Step into the fast-paced world of ‘Real Marketing Real Fast’ with me, Doug Morneau. Each episode is a power-packed journey through the twists and turns of digital marketing and website acquisition. Expect unfiltered insights, expert interviews, and a healthy dose of sarcasm. This isn’t just another marketing podcast; it’s your front-row seat to the strategies shaping the digital landscape.


Tips on how to turn your B2B prospects into customers with Morgan Williams

  • In B2B sales you need to get in front of your ideal prospects and talk to them, help solve their problems and start the sales process. 
  • Cold email is not spam. Spam is sending out irrelevant messages to people at high volumes. Cold email is reaching out to a business or to a person with a relevant message where they have no prior knowledge of you.
  • Please follow up more. Anyone, please follow up more. If you follow up several times, you will have increased response rates, I promise you.
  • Intent data is becoming a really hot topic in the B2B space. And essentially what intent data allows you to do is find people who are actually in the market for the services you have to offer. You’re literally able to see based on lots of different data points who would be ready to buy.
  • It is incredible how underutilized texting is in the sales process and how effective it is. It’s crazy.

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In B2B sales you need to get in front of your ideal prospects and talk to them, help solve their problems and start the sales process.

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Doug: Well, welcome back listeners to another episode of Real Marketing Real Fast. Today we’re going to talk about cold email, lead generation in the business to the business side, and I think you’re going to enjoy the conversation. My guest today is somebody that I had connected with on LinkedIn, he works in the B2B space. He is also a fellow podcaster, podcast host. He has a podcast called the B2B Sales Tech Podcast. His name is Morgan Williams. He works as an enterprise sales rep. He is a blogger as I mentioned, a podcast host. He’s based in Chicago, Illinois, and he helps companies create content so their salespeople can master cold outreach so they can book more appointments with their ideal leads. So I think you’re going to enjoy our conversation, so welcome to the Real Marketing Real Fast podcast today.

Doug: Well, hey Morgan, welcome to the Real Marketing Real Fast podcast today.

Morgan Williams: Thank you so much, Doug. A pleasure to be here.

Doug: Super excited to have you on the show, and I looked at your bio and your background and I thought, “This really cool, A B2B guy who’s in lead generation.” And I was doing some keyword research on a project for a client and it was interesting that that’s one of the number one issues that businesses struggle with. Do you want to just give us a 30,000-foot view of what you’re doing and then we can dive a little bit deeper into the tactics?

Morgan Williams: Yeah, absolutely. You are right, it is a pressing issue for every… I pretty much work in technology, SaaS, that’s the environment that I’m in, and it’s really an issue for every company that’s looking to sell to other businesses. How do you get new blood in the door? How do you get more revenue? How do you get more sales? And that all starts with meetings. B2B, you need to get in front of your ideal prospects and talk to them, help solve their problems and start the sales process. Well, most people have that cover when it comes to warm contacts, they’re selling to their warm network or referrals or what have you, but getting the attention and gaining the trust of cold prospects within a sales cycle is tough, it’s challenging.

Morgan Williams: And what’s making this even harder in a 2020 environment, is the fact that there are so many companies or sellers that are entering the system. It’s supply and demand. There are more sellers entering the system, and at least I used to work in cybersecurity and we’re seeing that a lot. There’s a ton of sellers entering the system and the number of buyers is staying relatively stagnant or growing very slowly, so you get into a situation where the competition is just getting more and more heated, and Cialdini, who your listeners have, I’m sure they’ve heard of blue ocean versus red ocean. A lot of us are operating in red oceans and we’ve got to figure out a way to cut through the noise and get the attention of our prospects.

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In B2B sales you need to get in front of your ideal prospects and talk to them, help solve their problems and start the sales process.

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Doug: That’s a great book. I quote that almost every day. There’s not a day that goes by when I talk about stepping out from what everybody else is doing and come at it from a different angle. So we are talking about cold, the old conversation that you hear over and over in sales is that it’s better to sell to a warm networker or a warm prospect, but at some point, those people are cold and don’t know your company. So for people, our listeners that are selling to other businesses, where’s this starting point? So I’m assuming everyone’s got a website, they’ve got some sort of social presence, they may be doing some form of advertising, but with people tuning out advertising, where do you tell people to get started?

Morgan Williams: Yeah, absolutely. I like to work off of existing models that have been proven, and one person in the marketing world who is pretty much the Michael Jordan of direct response, Dan Kennedy, I’m sure your listeners have heard of, has a process for reaching a market and getting them to take action. He has a process of starting with the market as most important, then your offer and then your copy or your message. So I take that approach when it comes to getting the attention of prospects. The first thing I want to start with, the most important piece is the market. And when you’re looking to get the attention of someone, you really need to focus on the pain points, the problem.

Morgan Williams: Most often, the vast majority of the time in business changes aren’t being made, people are only buying stuff and investing in vendors when they have a problem they need to solve. So that’s the focus. Now, this on a sliding scale. If you’re at a company that is more well known in your space, in your industry or just to the public, it’s easier to get meetings. I interviewed a guy last year, he used to work at Google, sales for Google. And I said, “What was that like?” And he’s like, “Well when you cold-call them, they don’t hang up the phone.” So if you got that brand equity you just say, “Hey I’m here.” But for most people, they are operating where they may be at a startup or at a company that’s not as well known.

