Humility in sales is a seriously underrated trait. It can pay dividends when you are reaching out to cold prospects.
There’s a fine balance between positioning yourself as a Trusted Advisor who keeps their finger on the pulse of what’s happening in prospects industries, and being comfortable and transparent with the idea that you don’t know everything.
Here’s a few facts
- 99.9% of the cold outreach we do is to complete strangers
- We interrupt their day to say, ‘I know something you don’t know,’ ‘there’s a better way,’ or, ‘you’re missing out big time.’
- We deliver our value proposition during cold outreach, but “value” is inherently subjective because it’s relative to each individual and each company. What one person values, another may not care about - at all
- No one likes to be told what to do. Research over the last century repeatedly proves that if you try to “persuade” someone to do something they will resist
You’re probably wondering, ok Hannah get on with it...patience people! I’m heading there now…
The truth is…
...99% of our cold outreach is based on assumptions.
...We’ve done some great things for other customers
...We’ve researched the industry, the company and the individual
...Then we build a hypothesis that we link to our value proposition. It goes something like this:
As we understand it: Prospects situation or context + our value proposition = assumed ROI or value
None of this is factual. It’s all an intelligent assumption based on our pre-work. With this in mind, understanding how to add humility to your prospecting is KEY.
So instead of,
We’ve been working with company XYZ and we help them to achieve ABC. Based on my research I can see that you’ve also just embarked on a similar journey so I’d love to chat with you…
Can we get a date in the diary…?
Try this…(I’ve underlined the humility tonality)
Re - expansion into LATAM & heightened cyber security risks
Has the team begun to think about how challenge/pain/opportunity will be dealt with in the next 6-12 months?
It may be a little too early to jump on a call and discuss this, yet it seemed sensible to give you the heads up. We’re noticing that organizations that go through XYZ see pain ABC rear its head. It’s typically [prospect job title] that bears the headache of solving it hence my eagerness to get in touch.
I’m not aware of your priorities right now, so I can only assume at this point that addressing pain ABC is front of mind.
If it is, can you find time this week to speak so I can share info on the ways similar companies are solving this?
Grammarly will tell you you're being too passive. Your results will tell you that the balance of humility with credibility is just right. 😉
As always, let me know how you get on.