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The Escalating Cost of Cold Email with Forster Perelsztejn of Prospect.io

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Why would anyone want to use cold email? Because, when done well, it can work. Cold email is not a replacement for inbound methods but a supplement—a way to drive near-term growth while inbound campaigns gain traction.

Today, our guest is Forster Perelsztejn of Prospect.io. Their company makes software that integrates both finding people email address and sending them email sequences to reach out. Their product is designed to help with email outreach.

In this episode, we’ll be talking about:

  • What is prospecting

  • Five step approach in writing cold email

  • How to use LinkedIn as a part of the prospecting process

Attracting the prospect to you requires saying just enough to get the conversation started—a short chat about what’s meaningful to the other person. Cold email is another effective method of reaching to your prospects. You can send your prospect an email on how your product could solve all their issues.

Networking has always contributed to prospecting and sales success. It is absolutely essential for finding high-quality prospects and gaining access to the buying process. LinkedIn is one perfect example of a tool to make lead and sales prospecting smoother, quicker, and ultimately profitable.

In prospecting, don’t ask for too much – a request for a simple action or a quick response may probably work better than an invitation for a 30-minute call. Start small.

Mentioned in this episode:

Cold Email Course
Forster’s LinkedIn
Propect.io

For more information on remote selling and a complete list of links mentioned in this podcast, visit this remote selling article on our website.


The Escalating Cost of Cold Email with Forster Perelsztejn of Prospect.io:

Full Transcript

Liston Witherill:
Welcome to Modern Sales, a podcast for entrepreneurs, business owners, and salespeople looking to have more and better conversations with their perfect clients. You’ll get a healthy scoop of psychology, behavioral economics and sales studies to help you create win-win relationships. I’m your host Liston Witherill, and I’m pleased to welcome you to Modern Sales. It is getting harder and harder, and more expensive to acquire new clients. In fact, I will be talking very soon about a theory I have, which is that the cost of sale in an existing market will always increase. Bad news maybe.

Liston Witherill:
But today’s guest is somewhat familiar with this idea, and that’s because he works at a company called prospect.io. So they make a software that integrates both finding people’s email addresses and sending them email sequences in order to start a conversation with them. It can be used in lots of different ways. I use software like it in order to reach out to people to be on my podcast, for instance, like him, he was reached through this kind of software. I use it in order to prospect, I use it in order to make connections in content partnerships, kind of like this podcast. I use it for a lot of different reasons, but one thing that I’m finding is that the cost of the sale is increasingly going to rise.

Liston Witherill:
So I asked today’s guest, Forster, who’s in charge of acquisition over at prospect.io about his thoughts on the escalating cost of sales and in particular acquisition and getting that first meeting. I’ve heard some people say that the primary challenge of sales now is getting into a conversation. I don’t totally agree with that, but it is a large challenge. So today we’ll be having a wide ranging conversation about prospecting itself, about how LinkedIn plays into it and how content marketing plays into this and about some of Forster’s thoughts about the future of prospecting and email outreach. Now my interview with Forster of prospect.io.

Liston Witherill:
So, your product is designed to help with email outreach, and in every study that I’ve seen in the last five years or so, it’s getting harder and more expensive to get replies from email outreach, as you must know. Why is that and how should companies think about solving this problem?

Forster:
Well, the thing is, it’s hard to get replies simply because there are so many emails going around and most of it is spam and people have listened this time and people are expected to multitask much more. I’m not sure it’s getting harder and harder. It’s probably reached a threshold where it’s just hard. The way our tool is designed and the way we try to educate our customers and the way I write the blog and everything, well, generally, it’s just simple rules. If you want to get someone to reply, you need to make it personal, you need to appeal too to make it short and try to appeal to them and make it all about them instead of about you. That’s really the thing. Just picture the email you would want to receive. I know that’s a bit vague, so that’s why I tend to go with a five step approach.

Liston Witherill:
Which is what?