Morgan Williams: So the further you are on that, you need to focus on the problem and the pain point that your prospect has. That’s where you start.

Doug: Well, it’s funny you mentioned Dan Kennedy because, beside my computer, I keep a handful of books that I regularly refer to, meaning I would look at them at least once a week. And one of them is called the Ultimate Marketing Plan, the other one is the Ultimate Sales Letter. I started buying Dan Kennedy stuff when he was publishing by paper, three-ring binders and sending up cassette tapes, and have followed him for a really long time. So good for you.

Morgan Williams: And you’re right, I think lots of times you can look at a different angle. I worked with a company, an international company based out of France called Lafarge, they sell a concrete. Most people assume that all they do is pour concrete for high rises, and for blue ocean strategy, we went to Craigslist and we ran free posts in Craigslist to drive their sand gravel sales for homeowners that want to do something small in their yard or put a sandbox for the kids because they didn’t know that that was available. So there was a big brand that needed to get out of the big brand marketing and get to where the consumers were like you said, where your audience is, and get a message in front of them. Absolutely, meet them where they are.

Doug: Assuming that we’ve all heard that you need to find your customer avatar, find out where they are, find out what they do, find out where they hang out, what they read, what they like, what they don’t like, what strategies do you use to reach them once you’ve identified them? So if we’ve identified, “Hey, this the pool that I want to fish in,” how do you get in there?

Morgan Williams: There’s a lot of information online about cold email, cold calling at LinkedIn, and there’s a lot of flashy, cool stuff, cold email templates, which are good strategies and tactics, but the way I like to start is, and a quote I heard that tactics change often, the strategies sometimes change, but the fundamentals of the principles never change. So anytime I’m looking to communicate with a prospect, if I’m reaching out cold, I use basic fundamental ADA communication. So I feel like if you’re writing, it’s the same as if you’re writing a sales letter or if I’m in cold outreach if I’m writing an email if I’m writing a phone script, I first have to get their attention, then I have to generate interest, then I have to build desire, and then I have to get them to take action.

Morgan Williams: So if I’m looking at a group of prospects, let’s say I’ve got them in a smaller group of prospects, let’s say 50 or 100, I want to group them as tightly as possible. And when I reach out to them, I want to craft my emails in a way that’s completely customer-focused and completely customer-centered. What’s difficult about this, is people always say, or I should say, in the B2B world, when it comes to cold outreach, we will say, “You’ve got to add value. You’ve got to add value.” But it can be difficult because you may feel like just sharing a random article with someone isn’t value or just mentioning where someone went to college and using that to build a connection isn’t value. You have to really go through that next step and figure it out.

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In B2B sales you need to get in front of your ideal prospects and talk to them, help solve their problems and start the sales process.

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Morgan Williams: Can I share a story with how I did this and something your users can… Excuse me, your users, I’m in software mode, something your listeners can implement-

Doug: Yeah. I love story, let’s go.

Morgan Williams: Okay. I was working for a cybersecurity startup doing some consulting work at the time and I was selling to CIOs, CSOs, so Chief Information Officers, Chief Information Security Officers, and they are notoriously tough to get in front of for several different reasons, but security is a tough market to operate in and a tough market to sell in, and it can be brutal. Regular outreach wasn’t working, they’re really not that interested in getting on sales calls until budget cycles come up and they’re interested in what you’re doing. So what I did was I looked online on LinkedIn and found…

Morgan Williams: I looked to figure out, “Okay, what do these decision-makers want? B2B is great because you know who your prospect is.” So I started looking around and I saw, “I’m going to look for people who are more visible online.” So I was looking for those C-suite individuals who were, I could tell they were trying to build their personal brands to become thought leaders. They were posting on medium, they’re posting on LinkedIn. They were doing local TV in their own markets, like getting interviewed. They were active on LinkedIn, making an effort. And I have experience in guest posting or posting on another blog and giving them content and you get traffic.

Morgan Williams: So I went to a security blog and I said, “Hey, I want to give you guys an article with the top 10 security experts say to watch out for in 2020 or 2019.” They said, “Sure.” So what I did was I reached out to these individuals and I said, “Hey, I’m writing an article for this website called a blank. I don’t need any of your time on the phone, but can I ask you three questions and can you respond to those so I can put them in the article and quote you?” And the response was like night and day. It was crazy. When you reframe it and add value and you look to, how can I give these people something rather than take something from them?

Morgan Williams: How can I give them value instead of taking away time or attention with a sales call so I can pepper them with questions on how to sell to them and keep hitting them up? How can you give them value and put yourself in a different category? And another little hack-

Doug: So, in that case, you started with social to see who is out there who’s trying to grow their brand in the reach?

Morgan Williams: Exactly. Absolutely.

Doug: Cool. Carry on.

Morgan Williams: And it does take time and it does take effort to do all that reaching out to people. But, a way that you can get people to come to you is if you use a service called Help a Reporter. It used to be called Help a Reporter Out, I believe it’s haro.com, H-A-R-O. And this a massive listserv for PR and media. And all they do is they connect people who are writing stories, doing podcasts, doing videos with people who want publicity and want to get published. So you can go on there and say, you put in a pitch, you write down what you want, what type of guests you want or interviews you want to do.

