One mistake many people make with outbound is that they believe it can only be used on totally cold connections.

The truth is that eye-catching outreach is often best utilized when you have some sort of slightly warm connection.

In the following example, I will demonstrate how you can use outbound to win business if you have a weak connection to a company.

Selling your way up the organization from lower level employees

When I was starting up Outbound Creative, there was a company called Thoughtbot on my hit list. Thoughtbot is a large development firm with offices in over 10 cities and they have roughly 100 employees.

Through a Meetup group that I regularly attended in Denver, I knew Andrew one of their senior developers at the Denver office. Andrew was a great guy and occasionally made some sales for the company, but he was not the decision maker for marketing budgets. 

During one of our correspondences, Andrew expressed interest in the outbound work that I was doing and mentioned that he thought it would be a good fit for Thoughtbot.

So we sat down and got lunch.

During that meeting, I learned a ton about Thoughtbot.

I learned how their revenue model worked.
I learned who their ideal clients were.
I learned about their company structure. 
I learned how they have gotten sales in the past, and their current marketing outlook.

And most importantly, I learned who the decision maker was AND got permission from Andrew to reach out to him. 

Through my network, I just turned a weak connection with a company into a chance to pitch the key decision maker.

The next day, I put together a package for the CMO of Thoughtbot.

In this package I included:

  • A letter that was extremely personalized based on what I had learned in my meeting with Andrew. I referenced my conversation with Andrew and mentioned how Andrew advised me to reach out to him
  • A small gift that created the urge for reciprocation
  • Some information about Outbound Creative
  • A pitch video that was highly personalized based on the information I had learned. In this video, I talked about some concepts and ways Thoughtbot could use outbound.

What was great about this package is that even though I had never talked to or had any relationship with ThoughtBot’s CMO, I was able to get in the door with credibility by leveraging the connection of another employee in the company.

Think about your own network.

Do you have connections to any companies that would be ideal clients? Even if they aren’t the decision makers, could those connections give you enough information to help you work your way up the chain.

Outbound doesn’t have to be cold. Use it to leverage your existing warm connections.