Ulrich Riedel, Will Bachman
Will Bachman 00:02
Hello and welcome to Unleashed. Unleashed is produced by Umbrex, you can find firstname.lastname@example.org, that’s you and B, Ra X. I’m your host will Bachman. And I’m excited to be here today with older kridel alrik was a previous guest on the show where he talked about his unique pricing model, which is 100% at risk, very unusual. So check that out. We’re gonna build on that today. Or Rick’s gonna talk about his process of cold lead generation via LinkedIn, which I don’t also don’t know a ton of independent consultants that have been really successful with that. So I’m excited to hear how Alric goes about it. Oh, Rick, welcome to the show.
Ulrich Riedel 00:46
Well, thanks so much. And happy to be here. Really great. Yeah, I mean, coated in sorry. Yeah,
Will Bachman 00:52
yeah. So just tell us how you do it. Right. So walk us through your process. You told us in the previous episode, how you use LinkedIn to help find these projects, boots have to be you know, fit a very narrow set of criteria. So what tell us about your process?
Ulrich Riedel 01:09
Yeah. Maybe before I start with the process itself, I give a bit of background. So why? First, I thought it’s, it’s insane to do something like that. And I, I hesitated for a long period of time to, to do cold reach out in general and specifically on LinkedIn. However, I realized for my very specific offer, I need a very specific set of of leads and prospects, and I won’t find them otherwise, number one, number two, what is the downside, and that’s important thing, the downside I see is a close to zero, in the sense of if you would write you can’t damage your reputation, you don’t you wouldn’t have met those those individuals, in most cases, anyhow. So there’s a lot of upsides limited downside, and I believe my experiences can book. So to make it work, I see a couple of, of aspects and I would like to list them first and then we’ll you’ll shoot at me whatever you would like to shoot at. Number one is, my number one advice is respect your leads, you do something, we do something if we do that, which is which which is close to spanning. And it must not be spam as my deep belief people. I always have this idea if you do something at 90%. In this kind of activity, you don’t achieve anything, you need the 95 100% Or you just lose everyone and you and respecting your lead. So it’s a major component of that this must not be a marketing, spammy thing, it must be you who is trying honestly to reach out to interesting people. So that’s my number one, and maybe most important advice. And number two, just be aware too expensive, especially for your own time. And also, I believe you need external help for a while. And you need to be prepared to sustain those, those those investments your time and cash out. Which leads to the third item, which is it needs real expertise. It needs a Sales Navigator, you can’t do that really with LinkedIn in itself, and you need to know how to set up such a process. And then later at some point, you can do it yourself, but it is a huge time investment. So if you if you can continue to outsource it even better. Then, which are under estimated I was I thought it was quite specific of who I was looking at or who I was searching for. And I realized after three months or so, it was not not targeted enough, I got too many leads which looked good but which weren’t fitting for myself didn’t have the right personality, or didn’t have the right positioning the right company and
Will Bachman 04:15
say more about that. So first of all, we’re talking about LinkedIn Sales Navigator. So some of you may have a LinkedIn Premium Account listeners. And some listeners may have a Sales Navigator account. It’s you know, it’s in a sort of separate module right within costs 100 and something dollars a month, something like that allows you to do different types of searches with looking at more fields that you can do Boolean searches on. But when you say getting someone with real expertise, and you were doing it on your own, but you weren’t doing it right. Tell us about what specifically an expert helped you do differently. Was it like in what way was the search more target He did. Tell us a little bit about what the expertise was that that helped you.
Ulrich Riedel 05:05
Very good. So, there are companies out there, which which sell you cause in the end, they sell your first level contacts or contacts within LinkedIn and, and calls. And they do everything needed to, to generate that. You provide the words, yeah, I mean, I would never give any wording to anyone else in our profession. But the handling, I mean, we are talking about 9000 leads now which period which, which that company has looked for and, and saved, also to be sure they are not double trying it again on the same month. So they save also the bad one. So they already had a targeted search. And then they, they, they look for the ones to approach. And that is in itself, a lot of work and needs. And as you rightly said, a Sales Navigator is quite powerful to look for people, but you know how to do it. And also, then once you start to contact them, you need to organize and you can’t, I mean, say server gets horrible in terms of CRM module, and we are doing CRN here kind of in a way and at least very early stage and, and you need a lot of tricks to still make it work in a good way. You’re creating groups and and multiple groups, I have one group do I contact the person in German and Swiss German or in English, stuff like that, but I don’t every single time have to look in which university that person was, was being where that person was born, and so on and there. So you can have you can tag it in a normal nature will be, you’ll need to find tricks, and then you need the process itself to, to send out the connection to trick it once it gets back to you only have 300 characters to invite someone, as you may know, once the person accepts, you want to send the person a longer a text, you may want to personalize that text to that person or not. And then that person may engage and then what the company will do is to to set up a call they are in your LinkedIn, they are in your Calendly. And they will set up a call in your calendar with with that prospect. And that’s when they would leave that that contact, then it’s yours and you are handling it 100%. So they do quite a bit and it’s possible to do it yourself. But it’s but but I would not have known how to I didn’t start myself I started with the experts. Just I didn’t answer to the experts precisely what I wanted, I thought I did the profile of my of my of my leads, I just fell into the same trap. I think some fall in LinkedIn, you always want to be a bit broader, just a bit broad or not just in case. And in LinkedIn, it kills you with 800 million or whatever, people it just kill. So you need to be super targeted, super restrictive, aware that you will lose a lot of good potential prospects, but you can’t handle the amount anyhow. And so you must have my learning, you must avoid getting contexts which in the end, you don’t wouldn’t like to have as as clients may be as compromised client, but but not really.
