How to Cold Call

Episode 78: How to Cold Call, with Tom Martin

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How to Cold Call? Tom Martin — an internationally recognized sales and marketing keynote speaker shared his top secrets on how to cold call.

On this episode of Sell With Authority, we have a special encore guest expert, Tom Martin, who has been in the trenches of the agency business for over 30 years.

How to cold call? Tom is an internationally recognized sales and marketing keynote speaker and the Founder of Converse Digital. He helps agencies just like yours and mine strategically turn conversations into clients, and today, he is sharing some invaluable wisdom on how to do just that.

Recently, Tom wrote a game-changing blog post about raising the bar of excellence in how we show up on LinkedIn, not just for content but also for making those all-important connections without coming across as pushy.

We are focusing on the right LinkedIn approach for Tom’s encore episode. Here’s the reality — the more you educate, share, and lead with valuable content, the more trust you build with your audience, clients, and right-fit prospects.

These teaching moments on how to cold call will also become excellent biz dev opportunities for you and your team in Q4 of this year, and you’ll be in a wonderful position to roar into 2024.


What you will learn in this episode is about how to cold call:

  • Why you should optimize your LinkedIn profile
  • Tom’s strategy on how to cold call with content strategy methodology
  • How to open doors with right-fit prospects without sounding pushy
  • The results of Tom’s LinkedIn automation experiment
  • Why you should just stop selling and just start helping



How to Cold Call: Full Episode Transcript


Welcome to the Sell with Authority podcast. I’m Stephen Woessner, CEO of predictive ROI, and my team and I created this podcast specifically for you. So if you’re an agency owner or a strategic consultant, and you’re looking to grow a thriving, profitable business that can weather the constant change that seems to be our world’s reality, well, then you’re in the right place. So before we dive in and introduce our very special guest, the encore expert for today, I want to take a quick minute to say thank you. More specifically, I wanna say thank you for your time. Thank you for listening. Thank you for stepping into our community. Thank you for playing full out inside our Facebook group. If you’ve joined us there, thank you for jumping into the deep end of the pool with our open mic q and as, and thank you for taking full advantage of all the frameworks, guides, and other helpful resources inside our free library.


And last but not least, thank you for the encouragement along the way. All of it matters, and we’re grateful to receive it. I want you to know my predictive ROI team, and I look forward to doubling down even further to help you close out Q4 Strong and then doing everything we can to help you roar into 2024 and crush next year. Okay. So, I am super excited for you to meet our special encore guest expert today, Tom Martin. If you’re meeting Tom for the first time, he’s a no-nonsense, as you’ll hear, a no-nonsense, straight-talking, 30-year veteran of the ad agency business and helps agencies just like yours and mine strategically turn conversations into clients. He’s an internationally recognized sales and marketing keynote and founder of Converse Digital. So you can learn more about Tom’s path and journey and how he marries his two passions of marketing and tech into what he calls the Invisible Sale.


If you go back and listen to episode 15 of the podcast, which I highly encourage you to do. So, when Tom and I were batting around topics for today’s encore, I shared with him how helpful I felt. One of his recent blog posts was for helping agency owners and consultants raise the bar of excellence in how we show up on LinkedIn, and not just for content, but also how we can use LinkedIn to effectively open the door with a prospective client without looking and sounding like pushy, inappropriate yachts. Okay? To be honest, when I said pushy, inappropriate yachts, you probably smiled and maybe laughed a little bit because we’ve all been approached by that person, and you found this message inside your LinkedIn inbox or maybe email, and the headline kind of went something like this. Oh, yeah, I can totally get you 27,000 meetings booked with qualified leads in the next six hours.


Learn more about How to Cold Call by listening to our second interview with Tom Martin: How to Never Be Without Prospects


How to Cold Call: Unlocking LinkedIn Success


Of course, I’m exaggerating a little bit, but the claims in the emails are nearly that ridiculous because of Tom’s depth of expertise in biz Dev and using social media to help move the process forward. I asked him if he’d help us learn more about the right approaches in three specific areas, and I’m sure this is gonna morph into other areas. But first, the top three. First, how to optimize your LinkedIn profile and why. Simple things like the headline matter. Second, why he believes that every discussion back and forth on LinkedIn is the starting point for how to cold call with content strategy. Third, I’m gonna ask Tom to share and map out some of the golden nuggets inside on how to cold call with content strategy and how it works so that you can take and apply some of those biggest golden nuggets.


