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Sales Reps: 4 Sentences, no ask.

How to kick off your prospecting cadence.

If sales were the NBA…prospecting would be preseason practice. It’s hard...there’s no glory…gratification is not instant. No wonder A.I. didn’t love it. 

Back in November, I talked about prospecting in my “5 Components to a Less Shitty Cold Email.” 

The post is very helpful when you expect a response on the buyer’s end...but good sales reps are smart enough to know when an actual response is highly unlikely (example – a cold outreach to the CXO who would likely be your deal’s executive sponsor well down the road).

So…what to do?

I’ll tell you what I DON’T DO…I don't ask for anything.

That’s right…let me introduce you to my “No-Ask” email.

The goal of this cold outreach is simple – introduce yourself in a way that sets you up for future communications.

Rather than writing a 500 word essay when 1. I’ve never contacted this person and 2. don’t expect a response, I keep it super simple. Here’s a fake example, where I’m selling fake fire extinguishers. 


Larry Brown gave me your contact info. I happened to pass your house while jogging this morning and noticed it was on fire.

Seems like it started in your garage.

Just wanted to give you a heads up. 

Rob Falcone

Fire Extinguisher Sales

Let’s take a look at the key components:

  • Context (2 sentences) – Be super transparent why and how their name showed up on your list. “I was researching CXO’s in this industry” “Your name popped up on LinkedIn” “I called and was told you’re the person to talk to…”
  • Problem or opportunity (1 sentence) – Your message should be valuable whether they ever respond or not. Use this opportunity to tell them something maybe they didn't know. Poke the bear. Call out how they can improve (whether they work with you or not). This requires:
  • Show of expertise (1 sentence) – You have to know your space better than your buyer does in order to be helpful. Be subtle, but give a super short piece of advice that shows you know your stuff.
  • NO ASK – That’s right. Don’t ask for anything. Your hunch is they won’t respond. Therefore, don’t ruin what will be a helpful, personal communication by making it commercial. Your prospect will read your signature and “get it.”

That's right. Deep breath. Resist the urge. This is NOT how most people sell, and your prospect will in fact be intrigued. Get a Yesware license and see for yourself.

Give it a few days, then follow up and build on the credibility you've built with this first "No-Ask." Begin ceding how you can help your prospect "put their fire out." Keep it short. Don't give away the farm on your next call or email. And don't expect an immediate response.


Ironic commercial message: What should you do when you ultimately get the meeting? Buy this book.

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