Morgan Williams: And they’ll send an email blast out to tens or even hundreds of thousands of people and you’ll start to get these responses back of, “Hey, here’s why you should interview me.” “Hey, here’s where I can help you.” “Here’s where I can help your story or what you’re doing.” And you’d be surprised at the types of people from the types of companies that are reaching out. Sometimes you’re going to get your mix of marketing people or PR people like, “Hey, I represent so-and-so.” And they do, but you’re not getting direct access to them, but the fact is, at the end of the day, you’re bringing value by getting a piece published for this person who’s obviously interested in getting publicity and you’re putting yourself in a different category.

Doug: That’s cool. I use HARO. Actually, one of the ways that I use HARO just to support your comment about adding value, I use it to add value to other people. So just a couple of days ago, there was a request in the business and finance, one of them, I don’t know whether it was the morning or the afternoon brief from HARO, and they were looking for experts in the video marketing space to comment for an article. So I just took and cut and paste that information of what the requirements were and who the reporter was requesting it, and I sent it out to my network of people that are in the video business.

Doug: And not everybody responded, some people, obviously I could see they opened the email, but I got other people that sent me a note back saying, “Hey, thanks.” So it was a way for me to touch them with communication without selling them anything and to add value because now they’ve got an opportunity to use a tool like that to grow their business and get an article published.

Morgan Williams: Absolutely. Absolutely. And even if people don’t take you up on the offer, the fact that you’re doing something selfless and just trying to bring value to them is a win as well.

Doug: Talk to me a little bit about cold email. The whole email space, it’s funny because I hear all sorts of stuff about email. I’m a huge fan of email, I do a lot of stuff with rented data. Actually, I do work with a lot of companies in your hometown in Chicago. I’ve worked with Zacks Financial for years, renting their data. And one of my last guests said, “Hey, for all your people who say that email doesn’t work,” he said, “Just shut off all your email accounts and see how that works.” But that’s for traditional stuff. So talk to me about cold email and assure all the audience, what you mean by cold email for those who may not understand what you’re talking about and what it is.

Morgan Williams: Yeah, absolutely. So the biggest thing is cold email is not spam. Spam is sending out irrelevant messages to people at high volumes. Cold email is reaching out to a business or to a person with a relevant message where they have no prior knowledge of you, they’re not expecting you to reach out, you’re literally just reaching out cold. It would be the equivalent to doing cold calls if you have a list of people and calling them or going around and knocking on doors and selling. So that would be a cold email. The reason cold email, the process is or the medium is so valuable is that you’re right, you need email for anything on the internet.

Morgan Williams: Everyone has an email address, you can’t sign up for any app or social network or anything without an email address, you had to have it. And it’s great for B2B because anyone working at a business, and a business is going to have an email address, they’re going to be in their email inbox, they’re able to be reached by email. Cold email is a big topic, but I like to think about it as an art and a science. The science piece is literally getting into the inbox, which can be tough, and I’m not a technical person but I know enough to be dangerous about cold email to get in the inbox.

Morgan Williams: But the reason you got to start there is that you can craft the best email in the world that’s incredibly good and thoughtful and what have you, but if people don’t see it if it goes in the spam folder or it doesn’t get delivered, it doesn’t matter. It’s increasingly harder to get your emails open even when people do see them, but if you don’t get in the inbox, it does not matter at all. So what the term for that is, is email deliverability, and that has to do with your domain, basically the reputation of your domain, and how safe or how trusted your domain is when you send an email.

Morgan Williams: Sending high volumes of email from your main domain, is something you should never do because it can hurt your reputation. So a practice that I’ve done in the past, and if you’ve actually ever gotten an email from Facebook before or some bigger companies, you’ll see this, is that they won’t send you email from facebook.com, they’ll see you email from facebookmail.com, and that’s because they are using that domain to send out other emails so that they won’t get penalized by sending out high volumes email from their domain and then actually hurt emails that they’re sending to whomever from that domain. I hope I explained that well.

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In B2B sales you need to get in front of your ideal prospects and talk to them, help solve their problems and start the sales process.

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Doug: Yeah. They’re just in the customer’s eye.

Morgan Williams: That’s right.

Doug: The term that I’ve used, and I don’t know whether it’s correct or not as I call it a shield domain, and it’s like you said, it’s set up specifically to send an email to reach out to introduce your business to people, but you want to do that separate, from your primary communications because the last thing you need is to try to send an email to one of your fellow employees or a vendor and not have those emails showing up in their inbox.

Morgan Williams: Exactly. And when you do that, you can simply set up a global redirect. And so if anyone goes to that domain, they can be redirected to your main domain. And the process will be seamless, so there’s a way to get around that too. But a lot goes into that technical part, but that technical piece is that first piece, making sure that you can get into the inbox. The second part, which is really my favorite is art. I am obsessed with, what can I send people that get them to open, click, take action? I just love that piece because I love the psychology that goes into it, I love the salesmanship that goes into it and I just love that feeling of getting people to take action and providing value.