Forster:
It’s writing cold emails. So to me, there are five steps in the cold email. The first one is, you need to grab the attention, second is you need to state why you’re writing and why you’re writing to them personally, then you need to come with some benefits, state some actual benefits, then fourth step, credentials, like why should they trust you, why should they believe you, and then five, call to action. So I’ll just come back to each of these elements.

Forster:
So first, grabbing the attention is super important because the attention span of people specifically business is pretty short, so you got to make sure that from the get go, from the first sentence, you’re saying something that appeals to them and that’s going to make the email or the message matter to them. It can be anything like mentioned a blog post they’ve written or around the funding they’ve just secured. Make sure the first sentence is not straight to business, but captures the attention of the person you’re writing to.

Forster:
And then second step, get to business. State why you’re writing. In some cases, it doesn’t apply, but in 99% of them it does. Go straight, “Hey, I’m writing to you because I see that you have experience with this in that company and our products allow us to do this, this and this.” Or, “We can help you achieve this, this and this.” So go right ahead. It’s one sentence of why you’re writing and why to them. It should be more than one or two sentences. And then [inaudible 00:05:14] you come up with some clear benefits, like something that very clear, very precise that they’ll be able to implement or that they’re going to be able to benefit from. For example, “Hey, we saw your website is really nice, but we saw two things that you could do to purely improve conversions.” Or, “Our tool can help you cut your time prospecting by four,” for example. The more numbers you have, the more concrete examples you have, the better.

Forster:
And then four is credentials. So pretty much, hey, you’ve got their attention, they know what you’re writing about and they know how they could potentially benefit from working with you, but they don’t know you, they’ve never heard about you. So you need to show them that you’re trustworthy, that you’ve done this before with good results. What qualifies you to work with them and provide those benefits. When that’s done, you cannot just say, “Hey, thanks for your attention,” or, “Thanks for reading,” or, “Bye,” or anything.

Forster:
Everything you’ve said up to that point leads to the most critical part, which is the call to action. Because when you send a business email, it’s all about moving the process forward, it’s all about getting to that point, where we’re going to ask them, “All right. So where to next?” So you need to call them to action with, “Hey, let me know when you have time to chat. Please book a call in my agenda.” Or, “Please download this file if you’re interested.” Just go to be something very precise that’s going to get them to move the process forward. So that’s what we’re trying to communicate to our customer, to educate about on our blog and all the content we produce.

Liston Witherill:
So I want to challenge you on something because sort of your initial premise was it’s hard, but it’s not necessarily getting harder, it’s just like carte blanche difficult. All the data that I’m seeing from companies like Outreach, for instance, that has a massive, massive data set, and you guys have a massive data set as well, ot’s taking more emails to get a reply or to get a meeting and also at the same time we’re hearing advice like you just gave, you need to catch their attention, which is really code for like, prove to me that you actually did some homework on me-

Forster:
Yeah, exactly.

Liston Witherill:
… and this isn’t just the same email that went to 1,000 people. Both of those things are going to raise the cost of the sale of acquisition, for sure. Because I’m having to send more emails, it takes more time. On average, I’m going to need more prospects in order to get the same results. One of the things that I noticed in what you were saying is it sounds like your advice is very targeted at software products. It occurs to me that if I have a low priced software product, I’m going to have a major problem, which is, there’s no way my lifetime value will be high enough to justify my acquisition cost.

Forster:
Fair enough. So I’ve got [inaudible 00:08:17] ones here. First, email outreach is just not for everyone. So outreach isn’t necessarily for everyone. There are lots of channels to acquire customers, and you just need to find what’s best for you, for your industry, for the history of your customers, for lots of things. But sending emails isn’t necessarily hard, it doesn’t necessarily take a lot of time. We pretty much hate doing that, we pretty much hate prospecting, and that’s why we built a tool to automate that shit. We built [inaudible 00:08:48] to automate all that.

Forster:
I want to come back to something else you said before, like sending more emails. Yeah, definitely, we always advise our customers to have campaigns with at least… well, generally three to five steps because most responses tend to come between the second and the fifth step. Really, for me, does a given. I’m not sending a campaign that has less than five steps, whatever the outreach is. Because people, sometimes they overlook an email, sometimes they don’t have time or they think it’s something else or… If you really truly believe that there’s value in what you have to bring to the customer or to the prospect, then there’s nothing wrong in pushing and assisting, as long as you’re bringing value in every email you’re sending.