In my opinion, agencies are way too passive on LinkedIn. And yes, it is about content, and also, it’s about ensuring that your content gets into the hands of right-fit prospects. But then, as I mentioned earlier, I believe it’s about providing your prospective clients with a nonswarmy way to raise their hand to lean in and learn more from you without ever feeling like they were one of your prospects. So here’s a quick transparency moment for you. So you’ve no doubt seen my predictive ROI team, and I offer open my q and a two-day Intensive with a ton of free teaching opportunities. And if you’ve attended, you also know that we never turn these events into some sort of Tupperware party. It’s all about teaching and being helpful, no swarms strings attached, because that would feel yucky. And then, pretty soon, no one would show up.


And that’s a whole lot of not awesome. But just last week, Hannah and I were on a Zoom call with a prospective client who attended one of our private two-day Intensives this time, the one in July and they attended as one of our free guests. And they said to us during the Zoom call, guys, your two-day intensive in July was awesome. What you all taught was super helpful. And then when we saw the community and how everyone’s helping one another in the crazy non-stop activity and chat, it was such a huge proof point for us that predictive was for real. And guess what? After that call, they decided to become one of our newest clients here at Predictive. And how amazing is that? Here’s the reality, everyone: the more you teach, the more you share, and the more you lead with helpful content like what Tom is going to talk about.


Learn more about How to Cold Call by tuning in to our tutorial: The “HOW” Framework

How to Cold Call: How to Have More Control over Our Growth


The more you do that, the more you earn the trust of your audience, your clients, and your prospects in innumerable ways. And yes, those teaching moments will also become excellent biz dev opportunities for you. Your events will drive sales, your content will drive sales and your prospects. And this is so incredibly key. Your prospects will never be made to feel like one of your prospects. I promise you, if you take and apply the insights and wisdom Tom shares during this encore interview, you will create new biz dev opportunities for you and your team in Q4 of this year, and you’ll be in a wonderful position to roar into 2024. Without further ado, welcome back to the Sell with Authority podcast, Tom.


Well, thank you for having me., I’m impressed that I was invited back. I didn’t screw the first one up too badly.


No, you, you did not screw up episode 15 too badly. No, it was a great conversation, obviously, and I’m very excited for this conversation, this encore. And like you and I were talking about in the Green Room, the reason why, I mean, this would’ve been a great conversation regardless, but the timing of what’s going on in sort of the biz dev world today, I think, makes this conversation even more timely and even more important. Like, like I mentioned to you, I’m like, what’s going on with agencies right now? And that’s great that they’re building outbound sales processes, but then also they’re doing it in such a way they’re feeling the pressure to do it. And so then without, like, without intention, they’re showing up like TSIs, right? They’re trying to get to the sale before it’s appropriate to ask, and then it just feels swarmy.  so, and, and my guess is, ’cause we kind of batted that around in the green room, but I never really asked you specifically, are you seeing that too? Are like, are you seeing that happening in the agencies that that you’re talking to and, and conversing with as well?


Yeah, I’m seeing it, maybe because of the reputation I’ve, that I’ve built over the last, you know, 20 years of doing this, okay. I’m seeing more the agencies that are coming to us are, they don’t wanna be smarmy. So they’re seeing it, and they’re saying, you know, we know we need to build a business development program. Mm-Hmm, we have to move beyond just referrals or maybe being invited to pitch things. We need to be more strategic. We need to have more control over our growth,  you know, give ourselves more power with clients by always having the next client in the wings waiting to hire us so we don’t have to feel like we’re an indentured servant to our clients. You know, God, we can’t lose that because people lose their jobs, and so they’re coming not wanting to be that way.


Learn more about How to Cold Call by tuning in to our tutorial: The “HOW” Framework


How to Cold Call: The Power of Your LinkedIn Profile Headline


Yeah. So that tells me that you’re, you’re, I totally agree. I think what you’re seeing is exactly right. I’ve been fortunate enough that the ones coming to us don’t want to be like that, but they’re coming with the but, but they’re, but they’re coming because they understand I don’t really know how to sell. You know, I’m a researcher, I’m a creative, I’m an account manager. I’m, whatever they were before they decided to start an agency. Yeah.  or, you know, a solo consultancy or something like that. And they’re like, you know, I really don’t know how to sell, and the only thing I know is that it’s supposed to be this numbers game, and I’m supposed to, you know, call 20 to get, want to, you know, five people to accept my call. And two, and you know, this whole self, you know, self-fulfilling prophecy of sales. And,  and so they are, and, and they’re, I think, a little bit of desperation maybe. Mm-Hmm. Right. And so they’re just, I don’t know any better way to do it, so I’ll do it the way I was told to do it. And to your point, it just comes off smarmy.