Doug: Well, I like the content because I was on your website and I signed up for your newsletter and I clicked on a link and it took me to a template that you had that shows some cold email. And I scrolled through with the images and I thought, “Very, very creative.” They weren’t the traditional big advertising agency, branded emails that were heavy with banners and buttons, it looked like an email that I would send a friend of mine or a colleague of mine and just in conversational language.

Morgan Williams: Absolutely. And that’s the problem that a lot of people run into when they start with cold emailing is because they log into their computer, log in to their email and they write a cold email, and it’s like sending someone a novel. It’s, “Here’s who I am, I’m introducing myself. This my company, this what we do.” And it’s all self-serving. And I completely understand it. You want to make a formal introduction to someone, you want them to know who you are and what you do, but people just aren’t interested in that. People are self-interested at their core when it comes when they’re thumbing through their inbox. We’re more attracted to things that we see that are going to provide us value and things that are familiar.

Morgan Williams: And one way to increase open rates, increase reply rates is by crafting emails in a way that is more personal, they seem more like they’re coming from a friend rather than a business. If you just think about ad fatigue or banner blindness, we’re getting hit with so many ads and so many sales messages that we become numb to it. So when we see one we just like immediately want to delete or don’t pay attention to it. So when it comes to gaining attention with cold email, being personal, or being real, being human is a great strategy.

Morgan Williams: I know you mentioned some of the templates and some emails within the templates, I had a picture of cookie monster on there, I had a comic strip and things like that. The reason I like to do stuff like that and use memes is that I want emotion, an emotion is what’s going to get someone to take action. I just need a split second of emotion for them to respond and to tell me something and to enter apply. And the reason why that’s so important is that, and I see this a lot, people send cold emails asking for meetings, asking for time to book. I never do that.

Morgan Williams: I never send an email asking to meet if it’s my first cold email or if the person hasn’t responded to me because I’m looking for engagement, I’m looking for conversation. It’s like Cialdini’s, Six Principles of Persuasion, Commitment to Consistency. If I can get them to respond to me and engage with me, it’s much easier for them to keep talking to me and then take that next step. Going from stranger to meeting with you for 30 minutes is a big jump, but going from stranger to conversation and to me explaining myself a little bit more, then, okay, then let’s meet. So I hope I answered that question, but that’s what I try to do.

Doug: Yeah. I think it’s the same in all media, even if we look at LinkedIn, I connected with you on LinkedIn and I reached out to you, I said, “Hey, I love what you’re doing. I would love to have a conversation with you.” And so we started a dialogue and a lot of times, I get people that connect to me on LinkedIn, and their very first message they send me is their bio, their resume and what they do. And less so to your point, I understand why they’re doing that, but what makes it worse is often the pitch that they’re sending me is totally irrelevant.

Doug: I just had somebody request to connect with me because they help orthodontists book appointments. You’ve looked at my profile, is there any indication that I might be in any way associated with the orthodontic company?

Morgan Williams: No, that’s not it. You’ve got nice teeth. You’ve got a nice smile, so maybe that’s it.

Doug: Yeah, that was a long… Okay. I did have braces, but I’m not a customer. My grandkids in four or five years might need braces as well, but you might be a bit early and I’m not an orthodontist. So if you’re going to fail and send a pitch, at least send a relevant pitch in terms of identifying your market. So when you talk to your clients about this and you bring up the whole conversation on, “Okay, let’s look at a strategy where we engage in social, look where your audience is, define who they are, where they hang out, and then we want to get to a point where we’re going to somehow acquire, build and set up a list of people to cold prospect.” What’s typically the response you hear?

Morgan Williams: Do you mean like what are the response rates and like open rates and things like that?

Doug: No. Like when you talk to your customer, because of cold email unlike any other advertising media, there are people who do it right, and there are people who don’t do it right. Does it come to as a surprise to your clients when you talk to them about cold email as a strategy for outreach or do they come to you because of that?

Morgan Williams: I would say, it’s either the people who haven’t really tried it before or the people who say it doesn’t work. Like, “Cold email doesn’t work.” Or, “Hey, I’m interested in it, but I haven’t tried it before.” There are two big things I’ve noticed with people who say it doesn’t work, and if you’re doing cold email and you’re having a little bit of success or not a ton of success, if you do these two things, you will have more success. I can pretty much guarantee it. So when someone tells me a cold email doesn’t work, I say, “Okay, well, show me the email you sent.”

Morgan Williams: And I see it, and it’s usually not very good. But the quality of the email sent, I say, “Okay, how many times did you follow up with them?” “Follow up. What do you mean?” I’m like, “Yeah, you sent this email and then you followed up several times after that, right?” They’re like, “No. I just emailed 100 people and none of them responded, so it doesn’t work.” I’m like, “Of course, it didn’t work because you didn’t follow up. It’s not about the first message, it’s about that sequence. It’s about how many times you follow up.” And the second piece of that is, then I’ll come back to that too. But the second piece of that is, it takes way more people than you think to get the result that you want, prospects to reach out to you. You can’t just email 20, 30 people and expect 15, 20 of them to respond to you or what have you. The two big things you can do is make your prospect pool larger and follow up more. But please follow up more. Anyone, please follow up more. If you follow up several times, you will have increased response rates, I promise you.

