Mukesh K. Singhmar

Mukesh K. Singhmar / May 31, 2023

The Unexpected Positivity: Why Most Software Buyers Warm Up to Cold Pitches

B2B Companies

Any professional who spends time in the marketing arena knows cold pitches come with the potential for both risk and reward. Getting a prospect to respond to an unexpected proposal takes skill – and sometimes luck.

When a company’s resources are poured into a cold pitch campaign, only to be met with painful silence, defeat sets in, and a single question pops up.

Why didn’t they respond? 

But the real question anyone in sales should be asking is:

Why do prospects say yes? 

It’s important to understand the mindset of today’s buyer when crafting a pitch for tomorrow’s potential customer. So today, we’re diving into the psychology of why buyers say yes so you can design cold pitches around what potential customers are thinking and feeling, boosting your chances for success.

The Data (and Psychology) of Yes

In a survey of B2B software buyers by Datanyze, data revealed that over 55.7% of buyers are more receptive to cold pitches from someone in their network.

With so many variables in cold pitching, it’s impossible to come up with a single explanation for why some buyers feel more comfortable moving forward within their network. But here are three feelings that could be driving the trend.

Psychology of yes

They feel connected: It’s no surprise buyers are more likely to be receptive to cold pitches if they know the sender in person. The Datanyze survey revealed nearly 60% of buyers would respond to a pitch from a salesperson they know in real life.

Human connection is vital for an effective sales process. But what many salespeople underestimate is the depth necessary to make an impact. 

The survey also found that 36.8% of buyers will reply to pitches from someone in their LinkedIn network. Some even responded that their likelihood of replying also increased with more distant second and third connections. Even a salesperson equal to a virtual passerby can instill a deep enough feeling of connection that encourages a yes.

They feel trust: Studies show that we like and trust those in our social group more than strangers. And according to a LinkedIn State of Sales report, just over half of decision-makers mention trust as the top factor they desire in a salesperson.

High levels of trust are associated with decreased amygdala activity, the part of the brain responsible for processing strong emotions like fear and anger. A prospect may feel they can trust those in their social network, even if loosely connected, more than those outside of it and, as a result, let their guard down enough to explore a cold pitch further. 

They feel interested: Today’s remote work climate means we connect with those in our professional network differently than the professionals of yesterday. Posts on various social media platforms allow salespeople to share their thoughts, work styles, products and/or services, and even social updates in a watercooler conversation style with all their connections.

It’s a form of social proof or a psychological mental model that says when people feel uncertain, they turn to others for answers on how to behave, think, and do. Such posts can create genuine interest in prospects without the pressure of a cold pitch. 

Genuine interest boosted by social proof and great timing will almost always result in a yes.  

Three Tips to Increase Your Cold Pitch Success Rate

Cold pitching is a great outbound marketing technique, but only when done right. Inducing certain feelings can boost the chances of a project being receptive to a pitch. Here are a few tips to remember when putting together your next campaign.

Tip #1 – Find As Much Common Ground As Possible

Additional survey data found connecting with someone on LinkedIn can increase the chance of receiving a reply more than 12% of the time. Of course, simply joining a prospect on a platform is one of the best ways to boost positive reception. But finding other ways to connect can increase those chances even more.

Did you attend the same college or vacation near their hometown? Candidly mention this connection. From a psychological standpoint, readers are more likely to respond to someone similar. This alignment can be especially true when the common denominator is rare.

The Data (and Psychology)

Find the balance between purposeful research and intrusion of privacy. A prospect isn’t likely to feel awkward about you mentioning a fact about them that’s common internet knowledge. On the other hand, digging too deep can do more harm than good. Even the slightest hint of a connection can urge people to say yes.

Tip #2 – Use Psychology to Create a Presentation

Have you heard of Monroe’s Motivated Sequence? It’s a model of persuasive communication adopted by some of history’s best public speakers. 

The model has five stages with an end goal of inspiring the recipient to act quickly and confidently (typically through a sign-up or purchase). The sequence looks something like this.

  1. Attention: Use an anecdote, surprising statistic, or interesting fact to grab the audience’s attention quickly.
  2. Need or problem: Identify your audience’s needs or point out a problem.
  3. Solution: Explain the solution that resolves the need or problem and show them how it works.
  4. Visualize: Help the audience visualize what life would look like once you solve their problem with your solution.
  5. Act: Close with a call to action that makes your audience part of the solution.

It’s possible to adapt Monroe’s Motivated Sequence to nearly any sales situation. You can apply it to a TEDx-esque speech to hundreds, diluted for a one-on-one meeting, or tailored to a cold pitch campaign. Showing someone you understand their problems and are willing to help can boost trust in a relationship. 

Tip #3 – Send Charismatic Emails with Confidence

Once you’re in the right place with the right people and message, it’s time to get it across in the best light possible. Sender’s remorse is real and crafting an email campaign that effectively communicates your message raises the chances of success. 

Here are a few tips: 

  • Start with the end in mind. What is your overall goal with your campaign? It may seem silly because the answer is so obvious, but by taking a moment to focus on the end goal, you’re more likely to stay the course. For example, a campaign with the end goal of growing membership differs from one selling a new product.
  • Focus on your headlines. Make it informative yet concise. Studies show including the recipient’s first name is helpful for open rates and that using a word that suggests urgency can make all the difference. For example, instead of simply writing “meeting opportunity,” you may find more success with “Gale, can we schedule a meeting next week?”
  • Keep it short. We want to use Monroe’s Motivated Sequence format in our email campaign. But that doesn’t mean an email has to be as long as a speech. Instead, stick to the main points and cut out any fluff to keep the reader engaged yet informed.
  • Follow up. Studies show that 48% of salespeople never follow up with a prospect. A lack of response may not be a hard no. Instead, it could be a mistake or a forgotten reply. A follow-up can make sure you don’t fall off the radar. A great client partnership monitoring system can help with this.

A strong email campaign can deepen connections, build trust, and stir interest.

One Last Variable to Keep in Mind

One variable to keep in mind when measuring the success rate of a cold pitch campaign is urgency. A lack of urgency will prevent a sale even if a prospect feels deeply connected to you, trusts your service, and is genuinely interested. 

That’s why utilizing a variety of digital marketing channels is so important. While a cold email campaign can provide a positive return on investment and keep a pipeline filled with opportunities, exploring other options is also vital. 

A service such as SeeResponse can help you plan, develop, and implement the ideal combination of marketing channels for your industry and needs.

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