Forster:
I’m all for following up, and that’s something we teach our customers to do. I don’t think it only applies to software companies. For example, I want to say one of the first businesses I worked on and with, which is my dad’s business, he sells gluten free food online pretty much. He started doing B2C, and now he’s doing B2B. So he’s not doing software, he probably can’t code for shit, but he’s doing eCommerce. When he wants to try to [inaudible 00:10:07] now he sells to hotels and companies like that. It works pretty much the same. You reach out to them, because… actually, okay, that’s the thing.

Forster:
It’s necessary for software companies, it’s for companies that can have a high revenue per sale or high profit per sale. It doesn’t matter if it’s software or not because in every case you’re going to have to reach out to grab their attention, show that you’re trustworthy. Basically sales’ general idea works pretty much the same across every industry. Some of the sales will have more complex cycles with like three, six months., some are shorter. That should be reflected in your price. If you have a six month sales cycle for a product that’s $25 a month, then there’s a problem with your pricing or your product. So-

Liston Witherill:
Or people just don’t want it, I would say.

Forster:
Yeah. Or people just don’t want it, which is why you should be working on your product. So I don’t think it’s expensive to do email outreach. When I say it’s not for everyone, it’s just that some strategies work and it depends on… Sometimes it doesn’t work because there’s something you haven’t thought about or… There are so many variables. It’s very, very hard to just say, “Hey, this will work for you.” Because if one method works it every case, the job would wouldn’t be interested and everyone would just follow guidelines and-

Liston Witherill:
Right, we wouldn’t have to have this discussion. Everybody would already know what to do.

Forster:
Yeah, definitely.

Liston Witherill:
First of all, I hope your dad’s not listening to this podcast because you just-

Forster:
He wouldn’t be offended.

Liston Witherill:
So we talked about a very product oriented business, so software company or your dad selling, going through channel sales or larger clients in order to buy his gluten free products. Most the people listening to this are in client service businesses and so they’re providing some sort of service or a service layer associated with a software product. Now, it’s such a trust based business that I think two things sort of bubble up for me when I think about email outreach. One is, I really need to go out of my way to develop trust quickly. I think some of the things you said around testimonials, case studies, proof points, demonstrating your credibility, those are important. But the second thing is, there are sort of higher stakes for blowing it, because once you break trust, it’s hard to get it back.

Forster:
Yeah, of course.

Liston Witherill:
What do you see from your client base for people who are in service based businesses, whether it’s marketing services or legal? There’s all kinds of professional services, and I know email is still an attractive way for them to acquire new clients. Is your advice slightly different for those types of businesses?

Forster:
No. One of our first and biggest customers is a company based out here in Belgium. There are a big video production studio. They have a few thousands of reps, they’re doing cold outreach, pretty much. We’ve done some training with them and they’ve been using the products basically since we launched a couple of years back. It’s pretty much the same. Especially in media production where it can be real expensive real fast, I think that it’s still a good business to be doing that. So I don’t think that the general framework would change.

Liston Witherill:
Okay, cool. Well, you heard it here first, try email outreach. So I’ve used your product, and many like it. I think it’s fantastic. I’ve been using it for many years. But one thing I noticed from your product and others is that it’s becoming harder and harder to get valid email addresses, and therefore preserve my deliverability. So I’m using another layer now where I’m verifying the email addresses. In addition, I know you have built in verification, but I’m running it through another third party app, and what I’m finding is about half of the email addresses that I get are valid. Why is that? Is it going to continue to get harder as corporations don’t allow you to validate all the email addresses?

Forster:
I’m going to answer as best I can, because this is something that developers are involved in. I don’t know all the technical specifics, I’m just going to answer to the best of my knowledge. So for a while we had our first extension because that’s how [inaudible 00:14:32] that’s how we find email addresses. We have a Google Chrome extension that finds email addresses on professional social media or company websites. That was the first version, and it was mostly trying to find an email address on a certain domain or testing a first name, last name, company combination. Like Hey, initial last name or first name, last name and everything.

