When working on sales efforts, the focus is usually on getting new leads, which will hopefully convert and build your business. There are plenty of ways to generate new leads: performance marketing, cold emails, introductions to new people and more.

While these are all valid ways of generating leads, some of them might work wonders for one company, but might not necessarily work for others. It’s definitely worthwhile to try every single method and then decide which to focus on.

I’d like to discuss what I think should be done before cold calling and spending money on performance marketing. I’m sharing these insights because these proved to be useful for me at Veed.me on a regular basis.

Numbers

I’d like to talk about what’s close to ~100% success rate and that’s reaching out to people you already connected with, from different points of your life and career.

So here goes…

That friend from high school

There are claims that an average person meets 75,000 people in a lifetime. But for our purposes, let’s just think about the people we became friends with five years ago when we both did unrelated things to what we do today.

Looking at old friends’ LinkedIn profiles can actually prove to be very effective in finding relevant contacts. And guess what — you’re already connected so they’d probably be more open to helping you than random strangers. It’s ~100% that they will respond if you reach out.

Main tip — 
On LinkedIn’s main page, look at the top right for the news cards about connections who just got a new job/role. In no time you’ll find out that one of your acquaintances now holds a relevant position at a relevant company.

 

Facebook is Safe For Work

Here’s a little experiment; go to Facebook.

See that little search bar at the top? 

Type My friends who work at Google 

It is likely that you’ll get some results, showing you friends of yours that work at that organization. The cool thing is — that you might’ve found out that a friend you haven’t been in touch with is now working there. Even if the experiment didn’t work, you get the point, and if you try a few other companies, you’ll see what I mean.

Facebook is an amazing tool to find relevant people for your business, including some that wouldn’t instantly jump to mind.

 

Facebook search is a really a powerful feature that has so much more to it than just looking up a name.

You don’t follow up on meetings

Let’s face it, we like meetings more than we like to follow up on them. We’re asking for precious intros and are thrilled about the great potential these have. We put a lot of effort into these meetings, we spend time on decks, design, taxis, coffee(s) and so on.

And it’s fun. Meetings are fun. It lets you leave the office and breath some fresh air, it gets us visit the nicest offices around (sometimes) and honestly — having meetings in our calendar makes us feel efficient in our job.

But…
Nothing is being closed on a first meeting, and the follow-up becomes the next to-do item on our list and it is very often the following up that we push it for later. 

There are endless excuses for why we push it for later but at the end of the day — People hate follow-ups.

I’m not here to suggest tools for lead management, I’d just like to make a point — we should F****** follow up!

Or not take meetings.

Irrelevant in the past → Relevant now?

There are 3 responses from a lead:
I’m interested, Maybe Later and - I’m not interested.

So, I’d like to talk about the not interested. Why is that? Because we’re in the startup world, and if you have a startup — you pivot. And if you pivot — those who were not interested might be interested now. 

Here’s an example of how I reached out to one of the big companies I met over a year ago. We’ve since changed out target persona and now they are finally a fit for us. It wasn’t a cold email because we met in the past and even had a good connection. It just didn’t work out. But guess what — now it does and it’s worth a lot of $$$.

 

It’s not about contacting all your “not interested “leads, but focusing on the ones who you really wanted as clients, and wish they were interested. These are the ones who are worth another go.

Bottom Line

I believe that we all have plenty of people in our network that are willing to buy what we’re trying to sell.

I believe that recycling leads is one of the first things we have to do when trying to sell our new product/service and before we start cold calling and begging for intros.

If you have any comments or additional insights on that topic — I’d love to learn more.

Yoav Hornung - Filmmaker at heart, symmetry lover, co-founder & CEO at Veed.me, a video production marketplace that connects marketers who need videos, with a global community of videographers. Twitter - @yoavush