Yeah. And that’s why I’m so excited for this conversation, because I think one,  you have a brilliant methodology. I love to discuss the how to cold call with content strategy, and yes, it’s about technology, but as you said to me in the green room, it’s not the technology, it’s the technologist. And it’s how do we do things at scale with still showing up personal,  and then, and then putting this into a process, that, that produces, results, which, which is exciting.  and, and I’m, and I’m also excited to, to dip into the data set of the experiment that you just ran,  that last about three to four months and, and all of that, because I think that that’s encouraging. So, let’s step into the LinkedIn piece, and let’s just talk about how we’re not gonna go all the way through the optimization profile. We will put the links to the blog posts that I was, highlighting in the introduction. We’ll put that into the show notes so that our audience can easily find it. Why do you believe that the headline, if someone’s trying to optimize their LinkedIn profile, why do you think that the headline is so important? I know that sounds like maybe a silly basic question, but why do you really emphasize the importance of the headline in the profile?


Well, it’s not a silly question at all. If you look through LinkedIn, you’ll see it’s not ’cause people don’t really make good use of it. So to me, I think is that if you think back in the early days of LinkedIn, it, people would, they’d say, oh, what’s LinkedIn? And they’d say, oh, well, that’s your online resume. And that’s how people build profiles. They build ’em like they would build a resume, right? I’m Tom Martin, now here’s my work history. Here’s where I went to school. I think at some point in the last, say, five years, LinkedIn has changed, or people have changed how they’re, how they need to think about LinkedIn. You need to think about it not as an online resume but as an online ad. It’s like your personal ad, right? Because, you know, we, for better or worse, we live in a swipe right.


Learn more about How to Cold Call by tuning in to our tutorial: The “HOW” Framework


How to Cold Call: Crafting a Compelling LinkedIn Headline


Swipe Left world., I don’t, I’m not on Tinder, so I don’t know if it’s good to swipe right or left, but I just know that one way is good and one way is bad. Right? And you have like two or three seconds before if you’ve ever watched somebody actually on Tinder, like one of my single friends I watch, I mean, like, it is crazy how fast the thumb is making the decision to go right or left. Wow. And I think I think that’s kind of the way the whole world is these days. And in LinkedIn, it’s definitely, so when I think about my LinkedIn profile, you know, I think about it as, like, this is my personal ad. This is like my little Tinder ad for the business world. Hmm.  and people are gonna make that decision whether or not they’re gonna swipe right or left really quickly.


And so it’s imperative that when they land on that, on that LinkedIn profile, that they immediately know what it is I can do for them. Mm-Hmm. ,  you know, because they, they’re there for a reason and maybe they’re, maybe somebody told ’em, Hey, you should look at this guy. He can help your agency grow. Or maybe somebody said something about keynoting or something like that. But, like, they’re there for a reason. They’ve got a question they’re trying to answer. And so that headline has to immediately confirm to them you are in the right place. What it is you seek, I do or can do for you or help you learn how to do. And so that way they go, okay, I know I’m in the right place, and now I can start to move my way down and see and, and qualify this person,  as, you know, as a potential resource, to help me.


And so in, in your experience, is there some sort of,  I wanna say magic formula, that, that, that sounds hyperbolic, but what, what is the best way to like structure the headline with, is there a rule of thumb for keywords or length or where, and if yes, for keywords, like any place that, should you put the keywords at the front or does any of that matter at all in your experience?


Learn more about How to Cold Call by tuning in to our tutorial: The “HOW” Framework


How to Cold Call: LinkedIn Headline Essentials


Yeah, you know, I don’t know. I find most people get to my LinkedIn because I’ve been,  you know if you look at it, it’ll say, you know, why, how someone found you. Mm-Hmm. , you look at your analytics, it’s almost always from a LinkedIn suggested Mm-Hmm. , you know, kind of thing. I look at the headline. Yeah. Obviously, I’ve got keywords in there: agency, business development, or agency, and stuff like that. But I, I, you know, mine’s written as a sentence, you know, I help agencies, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And,  and I think I, to me, again, you know, I’m not big, I’m, I’m, I don’t know that much about SEO I don’t purport to have that body of knowledge. I think it’s just really important that when I wrote mine, I wanted people to know this is who I am, this is what I do because I’m a smaller boutique agency myself.