Forster:
So yeah, at some point, we saw we needed more quality email addresses, so now we’ve integrated with Clearbit and other databases to increase the quality of the emails. Also, there’s something we’ve had for a while, and it pretty much puts more power into the hands of the users, and that’s the verification level. So you can choose what email quality you want. So if you set your quality for 15%, you’re going to have more emails, but we cannot guarantee the quality of the emails. Maybe the email will be expired or maybe we found the email but could not verify it, but we found that it existed at some point. Or we can set it very high at 90%, and we will give you email that we found verified. If you put it 100%, it will only return email addresses that have recently received an email from a prospect.io account and that we… for which we have like an actual true verification. So it is hard, and that’s remodeled and redesigned.

Liston Witherill:
On that note, maybe the theme of this is that email keeps getting more expensive. So based on what you said, here’s been my experience. When I go through LinkedIn, I’m using your plugin, which I guess I’m not supposed to say publicly. I don’t know how you guys stand on that, but let’s not even cover that whole thing.

Forster:
As you wish.

Liston Witherill:
But I’m on LinkedIn, I’m using Sales Navigator, and let’s say I do a search that surfaces 200 people. I’m going to set the email rating at 90% or greater because I want to preserve my deliverability. I’m also doing one to many marketing emails, and I want to make sure those get delivered too, and so my cold outreach is going to affect my overall deliverability score. What I find is if I’m ratcheting up the verification or the, I guess, quality score… Is that what you guys call it? What do you call it?

Forster:
Verification level.

Liston Witherill:
Verification level. Right. So if I ratchet that up to 90% or more, what I’m finding is if I have 200 prospects and I’m trying to grab all of their emails, it’s only giving me about 20 to 40% of those on average, and so that’s going to net me 40 to 80 email addresses when I had 200 people in my pool. Now, it’s going to be more and more and more effort. It’s just going to continue to get more difficult, is the way I see it. Are you guys seeing a trend in how relatively easy or difficult it is to verify these emails?

Forster:
I can’t really tell if it’s getting easier or… Because we’re constantly working on improving the extension and the ways we find email. So it’s not like we’re standing still and seeing it get harder or easier because it’s like in constant motion.

Liston Witherill:
So why don’t we turn now to a totally different question, which is the strategy. So, let’s say you said three to five emails is kind of the length of the sequence you guys recommend, is there anything I should be doing with the people who don’t reply? That’s going to be the overwhelming majority if we’re doing this at any level of scale. Should I just not contact them again or what do I do now?

Forster:
Again, depending on your industry or your product and everything, I guess in the last minute of the sequence you could say, “Hey, maybe this is not a right fit for you at the moment. I’ll get a in touch later to see if things change.” I’m on the side of, if you don’t get a hard no or not a response at all, you should contact them again later. The only thing is if you’re contacting them like three, six months later, just make sure their email address is still valid and that they haven’t switched jobs since then, because emails tend to go bad real quick. That’s one thing. That’s one of the difficulties we face when finding email addresses, is that people change jobs all the time.

Liston Witherill:
Well, especially in software. I don’t know how accurate this still is, but at one time the average tenure of a Google employee was 1.1 years, which just blows the mind. So imagine how much they spend on training and hiring to keep people for 1.1 years. I noticed in one of your articles you talked a lot about list segmentation, which I think is great because it allows us to give much more targeted information to the people receiving our emails. What’s your approach to how you think about creating segments within your email list?

Forster:
The thing is, you’re going to segment based on… [inaudible 00:19:44] you need to have in mind when you segment a list is that it’s going to give you the ability to tailor the message that you’re going to send. So you could totally segment by industry size, by location, by so many things. Well, the short answer is, it depends on what you’re selling and on your industry. I’m going to say that your list should be segmented in a way that you can personalize your emails enough to show that you’ve done your homework. That’s pretty much it. Because in the end, that’s your goal, to show that you’ve done your homework, and that you’re offering something relevant.