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In B2B sales you need to get in front of your ideal prospects and talk to them, help solve their problems and start the sales process.

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Doug: Is there a magic formula for that? Because I know with the Dan Kennedy stuff, I use his formula years ago, I’ve just completed a direct mail campaign using the same formula where we direct mail people three times and we typically get a better response to the most response on the last letter. So what’s your follow-up sequence, how many times do you think we need to reach people?

Morgan Williams: Here’s a basic sequence, and this is like a basic one, you can send fewer if you want. I would say this is the most you could send before you would probably have to… I wouldn’t send any more than this many emails before, like stopping for six months and coming back to them. So I typically create a campaign of eight emails, but I would say go no lower than five. If you can send one email and then follow up four times, that’s sufficient, but eight emails. The big thing is that you don’t want to send eight emails in eight days, and we follow up, follow up, follow up. No, no, no.

Doug: I sent you an email last night, how come you haven’t responded yet?

Morgan Williams: You can’t be doing something other than, I know you’re just waiting for me to email you again, right?

Doug: Yeah.

Morgan Williams: So I’d send eight emails over a period of about two months. And that’s the thing, you got to lower the frequency. More frequent in the beginning and then less frequent as you go on. And it doesn’t have to be that many, but I would say that’s like the max. So a good little rule of thumb or sequence would be like, your first day you send your email, the next day a follow-up, then I wait three days later, I follow up again. Then five days after that, I follow up, then I wait a week after that, I follow up, another week, follow up. And then two weeks follow up, and then two weeks follow up. And so it’s like you’re following up more frequently in the beginning, but you’re… There’s a thin line between being tenacious and being annoying.

Doug: A nuisance. Sure.

Morgan Williams: Right.

Doug: The one thing that I just want to point out to our listeners is that, and so I’ll just speak from my own side. So I spend all day on the computer either working for my clients or looking for tools and techniques. And so I’ll even reach out to companies and say, “Hey, I’d like to have a demo.” And sometimes I don’t respond to any of their emails for a week or 10 days because I’m busy. Now, this is somebody that I’ve reached out to, so I’ve taken the initiative and it just hasn’t been a high priority that week because something else is there. So when I’m in the buying mode, if I’m going to ignore an email for a week from something that I’m interested in, when I’m not necessarily in the buying mode, it’s not uncommon like you said, to expect that people aren’t going to respond on the first day or the second day’s email.

Doug: It might take several touches before they say, “Okay look, I’ve been getting these emails from Morgan, they look pretty cool today. Today’s the day I’m going to phone him or connect with him and learn more about what he’s doing.”

Morgan Williams: Yeah. And two things with that or a couple of things with that, I always make it if I’m sending an email sequence if I’m using a follow-up tool to do the campaign, I want to make it as easy as possible for someone to stop getting messages from me. So I will tell them usually, “PS. If you want to stop getting messages from me, just reply no or click this link below, and I won’t send you any more messages.” So you want to make it easy for people to opt-out. Also, if you’re engaged in a sales conversation with someone or someone has like reached out inbound and said, “Hey, I’m interested.” Or someone has responded to your cold email and said, “Hey, I’m interested,” I would continue following up with that one, with that person.

Morgan Williams: Pretty much, I would not stop following up. It might get to the point where I’m following up with them quarterly. If we’ve had a back and forth and they’ve gone cold, I’ll follow up maybe like a week, a week, a week and start doing it biweekly and then I would go to quarterly or something after that. But I would not if they’ve shown interest, I will keep following up with them until they say, “Hey, no, thanks.” Or something like that. Because they haven’t told you no, so they may be interested, but they haven’t told no, so it’s probably a timing issue.

Doug: That’s a great tip for anyone regardless of what marketing you’re doing. If somebody put their hand up and said, “I’m interested,” you keep talking to them until they say, “Hey, I don’t have the budget, I’m not going to move forward with you.” Or whatever it is until you get a no.

Morgan Williams: Correct. Absolutely.

Doug: Cool. When you structure a program or create a program for someone, is cold email do the heavy lifting or are there other tactics you use? You had mentioned you use social and we’ve talked about cold email now, is there something else that’s missing in that formula without you revealing all your top secrets?

Morgan Williams: No. I’m happy to reveal them all. Nothing beats the telephone, especially in B2B. If you want a snippet kind of amount of money from someone, if you’re trying to sell them something, eventually they’re going to want to talk to you on the phone. And the phone is an incredibly powerful tool. If you are skilled on the phone and you can think on your feet, you can do any of this cold outreach stuff. So the phone is a great component and it goes great with email, and here’s why. A lot of times people who don’t have a lot of experience with cold email think like, “Hey, I just hook up this cold email sequence with my Calendly link and people will just book on my calendar and then I can sell to them.” But it doesn’t really work like that.

Doug: They don’t do that? They don’t get a cold email book right away? Wow. It’s amazing.