I’m not looking to grow. I don’t need a hundred clients a month. Right., I need one Yep. Two, right? Depending on what kind of thing they’re buying from me. And so I’m, I’ve always built mine towards, you know, quality. Like, really make it easy, right? For the human being, not for an algorithm or a search term.  and, and, and go there and go that route. I think. And I, and, and I don’t know, it’d be interesting to, it’d be interesting, you should do like a poll with your listeners. It’d be cool to find out, like, do people go into LinkedIn and type, you know, agency business development training or agency business development consultant, you know, do they do that in the LinkedIn search bar? Or, my theory is always that a search is conducted on Google. Hmm. LinkedIn is a secondary search. You, somebody you found on Google, somebody told you to talk to this person,  or LinkedIn suggested you should see this person for some reason. But I, you know, I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong before.


Learn more about How to Cold Call by tuning in to our tutorial: The “HOW” Framework


How to Cold Call: The Power of Cold Calling with Content Strategy


I love that. Okay. Well, you’re, you’re giving our team an idea that we’re gonna run through the predictive lab. , and so once we collect some data on that, I’ll, I’ll loop back to you and, and share that with you. So thank you for that. Mm-Hmm. .  so I think that that’s a perfect segue into how to cold call with content strategy. And,  but, but first, let’s go high level. And again, everyone, we’re gonna include links in the show notes to blog posts that really take this in-depth as well. So yes, we’re gonna go high level and eye level in this conversation, but,  I just want you to know that be sure to check out the show notes for today’s episode. ’cause we’re gonna include links to several of Tom’s blog posts. So, Tom, give us the high-level overview. When you ask how to cold call with content strategy, what does that mean to you?


Well, for me, it means that every time I publish a piece of content, let’s say, for instance, on LinkedIn, okay. And then I share it, and maybe I ask a few friends or employees or whatever to share it as well, that is creating exposure to people that, in some cases, I know, but in some cases, a lot of cases, I don’t know, I’ve never met them. But they’re gonna get exposed to that content, and they’re gonna have a chance to react to that content. And they might even be, the reaction might be that they make a comment. So I’ve got a piece of content in a very public place, and somebody’s made a comment, or maybe they’ve asked a question, and they’ve now, oh, that, that’s now created an opportunity for me to engage in a conversation. If it’s a good conversation, it might create a second conversation, a third, a fourth, you know, eventually, it may convert to a new client.


And that’s the whole philosophy of cold calling with content is saying, look, I can publish a piece of content and, and touch people in 30 seconds than I could ever, you know if I’m dialing for dollars on a phone or sending individualized emails or individualized messages.  and it’s, you know, if I do it right, if I’m always posting the right kind of content, even if I do choose to send that content in a mass variety through, you know, some sort of an automated LinkedIn campaign or through an email, newsletter or an email list type approach, as long as the content’s good and helpful, Mm-Hmm, the worst thing that’s gonna happen is it won’t start a conversation.  but if it’s good stuff, you usually it’s not seen as spammy. It’s not seen as something that I want to run away from.


Learn more about How to Cold Call by tuning in to our tutorial: The “HOW” Framework


How to Cold Call: Making Good Impression


It’s invited into their world. And you’ve now made an impression. And, you know, you’ve heard me talk about Propinquity before. I mean, that’s what it’s all about. You know, you make enough of those impressions, and next thing you know, your phone’s ringing, or your inbox just got an e inbound email saying, Man, I’ve been reading your stuff. And I think, you know, I think there’s something here. I mean, well, I mean, think about it. I mean, this conversation you and I are having, Yep. Is a result of how to cold call with content. Yep. You saw a LinkedIn post, you read the LinkedIn post Yep. And you made a note to yourself, I can make a show out of this. This is a good, this would be a good conversation for my show. And so now I’ve created an opportunity Mm-Hmm. to have a conversation with you, but more importantly with all of your listeners.


Because I cold called with, I didn’t reach out to you and say, you know, Hey, I’d really like to be back on the, on the, on the podcast again. Can I be back on? And I didn’t do that. Mm-Hmm. I just put some good stuff in the world and you found it.


