, but are you seeing that from a sales perspective, just understanding the sales tech stack and the tools that are available to you. Like we're not maximizing, I guess that's where I'm going with this. Like, I mean, I don't think to think to the tools that we have, even with an outreach. I don't think we're, we're typically we're on the, I think we're getting past the tip of the spear. If you will.  
Speaker 2    00:39:09    I already think what you mentioned Sam's already started happening. I think the problem people have is I think these companies want all these salespeople to be tech savvy, but the problem is you can't get rid of the people that have been there for 25 years and don't want to learn new habits. I look at, for example, my wife's company, she has, you know, some sales people have been there 30, 35 years and trying to teach them Salesforce is like, you know, it was like trying to teach me how to build a house with a towel, telling somebody it's a tough task. So I think as these people continue to get older and they retire, I think the younger generation is definitely all about tech, but it's still tough to teach those, the old dogs, new tricks. So I think it's going to continue to evolve. I think it's already happening, but I think over the next five, 10 years, it'll keep too, as people start to retire and a little bit older, the younger generation is going to continue to do it. And within 10 years, I think if you don't know tech, if you don't know how to use a CRM, if you don't know how to do a marketing tool, sales tool, et cetera, you'll be left behind  
Speaker 1    00:40:02    Final thoughts, feedback for the audience. Any last tips, feedback that you want to give to the  
Speaker 2    00:40:07    That's. My only thing I would say is in sales and people love and hate when it says, if people think you're annoying, it's not a bad thing. If people think your persistence is not a bad thing, you have to be in between persistent and annoying because it takes followups. So if you're thinking you're going to send one or two emails and sit back and they're just gonna reply, no, you have to be like a pit bull and continue to follow up, continue to personalize and try and always continue to think of different ways that your competitors aren't doing. Like I've mentioned the video. I said how you can personalize to Mike for all the VPs of sales and national, for example, think of different ways that differentiate yourself. So if you say to yourself, my competition is probably doing this, but you can say, well, I'm going to try this, try new things. And you'll be very successful in sales.  
Speaker 1    00:40:50    Yeah. That's a good call out for the simple fact that following up it is a fine line between being persistent, being annoying. But here's, here's the thing that I think this kind of goes back to our original point is I think with all this technology, we just think, Hey, if we build it, they'll come. I'm sending you for, I'm doing these LinkedIn, all this stuff is being automated for me. Why aren't you coming to me? One person told me it's going to make good salespeople better, but the technology will make lazy salespeople even lazier. I kind of have seen that. I was actually, I didn't know if I would agree with that or not. I think that's what I've started to see is that they lean on the tools and say, come to me, I'm batching and blasting. I'm doing everything I'm supposed to do. Why aren't you replying to me? Well, Hey Sean, I sincerely appreciate you taking the time. It's always fun to have these types of conversations. Thanks again for coming on Sam. Thanks for having me.  
Speaker 0    00:41:42    Thank you for listening to the sales samurai podcast with your host, Sam Capra. Be sure you subscribe to our podcast and visit sales and join the conversation. Access show notes and discover bonus content. 

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Shawn Finder


Shawn Finder has always been an entrepreneur at heart. At age 24, Shawn entered the entrepreneurial world after competing as one of Canada's top-ranked tennis players. He started out importing packaging from Asia and selling it to top retailers in North America. However, knowing he always loved selling and list building, he founded ExchangeLeads in 2013 which helps his company build quality lists for outreaching new prospects. This was followed by his new venture Autoklose in 2017 that combines both sales engagement and list building an all-in-one platform. Autoklose was recently acquired by VanillaSoft in October 2020