Sales hooks are bits of information that can help you create relevant and meaningful introductory sales messages. This personalized approach will help you stand out from the crowd.
1. Online Activity
The most effective hook is when a prospect starts interacting with your company online. With the right tools, you can find prospects that have viewed your website pages, downloaded forms, read your marketing or sales emails, or engaged with you on social media. You can create very targeted messaging based on what content the prospect has been consuming.
2. Business Pain Points
Based on what you know about the prospect, hypothesize what you think the major pain points are: lack of revenue, inefficient processes, high client turnover, etc. The goal is to build a case that makes the status quo hurt more than change.
3. Other Company Connections
Identify anyone from that company in your network or sales database. You may be able to ask those people for an introduction, reference them in your introduction email, or include them in your greater introductory sales call plan.
4. Mutual Connections
Search for mutual connections on LinkedIn and in your extended network. Determine if it would be appropriate to try to get a referral or introduction or if you could mention the mutual connection in your introduction. This approach takes longer than just picking up the phone or whipping off an email, but it can dramatically shorten the time it takes to get a meeting in the long run.
5. Internal and External Company Changes
Search the internet for information about internal changes such as stock numbers, mergers and acquisitions, downsizing, management changes, expansion plans, etc. External changes include shifts in commodity prices, weather-related events, regulatory policy changes, foreign affairs issues, and more. These hooks can unhinge corporate equilibrium and open the door to new opportunities.
6. Things in Common
Identify things that you have in common with the prospect – you like the same sports team or support the same charity. Common interests can increase feelings of connectedness and trustworthiness.
7. Company Related Content
Search for company-related content such as press releases, events, blog posts, social media posts, webinars, ebooks, etc. Referencing content or news related to the company in your introductory messaging is guaranteed to capture the prospect’s interest. It makes the prospect feel good to start off talking about them and what they do vs. you and what you do.
8. Industry-Related Content
Search for articles or information online that might be of interest to your prospects, such as changes in policies that could impact their company, hot industry trends, statistics, or educational content. Hopefully, you have some blog articles or content on your corporate website that you can reference as well.
The goal is not to just throw a bunch of content at the prospect but to send the right information at the right time. If you play your cards right, you’ll be able to guide the prospect further along the buyer journey; they’ll start to trust you and be more willing to take your phone call.