And let, and let’s peel back that layer even further, right? Like, you and I first met, because of you being on stage at Drew McLellan’s Build a Better Agency Summit. I saw you as part of the new biz panel. I’m like, wow, that guy’s smart. I want to talk to him. And, my guess is, how to cold call, you know, with content strategy is something that Drew stepped into. And that may be how you and Drew first met many years ago. , and then, and then you wound up on his stage, and then you and I met, and I’m like, and all of this stuff cascades from being helpful with content and leaning into an audience, giving the best what you got. So I’m making some assumptions on how your relationship started with Drew, but I assume that it’s probably in this ballpark, sort of.


Absolutely. I, I have not seen it, I converse digitally 13 years ago. I have not really made a true how-to cold call or an unsolicited pitch, or I haven’t, you know, none of the stuff that I did, you know, in the first 10 years of my biz dev career and, every opportunity that I have received in 13 years as an intern or a new client, or an opportunity to guest publish, or be on a podcast or stand on a stage, many times those stages, I’m, you know, maybe I’m getting paid travel costs, but frankly, many times I’m being paid tens of thousands of dollars to stand on the stage. Right. That all has come from this same philosophy that you share, you know, generous content helpful, spread it all around the internet, where people can trip on it and find it and, and treat it as a cobblestone.


Learn more about How to Cold Call by tuning in to our tutorial: The “HOW” Framework


How to Cold Call: The Importance of Conversion Rate


And if you string enough of those cobblestones together, it builds a nice yellow brick road right back to your website where people can really deep dive into your content and qualify you and decide Yes. Just like the story you told. You know, they went to your two-day intensive, and they were qualifying you Mm-Hmm. Yes. They were getting some stuff, but they were also qualifying you. And so when they called you to say, Hey, we, we want to help you, I’m again, don’t, I’m not gonna put words in your mouth, but I’m gonna assume you were the only agents that they were talking to about the pro what they wanted to hire you to do. Yep. You weren’t being shopped against other agencies. All you had to do was not blow it on that Zoom call. That was it. You just had to call. You didn’t have to sell. You just had to close. That was it.


So, let’s take this piece back to your conversion rate. I hope you don’t punch me in the face for sharing this, but like, when you get on a call with a prospective client, you have an 80% conversion rate because of some of the things that you just said about us, right?


We, we will do, in our, in our traditional stuff, our close rate’s about 85%. If we don’t close, it’s pretty much always on price. Yeah. They just don’t, they don’t, they haven’t, they didn’t realize how much it costs to do some of the things that we do for folks.  it’s interesting, though, as we began to pivot the agency back in 21 and really tilt more heavily into the sales training B2B side of what we used to do. ’cause I started the company, we were very much a B2C social media agency. Hmm. And so as we really began to tilt more into the individual and get away from all of the consumer stuff and really get into biz dev and sales training, really focusing on working more with agencies, et cetera, our close rate dropped to more like around 50%. Hmm. And it was interesting ’cause it dropped because when we would go talk to companies about doing sales training, we didn’t really have the proof.


Learn more about How to Cold Call by tuning in to our tutorial: The “HOW” Framework


How to Cold Call: Boosting Conversion Rates


Okay. You know, we didn’t have the case studies that they wanted. We didn’t have a list of clients that were social proof.  we didn’t have a ton of that content on our website. When we talked to agencies, it was closer to the 80, 85% because I, I’ve been, I, I was a biz dev director. I’ve own agencies, whatever. And, you know, it’s really interesting that that close rate, even like in our courses, the people who buy our courses in the agency world to a t every one of them has either met me in person, seen me on stage, is a devote reader of the book or the blog. Like they have consumed a lot of my free knowledge and decided that guy can teach me how to do what he does, and I’ll be more successful because I’ll be able to do it at his level instead of my level. But if they don’t really know me, yeah. Then that, that, that, that conversion rate drops and it goes back down into the forties and fifties.  and it just, I think, just goes, I mean, it’s all anecdotal. I don’t hardcore data, like it just kind of what you, you guys talk about at predictable all the time that like, look, be known, be helpful. Mm-Hmm. Be patient. Mm-Hmm.


And they come. Yeah. They’ll actually come, and when they do, you’ll close ’em because they’ve already kind of figured out they wanna work with you.


Yeah. Well, you know, 40 to 50% conversion rate. I, I know there’s some in our audience who just heard you say that, be like,  I’d like to have a 40 to 50% conversion rate. 