Forster:
Sometimes one criteria is enough, sometimes you need more. But yeah, that totally depends. It depends on you, on your industry. So for example, you could be… Especially if you have a software that could be aimed at a lot of companies across various industries, so in that case, you may want to segment by industry and company size. If you’re targeting hospitality industry, you want to segment by season. When is winter in that area, when it’s winter in that area, because you’re targeting places that are most active because they’re like ski resorts, that are something you need to find out with the industry or… The golden rule is to segment so that you can address a personalized message. That’s pretty much it.

Liston Witherill:
One thing I would add to that is, if you, dear listener, are looking at taking an account based approach, especially for mid market or enterprise sales, you’re going to be contacting multiple people at each account. One thing I would recommend you do is look at job titles and departmental functions. So if you have a sale that involves both marketing and finance and HR, you’re going to have different messaging to each of those groups and you’re going to have different messaging to the VP versus the director or say manager also. So you may think about looking at job titles and departmental functions. Let’s talk LinkedIn

Forster:
Yeah, let’s do that.

Liston Witherill:
It’s a product I love to hate. It’s amazing because they have such great data and they do such an absolutely shitty job of making software in my opinion, because it’s just a pain to use. But I’m wondering… I know that prospect is a layer that can sit on top of LinkedIn and I can find contact info, but I notice you’ve talked a lot about social selling and I’m sure you get asked about it all the time. I’m wondering, how do you see LinkedIn, as a communication channel, playing a role in my prospecting? So on the one hand, we can go out and get anyone’s email address or many people’s email addresses, but on the other hand, I can actually go to LinkedIn and communicate and do stuff with people. How do you see LinkedIn as a communication channel, maybe in concert with your email tool?

Forster:
Well, I think LinkedIn is a huge bonus. The thing is, not everybody spends time on LinkedIn. So if you [inaudible 00:22:47] by email and during the process befriend them on LinkedIn and interact there, it’s just a great bonus because that’s formal, you can communicate with shorter messages and emojis or share content in a more casual way. So yeah, it’s definitely a great way to… and also, when you send an email, sometimes if you’re wondering if you’re sounding too businesslike, interacting on LinkedIn is going to soften and make it more friendly and other the data points to the fact that people don’t buy because the salesman is friendly, but it helps in building a relationship, being top of mind on every platform. On LinkedIn, they have a message from you, they get an email from you in their inbox. As long as you’re not harassing them, it’s a great combination. We’re all for multichannel approaches.

Liston Witherill:
So one challenge I’ve seen with using LinkedIn… and I’m going to come back to you said about people don’t buy because salespeople are friendly, there’s a lot of nuance in that one.

Forster:
Yeah, of course.

Liston Witherill:
LinkedIn as a communication platform. So the stats show that the average LinkedIn user only comes to LinkedIn like every other week, which I’d say, let’s pull that out for a second. That means most people don’t log into LinkedIn ever, and some people log in like every month or two, and others are there every single day, and they skew these statistics dramatically. Do you guys recommend, or even… Actually, let me ask you this. Internally, do you guys use in messages or Sales Navigator type messages in order to get ahold of prospects, maybe some of your higher value accounts?

Forster:
I’m going to be 100% honest with you, we haven’t done advanced sales in a while.

Liston Witherill:
Okay.

Forster:
This is something we did at the beginning, and it’s something my boss did a lot when he was starting out with his previous companies because had previous businesses in which he did a lot of outreach and… But that’s not something we’re doing now because I’m basically the only person acquiring customers. But I use LinkedIn for other things because when I was hired here, I was hired mostly to do content, and to do content, I wanted to involve as many influencers as I could, and I sent a lot of cold emails to get them to be featured in an article or to give me some feedback. I find that using InMail and combining it with email was a pretty good way to do that because these influencers… Yeah, I’m going to call them influencers. They’re on LinkedIn pretty much all the time because that’s where [inaudible 00:25:24]contents and that’s because Twitter is basically horrible for that. Yeah, it’s just terrible.

