The anti-template – how I got a meeting with @Drift’s VP of Marketing with a super long, bespoke, cold email

I have sent a lot of emails in my life.

If you run content marketing or SEO at a large enterprise org or very hot startup, you may have gotten an email or two from me.

I’ve sent some bad ones and I’ve sent some good ones. Right now, I’m going to talk about one of the good ones.

If you are sending outbound emails and your response rate is hovering around or below 3%, you can use this strategy to make real connections with real people, instead of just sending out more mail merges.

A few months ago, I was able to book a meeting off of a single cold email with one of the hottest startups out there: Drift. They are a rocketship and just raised their Series C. They have a strong brand and their messaging is very, very clear – which makes them much easier to appeal to and connect with. I targeted their VP of Marketing, Dave Gerhardt.

Before you go thinking this approach is going to turn around your quarter, there’s something you should know… this approach doesn’t scale. At all.

Great minds think alike

Don’t worry, it’s not supposed to ???
Continue reading “The anti-template – how I got a meeting with @Drift’s VP of Marketing with a super long, bespoke, cold email”

Authentic Sales Presentations: How Your Team Can Win More By Being Themselves

If a prospect smells BS coming from a rep during a demo or sales presentation, the deal’s already dead. Every buyer has an internal BS radar. The bigger the ACV, the more fine-tuned their radar. The second it’s triggered, the chances of closing the sale are obliterated.

If your team is puffing out their chests and selling in a way that isn’t true to themselves, prospects are going to spot their routine and shut down. To connect with buyers, salespeople need to develop their own unique selling style that’s true to themselves. We’ve all listened to a new account executive struggle through a sales presentation. It’s awkward for everyone involved. On the flip side, when you hear someone speak authentically, with conviction and authority, you want to trust them immediately. They may be pitching you, but it doesn’t feel like you are being sold.

Check out this presentation from Gary Vaynerchuk:

He’s fast talking, pulls no punches, jumps around from topic to topic — and is as authentic as can be. When you listen to him present, there’s no doubt that he’s the real deal. No veneer, no polish – just a person speaking his mind and educating you about what he believes. But… if that new AE on your team tried to talk to a prospect like that, would it work for them?


That AE would come off scatterbrained, pushy and over the top. Gary’s presentation style works for Gary because IT IS Gary. So why do sales reps do this? Why do they pretend to be something they’re not when they’re presenting to a potential buyer?

One word: Rejection.

AEs are required to put themselves out there every day. Sometimes they’re able to win the sale, but more often than not they get rejected. It hurts to be told no. It’s hard to tell your manager that you’re way below quota and are not having any luck with your new leads. It’s humiliating to look up at the sales leaderboard and see your name at the bottom.
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How To Use & Personalize Sales Triggers to Start Meaningful Conversations

In sales, timing is everything. If you stay vigilant and watch for the right signs, you can hit up a buyer at the perfect time and move your deal forward. These signs that modern reps are always monitoring for are sales triggers. They are key events that indicate a prospect is more likely to be in the buying mindset.

There are two things a sales trigger can signal:

  1. a change in company priorities.
  2. an increase in budget.

Here’s a helpful list of example sales triggers and tips on how to track them from Hubspot. Any of these triggers can be enough to reactivate a stalled deal for a proactive rep. But there’s one small problem…every sales organization you compete with is trying to do the same thing. They have access to Google Alerts, and use tools like Mattermark and DataFox to discover sales triggers. When you get a fresh trigger from a target account, chances are your competitors did too. So how do you use sales triggers the right way and manage to stand out from the crowd and connect with your buyer? By combining your messaging with a personalized, psychological trigger.


Once you’ve started monitoring sales triggers with Google Alerts, you’ll need to combine them with an effective message to get a conversation going with your prospect. A simple email to say “Hey, I noticed XYZ ” isn’t going to win you any favors. To stand out in a sea of congratulatory emails and half-hearted follow-ups, you must personalize your outreach so it connects with your buyer.

There’s a proven science to building relationships. All human beings come pre-loaded with the same buttons that evoke a reaction. These are known as Psychological Triggers, or as Dr. Robert Cialdini’s refers to them in his book, Influence, they are “weapons of influence.”


  • Reciprocity
  • Scarcity
  • Consistency and Commitment
  • Authority
  • Liking
  • Social Proof

By combining a classical sales trigger (an event), with a psychological trigger (a human connection), your well timed email can stand out from the crowd and start an actual sales conversation. Here’s six examples of how combining the two types triggers can work: Continue reading “How To Use & Personalize Sales Triggers to Start Meaningful Conversations”

Divvying up the pie: Popular lead distribution strategies for sales teams


The challenge with lead distribution is the same challenge you face when splitting up any finite resource. Let’s imagine for a moment that you have a delicious pie, and you want to share that pie with your friends. Do you give your hungriest friend the biggest slice, or do you give divide the pie into equal slices?

Sales managers face this dilemma every day when new leads come into the system. And many have devised clever ways to quickly assign new leads to the right rep.

Indeed, there are now so many ways to distribute leads that it’s hard to determine which methods are right for which teams. From randomly assigning leads to relying on complicated algorithms, lead distribution strategies have multiplied as sales itself has gotten more sophisticated.

In this post, we dive into four of the most popular lead distribution methods, explain how they work, and outline the pros and cons of each strategy.


Yes, it really matters. Implementing lead distribution systems have been shown to positively impact lead volume, contact rates, and conversion rates.
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How to Find 10,000 Sales Prospects on LinkedIn in 10 Mins

X-Ray Searching for sales prospects is a genius LinkedIn hack, especially for outbound sales development reps (SDRs) that have a limited LinkedIn network themselves. The entire process of prospecting on Linkedin using the X-Ray technique is detailed over onSales Hacker.

Here’s the nitty-gritty summary of the tactic: Instead of searching inside of LinkedIn for prospects, you use Google to find the LinkedIn profiles you want using advanced search operators. Using Google search provides an advantage because LinkedIn shows limited profile data to logged in users based on how many degrees of separation away they are. If you have a mutual connection, you will see most of their info, if you are 3 connections away from a profile, you may not even get their name:

no name linkedin profile
There’s no way you are going to guess this email.

Before we go on we want to say that we are BIG Sales Hacker fans. We keep up with their LinkedIn group, and their blog posts and webinars are always filled with great tips and actionable strategies. However, the X-Ray process presented on the Sales Hacker blog doesn’t scale well and is very manual. It’s a great trick for one SDR to know… and keep to themselves.
Continue reading “How to Find 10,000 Sales Prospects on LinkedIn in 10 Mins”