You have an 80-plus percent conversion rate, which is really amazing. So if we can,  let’s step into the experiment that you were, highlighting in the green room before I hit record. ’cause I, I think that’s gonna help demonstrate, with some actual, like working data, help illustrate some of the big golden nuggets out of how to cold call with a content strategy that you’ve built. So is that okay if we step into the experiment? Yeah. Okay. So what, what, how would you wanna highlight that and start to slice it apart?


Learn more about How to Cold Call by tuning in to our tutorial: The “HOW” Framework


How to Cold Call: LinkedIn Automation Experiment


How to cold call with Content Strategy in LinkedIn? The automation one we were talking about. Yep. Yeah. So, you know, there’s always been this school of thought on automation, right? It’s, you’re either, you know, automation is fine, or automation is the devil. Right. Evil, you know,  and I’ve always kind of been automation done, right? Is fine. Automation done wrong is the devil. Hmm.  and the difference between an email message being welcomed and deemed spam is really as, as we said, you know, it’s really about the technologist, not the technology. So, I’ve always been a little remiss in using it in a like, Hey, automate your email, or, I mean, automate your LinkedIn outreach. But then I got curious. And so I ran this experiment. I took all the people that I’m connected to, and that follow me on LinkedIn, which is, I don’t know, like 2300 people.


 some of whom I’ve stayed in contact with some of which I probably haven’t talked to since we connected. And, and, and I threw ’em into this automation platform that I found that I really liked. And, and I started this, you know, we’re, we’re launching a new newsletter that was strictly focused on painless prospecting and sales and business development. And, you know, so I’m gonna try to go through very quickly and,  you know, see if I can build a list. Okay. And I thought, what better place, than LinkedIn? These people follow me. They must think I’ve said something smart at some point in my life. So, I didn’t vet the list. Like, I basically did everything that you’re not supposed to do. I didn’t vet the list, I didn’t look at it. I just dumped everybody in. And we had a simple little, Hey, we’ve started this newsletter.


Here’s a landing page where we’ve got a bunch of content that’s representative of what’s gonna be in the newsletter that we’ll be sending. Yeah. I’d love for you to check it out. If you like it, great. Sign up. If not, no harm, no foul. Love you. Bye. And then, you know, I would wait, and I had the system set up to wait a certain amount of time, and if they hadn’t actually opened the message, you know, it would send another message. And that was really just, so hopefully LinkedIn would pinging ’em, or they’d see the little icon, and they’d go and, and it was just simple, Hey, I don’t know if you saw my message, but you know, if not, just scroll up one, you’ll find it, you know, would love to hear what you think, et cetera. Actually, it was about 10 or 12% of what they called an engagement rate, meaning people did respond to me, they typed something back in the message. Sometimes that was, Hey, yeah, I love it. I, I subscribed sometimes it was like, Hey, not for me. Some of ’em were, Hey, I retired. Take me off your, you know, you probably don’t wanna send stuff.  but other times, it was just, they would start conversations, Hey, how have you been? Haven’t talked to you in a long time, this, that, and the other.  and so forth. But the other thing that was really cool it, you know, we got about 300 signups for the, for the new newsletter, the new Painless Prospecting newsletter. And, you know, it took me a while to set the whole thing up, but then once I hit go, you know, I just basically had to check the inbox every day for any type of reply. Mm-Hmm. And I got a lot, I remember thinking, wow, I’m, I’m on LinkedIn, like crazy busy now.


Learn more about How to Cold Call by tuning in to our tutorial: The “HOW” Framework


How to Cold Call: Surprising Results from Experiment


Like, I was getting messages every day from people, and really getting into some great conversations and some conversations that, that turned into other conversations that may eventually become business.  one actually did, you know, we, we, we booked a, a really nice,  , full day, you know, custom biz dev training workshop for an agency up in New York.  that’s gonna be great, you know? And so it, it, it ha I was really surprised, to be honest. Hmm. I didn’t really get a lot, I didn’t get anybody that had one or two people like, get, you know, you’re being spammy, and I’m not liking you anymore, and I’m not gonna, I’m not a disconnect. And it was like, but actually their reasons for disconnecting were less about the spam of it and more other things that were involved. But like, you know, it didn’t get a lot of blowbacks, didn’t get a lot of dudes,  a couple, you know, like, but even those were like people that knew me.


