November 4, 2021

Cold FaceTime is Creepy

3 proven outreach tactics that blow cold FaceTime out of the water

Your phone buzzes and FaceTime pops up. Who’s calling? Your mom? Your spouse? Your doctor? Nope. It’s Alex, an SDR from Flover, a disruptive flowertech company built on blockchain and AI. He’s waving at you with a big cheesy grin on his face.

“Good morning,” he says when you pick up. “Do you have five minutes to talk about your office’s plant needs?”

This sounds like some dystopian Black Mirror-esque show, but it’s actually a new sales tactic called cold FaceTime—and it’s the topic du jour on LinkedIn. Or it was, at least. Until the backlash started.

And what a backlash it was.

cold-facetiming-1

Matt’s post is satire. He does not condone stalking.

Some surprise holiday cheer? Who could say no to that?

But what if it’s dark and they don’t see the decorations?

cold-facetiming-2

Eric’s post is satire. He does not condone breaking and entering.

An internal shrine? That’s better. It’s impossible to miss and is bound to land meetings.

But wait. What if your prospect is heading out on vacation?

cold-facetiming-3

David’s post is satire. He does not condone kidnapping.

Now we’re talking. That’s how you pump your numbers up regardless of prospect vacations.

Cut through the sarcasm and you’ll quickly see the general consensus is that cold FaceTime crosses the line. One B2B buyer we spoke to lambasted the practice, saying: “This makes the entire company lose credibility, in my view. It exudes desperation and that my time isn’t valuable.”

Another said: “I understand that sales reps are trying to make cold calls a little more personal, but this infringes upon my privacy.”

That second buyer hit on an interesting nuance: Sales reps kind of had their hearts in the right place. They read every day about how competition is ramping up and their prospects are getting harder to reach. Innovate, get personal, innovate, get personal is the message of most sales blogs and LinkedIn posts. Sales reps did innovate—a little too much.

So how can today’s salespeople cut through the noise, reach prospects, and land meetings without coming across as creepy? We have three outreach tactics that blow cold FaceTime out of the water—tactics that keep a personal touch without crossing the line. 

#1 LinkedIn voice memos

Open your LinkedIn app, go to your most recent conversation, and look in the bottom right corner. See that microphone symbol? It’s a voice memo button—just like on WhatsApp or iMessage. Here’s the thing: almost no one uses it.

A lot of reps are worried about deliverability. They’re used to email where packing a message with video, gifs, and audio clips is a sure-fire way to get flagged as spam. But on LinkedIn, deliverability isn’t a concern. Your message will rarely (if ever) bounce.

Voice memos help you stand out. If every other sales message is text-based, your audio note is going to blast through the noise, especially if it’s short, punchy, and personalized. Here’s a quick script to get you started:

Hey [NAME], 

[MENTION A POST YOU BOTH COMMENTED ON, AND ASK A RELEVANT QUESTION]. A lot of [INDUSTRY] leaders I talk to say [CHALLENGE] is a top challenge right now. This may or may not be a challenge for you, but wanted to share that we’ve [POSITIVE RESULT] through [OFFER]. Interested in learning more?

Like cold FaceTime, it feels personal and personalized. 

However, unlike cold FaceTime, there’s an element of permission. You’re communicating asynchronously—not invading their privacy in real time. 

#2 Colleague referrals

Do you know how most B2B buying journeys start? It’s not a Gartner report, Google search, or cold call. Nearly 85% of buyers begin with a referral. As an outbound rep, or revenue org leader, you might be thinking, “Great, but how does that help me?” After all, barring some incredibly lucky coincidence, an outbound lead won’t have heard about your company from their peers. 

While you can’t control peer referrals, you can tap your colleagues for help.

Let’s say the average LinkedIn user has 400 connections. As you can see below, that adds up quickly. Even small companies have a lot of potential referral points.

Company Size (employees) Total Connections
10 4,000
50 20,000
100 40,000
500 200,000

Some will be connections that a colleague has never spoken to or met. But others will be strong personal or professional relationships—former schoolmates, past coworkers, and personal friends. Both are valuable for sales reps looking for a way into an account.

There are lots of ways to operationalize colleague referrals. Some organizations ask willing team members to export their LinkedIn database and “grade” each connection from very weak to very strong. Sales reps search the databases looking for a connection at their target company and then request an introduction.

Other sales teams are more ad hoc. They set up a Slack channel or mailbox. When a sales rep is struggling to get into an account, they drop a quick request: “Does anyone have an in at Acme Corp?” At medium or large companies, there’s usually a connection somewhere.

When you find someone with a connection, the referral email or message doesn’t need to be anything special.

Hey [NAME]!

I work with [EMPLOYEE] and I think you two would hit it off. You both have lots of interesting ideas when it comes to [PAIN POINT]. Might make sense for you to collaborate!

Notice that this isn’t a hard sell. Although it references the pain point, it’s far more conversational in tone. That’s intentional. You want this to sound like a networking opportunity, not a sales pitch.

#3 Get face-to-face with video

Since the pandemic, two-thirds of B2B decision-makers say they prefer remote human interactions. Sales reps need to find new outreach tactics that are human and get attention. Cold FaceTime is almost a good tactic. It’s personalized and face-to-face. It has the potential to build rapport. It’s just the creepy element that undermines it all.

What if we could keep the good and ditch the bad?

That’s precisely what we’re doing with Showpad Video. It’s our new embedded video communication functionality, which enables seamless and simple video recording within the Showpad platform.

Although it’s not been live for all that long, we’re seeing outbound sales reps doing some amazing stuff.

They’re including highly personalized videos in cold emails to grab their prospects’ attention. It’s easy for a prospect to scroll past a generic text-based cold email. But a video thumbnail showing a sales rep holding a whiteboard with their name and company logo on it? That’s a different story.

They’re maintaining messaging consistency, too. By recording demos and pitches, the message stays consistent as it’s passed around the buying team. No more Telephone games. Instead, your video becomes a source of truth for the sales process.

They’re also doing a ton of exciting other things—far too much to cover here.

One thing’s for certain: video is transforming how B2B sellers are communicating with their prospects. If you’re ready to embrace Modern Selling and video, we have the perfect platform. 

Take Showpad Video for a spin today.