As sellers, we know how important it is to establish a relationship and credibility with a prospect - yet we might be tempted to show off how great our solution is by using ROI statistics and data heavy case studies. Often, it works against us. Research by Gong.io has shown that presenting ROI correlates with a 27% drop in close rates. Why?
Using ROI language in your initial outreach sets the commercial tone. Your prospect smells “sales breath”. Remember, nobody wants to be sold. It will trigger criticism in your prospects mind. They will judge your assumptions, check your calculations, and find hundred reasons why your numbers wouldn’t apply. You don’t want to give the impression that you know a prospect’s company better than they do. This is also the reason why we don’t use company personalisation in the email body.
A better alternative is to nudge your prospect to visualise themselves as your customer - either through customer reviews or case studies. The question is - which one do you lead with?
In a survey by TrustRadius, buyers called case studies, among other things, “fairy tales”,”fabricated”,”sales spin”; yet 78% of buyers use case studies at some point in their B2B purchasing decision process. I know it’s tempting to provide lots of information in a first outreach, hoping that some of it might resonate. But it’s not helping your goal at this stage. You are “only” trying to build a relationship. In the spirit of buyer-centricity, try to leave out the data dump, and focus on establishing credibility through a customer testimonial, review, or reference.
In the same survey, buyers found customer testimonials to be more authentic, trustworthy and balanced. Besides establishing your credibility, it would help the prospect imagine themselves in their peer’s shoes, and give them a sense of the user experience you provide. And with that positive vibe, they would be more motivated to continue the conversation.
Source: TrustRadius Survey of 250 buyers
But don’t ditch case studies just yet. After all, they demonstrate your domain expertise and your approach to problem-solving. They are also more data-driven and more likely to influence management.
Try this: While closing your email, have a low-friction call-to-action and ask them if they would like to read a full case study. This way, you can slowly build momentum in your conversation, and help the buyer see the ROI without even mentioning it.
To sum it up, when cold-emailing for outbound sales,
Try it out and let me know how it worked.