Mm-Hmm. And they were like, Tom, come on. I know this isn’t you. You know? But then I would reply, and they’d be like, oh, maybe it’s you. Yeah. I’m like, yeah, I’m, I, and I would tell ’em, like, yeah, I, look, I actually typed the message thinking, you know, if I would, how would I type it if I was doing it for, all I did was automate the sending, not the creating, so to speak. But yeah, it, it was, I was really, pleasantly surprised. I really was expecting much more blowback. Hmm.  I was expecting much more negativity. Yep. Really did not get a lot of, that had a lot of people that clearly did not realize it was automated. Yep. So I thought, geez, you know, I mean, if I imagine if I would do this right? What did the word, what’d you call me in the green room? What if I wasn’t if I hadn’t done it, like schmucky or something? What’d you say? If I wasn’t such a yets, imagine how successful this would’ve been.


But then you, I, I think you then went on to say, like, successful in spite of yourself. But, but the whole point is, is that it was an experiment. And, and, and, and the fact that like you deliver those result outcomes and, and, and I think you just said it here too, in the interview, like, setting it up in, in such a way, like, okay, now when you go and do the next one with, in crafting it with additional time and attention and all of the things that you learned from the experiment, but you have the courage to jump into the deep end of the pool and see what happens when you do it. And in, in my experience, the masses are not courageous enough to do that because they’re worried about like, oh, what if one or two people, what if I do get the blowback or whatever. It’s like, come on, jump into the deep end of the pool and do this. But like you said, it’s not the technology, it’s the technologist. Mm-Hmm. And you did put time care, and attention into the content in building this reputation over the years. And I think that that was driving some benefit in my opinion.


Learn more about How to Cold Call by tuning in to our tutorial: The “HOW” Framework


How to Cold Call: Strategic Outreach


Yeah. I would agree. And like I said, we’ve, I’ve used it in other things of, of,  you know, one of the things I like to do is, is to go around and,  and speak,  like you, I mean, I like you just,  and I’ll offer to speak at like ad clubs and PR clubs and, you know, those, those trade association, American Marketing Association, I can speak at their meetings, you know, around the country and, and do it at and, and waive my honorarium. Like, just, just get me there and, and I’ll do it.  and it’s just a way to give back a little bit. And it’s fun, you know, I enjoy it. I meet people, et cetera. And it’s also, you know, not a bad way to grow, to grow biz. Right. Get people exposed to you.


 and so I ran a similar campaign there where I was much more focused. Hmm. I, I made sure that people, you know, their, you know, it said in their LinkedIn profile that they were like head of programming for an MA chapter or an ad fed chapter, or they were president or whatever. And I was really careful about how I put my messaging together. You know, if it said they’re the president, I would say like, you know, Hey, here’s what I do. Here are some of my talks. Here’s how it works. That would be interesting to you in the coming year. I’d love to talk, you know, I try to put it together so I can fly into a state and maybe hit a couple of different places. And,  you know, that was really successful. That’s good conversations out of that, you know, lots of good conversations started. , or hey, I’m, yeah, you’re right. I’m not, I’m president or I’m the outgoing president, but I’m forwarding you to the INGO president. That kind of stuff. You know, again, you’re just automating the transmission Yeah. Of the message. Yes. Versus just the, and I didn’t put like all the, you know, that’s the thing. You can always appear, Hey Tom, you know, I would, I really think I was just at, you know, converse digital, social selling, social strategy, blah, blah, blah. You know, and it’s like, dude, like come on, look at your data, man, that’s not, that’s not even the name of my company. Come on. You know? And just, just don’t do it. Just put a name, and just do the first name.


 ‘Cause those are the things that make somebody show up like a yacht. And also because you can see that it’s overly automated. And so I think you’re driving home a really important point. It’s automating the delivery, not the content.


Yeah. I mean, we, in our, you know, I’ll give you a little tip that your readers, your readers, your listeners should do if they’re doing automated, any type of automated email outreach in our CRM, we have a second custom field. So there’s like, in your, your field, in our C rmm, it would say predictive, ROI. Mm-Hmm. as your company. Mm-Hmm. But if we mail merge something to you, it would have in your custom field called email company just predictive. Hmm. 


Learn more about How to Cold Call by tuning in to our tutorial: The “HOW” Framework


How to Cold Call: Lessons from an Experiment


How to Cold Call? When you talk to all the people, I hear you. I’ve met enough of your folks and people who know you, people like us, they drop digital. They just say converse. Mm-Hmm. Right. Or Converse. ’cause they think we’re a tennis shoe, but, you’re getting great traction. Yeah. Right. We’re getting great traction.