Forster:
Also, on LinkedIn, the engagement is higher quality, of course. So yeah, definitely. When I had to get ahold of these people, I would log into LinkedIn, find their email address, shoot them an email. At the same time, I would check out their articles, leave a few comments and keep coming back and interacting with their content and sending an email that’s just like, “Hey, I read that article you wrote, and I couldn’t catch you in the comments, so hey, here’s my take on it.” For some back and forth you can be like, “Hey, would you maybe like to be featured in that article of mine I’m writing about that subject specifically?” And same to get guest blogging spots. I guess sales as well, kind of selling contents.

Liston Witherill:
Well, if I could translate the spirit of what you’re saying, it sounds like LinkedIn is more of a place for getting to know people and doing a lot of things other than sales, and that’s been my experience. I think LinkedIn is having a big problem, which I’ve been hinting at with email also throughout this episode, which is, a lot of people are going there and selling shit in a really blatant way where obviously I haven’t put any time to you and they’re like, “Hey, do you need more leads?” I don’t know how many times you’ve gotten that message, but I get that.

Forster:
Yeah.

Liston Witherill:
Anybody who has lead gen in their title now I won’t accept their requests because I know what’s coming next. Right?

Forster:
Yeah.

Liston Witherill:
I think it’s having that problem, but I still find… Like this podcast, I found you on LinkedIn, got your email address using prospect.io, of course.

Forster:
Did you?

Liston Witherill:
And then I believe I sent you a connection request but definitely sent you an email, and that’s how we connected, and it’s still the best place to do research in my opinion. But communication, I’m finding, is becoming a little bit more of a challenge as it gets noisier.

Forster:
LinkedIn is also great to… When you want to reach out to someone, even if you’re going to send an email, spending some time on their LinkedIn is one of the best ways to find out what’s of interest to them, and it helps you personalize the message in a non-intrusive way, because you’re not looking at their Facebook profile and scrolling through their family picture, that everything. You’re finding out what they’re interested in and what their challenges are like on the professional level and just professional challenges like what they’re interested about in the business sphere.

Liston Witherill:
Excellent. So another question about LinkedIn. So social selling. I saw one of the articles that you were quoted in, and you were talking about how it’s really important to give much more before asking, and I totally agree with that. Sometimes it can feel like you’re screaming into the Grand Canyon and there’s no one responding. It’s like, “Hey, I’m putting out all this stuff that I thought was good, and some people are commenting on it, but it’s not generating any leads.” This is one of the number one questions I get asked with content marketing in general, but especially social selling. People are like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I get it. I’m supposed to give first. How do I know when I’ve given enough? And also, do I ask a particular person or do I put out an ask to my network? How do I ask for something in return?”

Forster:
Well, the thing is, you should not give and expect anything, you should be giving because that’s what you do.

Liston Witherill:
But isn’t this business, I’m not running a nonprofit. Right?

Forster:
No, no, no, no, no. [inaudible 00:28:59]. And giving should be an ongoing process. That’s the idea. When you need something, just ask for it, because you’ve been giving for months or years. Because if you go to the approach like, “Okay, I need this for that person, so I’m going to give and then I’m going to go and ask.” Well, Gary Vaynerchuk has this… Well, it’s the title of one of his books, it’s like Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. So like go with offer like three times and then just go ahead and ask, but don’t expect anything, just give. If you want to ask something, just ask. But don’t ask because you’ve given, just ask because you have something to ask, something to say, you have something to express, you need something and you’re just going to ask. Because there’s nothing wrong in asking, you can always ask because the worst that can happen is someone’s going to say no. So you shouldn’t be afraid to ask. But at the same time you should be in an ongoing process to give.

Liston Witherill:
You’re being a good sport because I’m asking you some of the hardest questions to answer. I appreciate you trying. Now I’ll try to add the way I look at it, because there’s no simple answer, obviously.

Forster:
Yeah, of course.