Morgan Williams: It doesn’t really work like that. Some people do, but that’s a small number of people. Usually what happens is people are going to respond to you with some question. They’re going to, well, sometimes they tell you to go to hell or I’m not interested, but for the people who respond positively, they’re going to ask you what the pricing is. They’re going to ask you, how it works. They’re going to ask you what your guarantee is. They’re going to ask some questions that are not like, “Okay, let’s talk, but hey, I need to check a few boxes first.” And people can lose a lot of leads and a lot of prospects by not handling that process the right way.

Morgan Williams: You have to handle it very delicately because playing with an email back and forth, after a couple of days, you may just lose someone and then they just stop responding because someone else got to him first or life got in the way or whatever. So one of the most powerful things is not just thinking as the email sequences, the end all be all, but really just the way to identify hand-raisers. So one of the best things you can do is as soon as someone emails you back and show some interest, call them immediately. Most people have email signatures with their phone numbers, call them immediately and try to get them on the phone right then, right there, and then talk to them more if they show interest. That can be something that’s incredibly powerful, and if they don’t respond, email them and say, “Hey, just gave you a ring, when is it a good time to try you back? Or let them know that you’ve called them.

Morgan Williams: Another really good thing that goes along with that is something called, there’s a book on it called Combo Prospecting. I forget who the author is, but this will increase your response rates dramatically too. So the idea with combo prospecting is that touchpoints on their own can be effective, but they’re better when combined with each other. So marketing people listening to this are familiar, I’m sure familiar with a pattern interrupt, doing something so that the person that you’re communicating to or communicating your sales and marketing message to, literally stops, and it’s a way to grab their attention.

Morgan Williams: So you can do this with prospecting by, instead of just calling someone, call them, if they don’t pick up, leave a voicemail, shoot them a quick email and maybe hit them up on LinkedIn. Now, there’s a lot of moving parts there, but the idea is you want to shine a light onto the email unless you get them on the phone. So if I call someone, I don’t get their machine or if I don’t get them and I get their machine, if I call them and I get their voicemail, I won’t call them and tell them who I am and basically summarize the email, I will just say, “Hey, it’s Morgan. I just sent you an email. the subject line is X, Y, Z. Or, “Hey, I just sent you an email, it’s Morgan.” And then that’s it.

Morgan Williams: I want to shine a light on that email and get them to take a look at that email and take action from that email because I have yet to find someone who gets a voicemail and says, “Oh my God, I got to call that sales guy back.” It just doesn’t happen.

Doug: So is it Combo Prospecting by a Tony Hughes? Is it Powerful One-Two Punch That Fills Your Pipeline?

Morgan Williams: Do they have a boxing glove on?

Doug: It does. Yeah.

Morgan Williams: Yes. That’s the one.

Doug: I just looked it up on Amazon, so there’s a free shout out for Tony courtesy of Morgan.

Morgan Williams: Yeah, it is very powerful. I hadn’t even thought about it before until I came across that book, but it works.

Doug: Well, what we found was that, when we were working with clients raising money, we were doing sponsored emails. So we’d go to someone, like Zacks Financials, we would rent their email lists. They had a list of like 300,000 names, it was their list. They would send our message out to their audience, but we would run social, and paid social and sponsored media at the same time. And what we found was email did the heavy lifting but running Google ad words and paid social and using social media had a big impact on the campaign because people got the email, they went online, they went and did a Google search and then they could see more about the company because your ad came up, your native ad came up, your sponsored piece came up and your website was there.

Morgan Williams: Yeah. And if you think about how people use the internet, how we all use it, we’re on our laptop, then we go on a couple of sites, we close it, oh, go on our phone, email, Facebook, Instagram, whatever, LinkedIn. So it’s like you want to be where your customers are and those multiple touchpoints across different channels really have a solid effect. This is what we see with retargeting, right?

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In B2B sales you need to get in front of your ideal prospects and talk to them, help solve their problems and start the sales process.

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Doug: Yeah. Well, that goes back to just the very premise of the Dan Kennedy book around the Marketing Plan. It’s like, where are your people? What websites are they visiting? What hobbies do they have? Are they boaters? Are they golfers? Do they drink wine? Do they travel? Do they like cars? Where else are you going to find them so you get a really global view of where they are so you can make sure that wherever they are, you’re there as well?

Morgan Williams: Yep, absolutely.

Doug: So are there any tools that you use or you’d recommend to manage this? Because we’re talking about, “Hey, let’s do some outreach on social. Let’s look at cold email.” So obviously you need to send them an email. How do you typically manage this or get your clients to manage this so they’re organized? To me, it’s fine if we’re dealing with 10 people, it’s going to be difficult with 100 people, and more than 100 people, you just can’t do without a system?

Morgan Williams: Yeah. It depends on what level you’re at and what types of capabilities you need. There are tons of tools out there. I like to think about, “Okay, if you are a solo person, if I am doing this on my own, what’s the most efficient and effective way? What’s the most lightweight stuff I would need in order to get this done?” And my favorite is really the combination of an email follow-up tool and a CRM. And I have a combination that I really like about this. There’s a tool that I’ve used called Mailshake before.

Doug: I know who they are.