Exactly. I wish I were converse.  but that’s what happens is that when you mail merge, the emails to it would say, you know, Hey Stephen, love what you’re doing at Predictive. Yep. And it just feels more natural, right? Because versus you get people that just use that company merge field and it says, love what you’re doing at predictive ROI, which still wouldn’t be bad, but like if like one of our clients is the new, the Earnest Memorial, New Orleans Convention Center, like imagine, hi Tim, love what you’re doing at would write that. They would say, I love what you’re doing at the convention center. Right. Right. And so that’s what’s in their field. That one little change has been so incredibly powerful that it just, makes it feel like somebody actually wrote it.


Amen. For that. So, I know that we need to come in for a landing here, but just a couple of additional points regarding the experiment. So, what was the automation tool? So you were the technologist, but what was the automation tool that you used for the experiment?


Learn more about How to Cold Call by tuning in to our tutorial: The “HOW” Framework


How to Cold Call: Final Bits of Advice from Tom


Oh, I used a product called drip fi D-R-I-P-I-F-Y com. Alright.  and,  I, I’ll be honest, I didn’t do a super exhaustive analysis of all the various tools that can do that. Okay. Automation. I did a small, I, I found I liked it. The thing I most like about it is that if someone responds to your, campaign, if they message you back, Mm-Hmm. it automatically pauses them. They’ll not get anything else in the campaign. Okay. Unless you reactivate them in the campaign. Okay. And it has a unified inbox so that you can just go to one place, and everything’s there. It’ll show you the history of what they’ve received. It’ll show you the history of any conversations you’ve had. It’s got some tagging capability.  it’s a pretty nice little system, actually. And it’s, and it’s like 75, 80 bucks a month or something.


It’s not terribly bad. Okay.  but yeah, you, you know, you make your list in LinkedIn, you port it over, and then you can run campaigns and so forth. But,  yeah, it’s a nice little tool. I, I like that pause feature, you know, because if somebody responds and you’ve got a Multim message campaign, you, you don’t wanna send those. That’s the worst thing you can do. It’s like they respond, and then two days later, they get the third message in the campaign. Like they never respond. And you look like that’s a right there.


Oh my gosh, this has been so amazing. Thank you for your generosity a second time. , really, really appreciate it. So, before we go, before we close out and say goodbye, a any final advice, anything you think we might have missed? And then, just like last time, please share with our audience the best way to connect with you, Tom.


Well, I would just look, if you go look up the definition of selling in Webster’s dictionary and you go look up the definition of helping, you’re gonna find that they’re eerily close to one another. So just if, you know, stop selling and just start helping Mm-Hmm. And you will inevitably win more business for your agency, for your consultancy, and for your coaching practice because people will just like you. Yeah. And they will welcome your email. They will welcome your phone call. They’ll actually listen to the voicemail because they’re gonna be pre-programmed to think there might be value there versus, crap, another cold call. So I, I, that’s the biggest thing I would tell people to do that, you know, look at the stuff you guys have out there. , I think some of your stuff’s great. I’ve been in, I’ve been in some of your stuff that y’all have done.


I think it’s great stuff. If they wanna see my stuff, just go to Or if you hit the What We Think button, you’ll be at the landing page of, our Painless Prospecting newsletter. You can register if you like what you see, and you’ll get one every week or so.  or we have, you know, a bunch of agency, business development resources that we’ve, you know, put in, a single page, you know, courses, workshops, et cetera, that you can check out,  all things, that, that would be valuable to them. And, you know, feel free to just reach out to us if you think we can help you.


Amazing. Okay. Everyone, no matter how many notes you took or how often you go back and really listen to Tom’s Words of Wisdom, which I sure hope that you do, the key is to take this recipe, to take this experiment, run your own, jump into the deep end of the pool, because when you do, you will accelerate your results. And Tom, we all have the same 86,400 seconds in a day, and I’m grateful that you said yes for a second time to come onto the show, to be our guide, to be our mentor, to help us move our businesses onward to that next level. Thank you so much, my friend. Thank you.

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Sell with Authority Podcast

The Sell with Authority Podcast is for agency owners, business coaches, and strategic consultants who are looking to grow a thriving, profitable business that can weather the constant change that seems to be our world’s reality.

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