Liston Witherill:
The way I would look at it is, first of all, it’s not a direct response channel. So social media, if you need fast results, doing social selling probably isn’t the way to do it. Doing something like a direct response kind of email, the way you were describing earlier where you’re just asking for the meeting immediately might be a better approach for you if you want faster results. I’d also say that the right amount of giving is much more, probably 50 to a 100% more than you think is enough, and at the point you feel exhausted because you’ve given so much, then you can start asking. This is more of a brand marketing way of approaching thing.

Forster:
Yes, it is.

Liston Witherill:
Isn’t that interesting? We call it social selling, but it really is more of an awareness and brand marketing play.

Forster:
Yeah. But you should enjoy the giving process, actually. If you’re only producing content because you want to ask something in return, it’s not going to be sustainable because you’re not going to like it. You’re just going to be like, “I’m giving, I’m posting content, I’m commenting on his posts and I’m still not getting anything.” You have to enjoy it, because if you’re just doing it for what you’re going to get in the end, you’re not going to be able to do it for more than a few weeks.”

Liston Witherill:
Totally agree. For instance, I don’t know if anybody’s going to respond to this podcast, but I’m enjoying talking to you, and so that’s enough for me. If one person got something out of this, it would be well worth it.

Forster:
That’s just how you should look at it. You should do it because that’s something you get a kick out of, and if someone’s interested, well, that’s fine, I am, and if someone is interested, great, then I’m going to be able to make some business.

Liston Witherill:
All right. So let’s have some fun for a second and go a little bit off topic. So I see that you’re into music, and I’m going to hold this up for you here. This is great for radio, but I have an Ableton Push in front of me, I make hip hop and electronic music. I was recently thinking about what lessons I’ve learned from creating great content through music, and how do I apply that to business? I see that you’re a drum tutor and a drum teacher. So I’ll go first, but one of the lessons I’ve learned through, especially writing rap music… I’m a rapper also. I’m sure you could tell that by looking at me.

Liston Witherill:
One of the things that I’ve learned is there’s so much more to communication than the content of the words we’re saying. So when you’re listening to a rapper, there’s the cadence, the rhythm, there’s pauses and voids that they create for emphasis. There’s their inflection, there’s tonality, there’s timber, there’s effects, there’s all of these different things that contribute to the overall emotion and message that people are going to take away from it. So I’d open it up to you, what is the lesson you’ve learned in music that you apply to your marketing?

Forster:
Generally, I tend to apply marketing to music to promote my band and everything. That’s literally more the way it goes. One thing I learned from music and I applied to marketing is that the visual aspect matters a lot. If you’re doing music, but you have a horrible album cover and you’re not showing anything on stage and just producing sounds, it’s not going to go well or go very far. In marketing, if you have great content but the presentation is terrible and you’re just like, “Hey,” just dropping huge bits of text without getting them putting fun images or interesting images and a nice design or something readable that makes people want to engage even before they’ve started reading the content, then yeah, that’s better.

Liston Witherill:
Here’s what I would say. One lesson I would take out of being a rhythm musician as you are is, in sales and in music, timing is everything.

Forster:
Nice one.

Liston Witherill:
I think that that’s an important thing to keep in mind. Well, my friend, you have been a very good sport. I’ve asked you some very difficult questions.

Liston Witherill:
Now let me open it up to you. If someone wanted to learn more about you or prospect.io, what should they do, where should they go?

Forster:
Everyone’s free to connect with me on LinkedIn, I’m always happy to chat with pretty much everyone. If you’re interested in prospect io or the content we produce or the cold email course we have, just come to prospect.io also something we don’t always broadcast live but our cold email course is… it’s $19, but it’s free for all of our customers because if you’re a customer of ours, we want to make sure you get the best education about cold emailing. That is pretty much it, I think. If you’re interested in [inaudible 00:34:41] drum lessons, just hit me up.

Liston Witherill:
Awesome. You are the first guest to offer that, so thank you. All of those things that you mentioned, those are linked in the show notes. So listener, if you want to follow up with Forster for drum lessons or if you want the cold email course or anything that he mentioned, all of those things are linked in the show notes. Thank you so much for being here.

Forster:
Yeah. My pleasure.

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