Morgan Williams: Mailshake and CRM that I really like that’s for salespeople called Pipedrive. And essentially what it lets you do is when you integrate these two together, it lets you send out these automated email campaigns, kind of drip campaigns that go out over time. When somebody responds to you, that campaign stops and you take over there manually, otherwise, it follows up for you. But what happens is when someone responds, it drops over into Pipedrive and you’re able to read a response from emails in Pipedrive, and every little email that you get, it turns into a deal in Pipedrive.

Morgan Williams: So it’s cool you can move it along that Kanban board and pretty much, hey, when someone’s interested, they become a lead, a deal in Pipedrive, and I can respond in there, take notes, call and move them along the process as my conversation with them progresses. And you can do a lot of damage with just those two tools. It doesn’t have to be Mailshake and Pipedrive, it can be others that work together well, but some follow-up tool in a CRM is like the core of what you need to get going.

Doug: Well, and that makes sense because one of the mistakes I’ve seen often is that a company will generate leads however they generate leads, Facebook ads, Google ad words, whatever, and then they put them into a CRM and telesales guys sees, “These are leads.” It’s like, “No, they’re prospects.” Prospects until they raise their hand and do something. So if they’ve signed up for your email and they haven’t double opted in, phoning them is not going to help. If they’d been getting your emails and they’re not opening them, again, you’re either not getting it delivered or again, they’re not interested. They just wanted your lead magnet, if it was just, “Hey, you have to sign up.” So if you had bribed them to sign up, you’re to get a lower qualified lead.

Morgan Williams: Yep, absolutely.

Doug: What are you most excited about in the next six to 12 months? The idea is saying what are you most excited about in the next three to five years? Looking at the way that technology’s changing by the second, might be a bit extreme. So in the next six months or so, thinking about with your business and what you see in the lead gen space and the demand in the SaaS market, what are you most excited about?

Morgan Williams: I’ve been talking to people about… I’ve interviewed one person, I’ve got another lined up for this, this is something really exciting. Intent data is becoming a really hot topic in the B2B space. And essentially what intent data allows you to do is find people who are actually in the market for the services you have to offer. You’re literally able to see based on lots of different data points who would be ready to buy. Like imagine if you knew when a company was about to switch vendors, you knew that moment. A lot of the struggle of B2B is dealing with sales cycles, dealing with budget cycles.

Morgan Williams: When you’re selling to consumers, it’s like, “Well I like it, I’m going to buy it.” But when we’re dealing with businesses, there’s more bureaucracy. You see this at the enterprise level of dealing with larger businesses, larger deal cycles, especially depending on what you’re selling. It can be tough to deal with that. Some stuff in cybersecurity would take up to a year to sell, and if you miss that window of when they’re evaluating different tools and making their decision, you got to wait. So imagine how valuable it is to know or to have an educated guess on when a company is going to make a decision with something or be interested in something that you possibly offer.

Morgan Williams: So that’s really interesting. And conversational messaging and B2B texting. Wow. It is incredible how underutilized texting is in the sales process and how effective it is. It’s crazy. Now, you want to be really careful with how you use it because texting someone’s cell phone is very personal. I would never send a cold text to someone I didn’t know, it’s not like email. I would not do that, only someone I’m engaged in discussion with. But if it’s someone who I’m in a deal with and they may have gone dark or they may have dropped off a little bit, a soft text message can be great.

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Doug: Well, it’s funny because SMS was a big rage, seem like 10 years ago and then it got super quiet. And so at the risk of repeating myself, I’m a subscriber to Gary Vaynerchuk Wine Club, and it’s worth just looking at it. So if you drink any wine, and also it’s worth going looking at it, and this is called WineText. And so every day I get a text from him and I get an image of the wine, I get the score of the wine, I get a description and then it gives you the price, and often, they’ve got a video. And here’s the magic in this is because he’s got my billing information, my shipping information, the only thing I need to do because you said when you’re emailing, “Make it as simple as possible for your prospects to respond.”

Doug: All I need to do is type in a number and hit. Send so I can type in one and get one bottle of wine, or I could type in 12 and get a case. That’s it. That’s it. So I get a text and the problem with that is it’s so simple. It’s like, “Hey, I want this.” There’s a new cab or there’s a Barolo or there’s a whatever. It’s this price, you just type in 12, hit go and it’s done. So I haven’t seen anything out there where somebody leveraged it and then been able to amass those kinds of huge sales volumes on a daily basis purely in a tech platform.

Morgan Williams: Yeah. Texting is crazy effective. It’s like email was in the early days when people got an email and it was, “Ooh, I got an email.” And you read the whole thing.

Doug: I got an email and I was like, “Man, look at my inbox.”

Morgan Williams: Yeah. Filled to the brim. But if you think about when you get a text, you’re reading it, everyone constantly text-

Doug: Absolutely. All the numbers point to your reading it within 30 seconds for sure.

Morgan Williams: Exactly. Exactly.

Doug: What’s some of the bad advice you hear out there in your space in terms of lead gen or cold outreach?

Morgan Williams: Using a Gmail address to reach out to people or using an email that you haven’t properly prepared for cold email outreach, I would say just some really, like not putting creativity into email templates. There’s a lot of email templates available on the web from different companies, great companies, but people get hit with that stuff so much, to get someone’s attention in their inbox, you really have to be creative. You really have to slow down and think about who you’re reaching out to and what they’re doing and what they want, and really stay focused on the recipient of the email.

Doug: Of the email. Yeah. And they don’t need all the branding. It’s funny because I’m thinking of the worst examples I have of emails, and I’m not going to name the people because they’re all in the email industry, is that they’ve heavily-designed HTML templates. And I’ve got to a very simple form, it’s got my name and my logo at the bottom, and the rest of it is just copy. So it looks like I’ve just typed up a letter and sent it to you. So it makes it really simple for people to read it. You don’t need to see flashing this and flashing that, and banners and borders. At least that’s my opinion because I changed to that format about eight months ago or so and that style of writing.

Doug: And I thought, “Hey the best thing that can happen from this is a whole bunch of people that don’t like my messaging will unsubscribe and then I’ll have a tighter audience of people who liked the way that I run my business. Yeah. That’s really cool. I would agree. I get a lot of cold outreach. I’m sure you do as well from companies that want to help me book leads on LinkedIn. Those are my favorite ones because out of all of the people who have done a cold outreach to me, most of the emails are in the spam box, I’d say probably over 90%. A good handful of the cold outreach is done on a Gmail address.

Doug: And then out of curiosity about the services that they offer, I have responded to three or four of them. I said, “Sure. I would love to learn more about what you’re doing,” and never heard from them again. So it was like, “Let me see. So you want me to hire you to do lead generation for me and you’ve asked if you can set up an appointment and I’ve said yes and then you’ve never gotten back to me, ever?”

Morgan Williams: Baffling.

Doug: So I can understand why people say it doesn’t work because that approach obviously doesn’t work. Let’s move to the important part of the conversations there, not that the information that you’ve shared hasn’t been valuable, but I’m going to ask you a couple of questions and I’ll let you back to serving your customers. And one is, who’s one guest? Now, before we do that, we should actually break for a minute. And your fellow podcast, I didn’t mention that at the beginning. Morgan has a podcast, it’s B2B Sales Tech Podcast, and so he’s in the same space. He’s a fellow podcaster. So I would say check it out if you’re looking for a podcast, listen to and learn some B2B sales tips.

Doug: So having said that, you’ve interviewed lots of guests, your answers had nothing to do with the guests you recommended. Just a recommendation, who do you think I should have on my show?

Morgan Williams: Yeah, there is someone that I interviewed recently and have been developing a really good relationship who is doing some really incredible things in eCommerce. His name is Chase Dimond. Dimond without the A, D-I-M-O-N-D. I do cold outreach all for B2B. He’s pretty much, he’s 90% B2C, he’s doing a ton of really cool things. He’s got an eCommerce email marketing agency, and he’s doing a lot of really cool things in the eCommerce space. And he’s building email lists, he’s bringing customers, people with email marketing. He sold a business. He’s doing some really cool stuff for direct to consumer brands all with email. So I’d say, “I’d definitely love you here.” I’d love to hear you speak with him because he’s got the flip side. He’s seen a lot of cool things with B2C brands.

Doug: Well, that’d be great. If you would be willing to make an introduction by email, that’d be great, and then I’ll connect with him and see if I can get him booked in the show.

Morgan Williams: Absolutely.

Doug: Morgan, where’s the best place for people to reach you, learn more about you, your services, your business, and just to get to know you a little bit better.

Morgan Williams: Yeah, absolutely. People can find me on LinkedIn, Morgan Williams, they can also find me on my website at morgandwilliams.com. That’s D as in David. You mentioned the B2B Sales Tech Podcast, as well on Apple, Google, all the fan favorites there. But if anyone wants to really see a campaign, how I construct it from beginning to end, the thought process that goes into creating it, I have a case study. It’s pretty lengthy, 4,000 words or so that people can download and read, and it actually includes the email templates that I used in the campaign as well. So it will give you a really good overview as well as a deep dive actually into how I construct campaigns and run them. And you can get that at morgandwilliams.com/real fast.

Doug: Really fast. Hey, there you go. I’ve heard that term someplace before. I think people like stuff really fast. We live in the microwave mentality, we want to be able to push a button and have a result right away.

Morgan Williams: You got that right.

Doug: So there you go. And really, thanks so much for taking time out of your day and sharing with me and sharing with our audience.

Morgan Williams: Yeah, absolutely. It’s a pleasure to be on the show. I’m really glad that you invited me on. I appreciate it.

Doug: So there you go, listeners. There’s another episode of Real Marketing Real Fast. My guest today was Morgan Williams. He’s a fellow marketer in Chicago, a podcaster as you’ve heard, and he specializes in B2B lead generation for SaaS companies. He’s in a beautiful part of the world, he’s in Chicago, a place I like to visit when the weather is nice, as we talked about before we got on the air. And I think we’ve been there a few times, not by choice in the bad weather, but I prefer to be in Chicago on the sunny days. So I just want to say, thanks again for tuning in and we look forward to serving you on our next episode.

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In B2B sales you need to get in front of your ideal prospects and talk to them, help solve their problems and start the sales process.

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"Innovation isn't just thinking outside the box; it's about setting the box on fire and building something extraordinary from the ashes."

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