Will Bachman 08:38
So it sounds like your initial reach out is you’re sending a connection request. Can you talk to us about what language you use in a connection request? And maybe how that’s evolved over time? And how you’ve iterated to find what is working for you today?
Ulrich Riedel 08:58
Very good. Yes. So at the beginning, it was soft and different. And it worked. But for probably not for the right personality. And then I got to the point my my the profile of my prospect is very specific Senior Vice Presidents upwards in companies with $3 billion industrial companies a $3 billion upwards in Germany, Switzerland, Austria. So it’s those kinds of people, let’s say they all make at least half a million a year. They don’t have time they don’t answer this kind of things. They get 20 A day of that. So it needs to be crystal clear. So what I now do in English is originally is Dear John, you are responsible for large complex projects and strategies. I reduce your implementation risk and increase the intrinsic project value by eight to five 15% which is 20 to $600 million NPV, I do this since 2004. I’d love to explain how I would achieve this for you best regards with a wish. And now, I contacted them. And this is now going into the I did something quite daring people told me I shouldn’t do it. I contacted them a second time three months later, the ones who didn’t answer. And I say, in the second time, I said, let me try the unthinkable, John and invite you again, why your large complex projects deserve better implementation, I improve the implementation risk of down value up eight to 15%. More value 20 to 600 million NPV since 2,400%, success and value based let’s talk Warm regards, motivation.
Will Bachman 10:51
Wow. And it works. So you’re keeping track. So you send a connection request. And if they don’t accept it, you need to go into LinkedIn and sort of delete or withdraw, I guess it’s withdraw that connection request. And then you’re keeping track of it and you have some kind of, you know, flag for yourself so that three months later, you’ll send them another connection request, you know, the way you described? What system are you using to track all that are you using, like a CRM CRM system? If so, which one?
Ulrich Riedel 11:24
So I have my own CRM system. And I, once I get in contact with someone, I moved the person to my CRM system. But until that point, these 10,000 leads which I, which I currently handle, they are all in Sales Navigator. And they are organized by lead lists. And I have a couple of lead lists. So one is simply who of them is the first level of contact? And who to whom of them have I sent out the invitation who has accepted to Whom have I sent out the opener, therefore, the longer text is quite long, 2000 digits or so characters, but Whom have I sent the follow up, which was the third step? And I have also done the second follow up, which I was also advised not to do, but I did it personalized, and it worked very well. And so a second follow up, and then I I’m I’m sort of say I give up and I move those individuals, again, to a different lead list in Sales Navigator with service, which sat invitation sent. Dropped out or not not No, no, no, no, no response.
Will Bachman 12:41
Okay, so, so you’re managing this kind of funnel process by moving people from one lead list to another in Sales Navigator?
Ulrich Riedel 12:51
Yep. Several lead lists. Exactly. So they all have 456. Ticks are on different lead lists at the same time to make clear what, what they are, who they are into what is the language long, what is the language, as I said, but the other one is from which campaign I had. I changed it in between, as I, as I mentioned, got more aggressive and more clear, I would say. And then depending on where they are, it’s up to six different different ticks on lead lists. Yes.
Will Bachman 13:25
Now, do you ever? It sounds like you’re sending people messages on LinkedIn? Do you try emailing people or calling them or texting them or anything other than LinkedIn.
Ulrich Riedel 13:38
So I love to move to email. I do that at at the stage where we, where we get into contact and then I decide very often people are very happy nowadays, apparently to continue conversations quite deep conversations on on LinkedIn. But whenever someone gets any sign, I move to email or if I have the sense, it’s a good moment, I moved to email. And I have two different programs or tools to find the email addresses because I will never write to a personal email address and mostly in LinkedIn. You see the personal email addresses not the business ones. Yeah.
Will Bachman 14:15
Do you mind me asking what what tools do you use to get work email addresses?
Ulrich Riedel 14:21
I use get email and I use rocket reach. Rocket reach.
Will Bachman 14:26
Okay, get email. Okay. So zoom info is obviously a big player on that. I don’t know what works well in Europe. So you find get email and rocket reach. Okay, so, so then
Ulrich Riedel 14:44
also expensive just to make that clear. As I mentioned before, this whole thing is expensive. And also, I mean, just those two costs another 1000 bucks or 1500 bucks a year. Just just to let up lose this is not an easy and light touch endeavor.
Will Bachman 15:03
Yeah, that’s well, that’s actually pretty affordable. zoominfo is 10,000. So, right, okay. Okay, so what are some of your tips now? So you send the person a connection request. And then if they accept you send them the, the kind of longer message inviting a discussion, do you give people like, some kind of Calendly link so that they can schedule right in your calendar? Or do you ask them to provide a time, what have you found works best.
Ulrich Riedel 15:36
Um, I love Calendly. And I put it in, it’s just a bit off putting for some, and I don’t use that too early. So in the very first hour, in this long email, what we call the call the opener, there’s no Calendly link, there’s simply a respect for respectful suggestion, let’s briefly explore together whether we could be a good match. That’s my sentence, whether you could imagine that your large complex projects would actually be better implemented with my contribution. Definitely Nice to meet you here. Warm greetings from Switzerland, which so so not in this long message. And because I, I was senior manager in the past me large organization, like, I’m almost my perfect prospect, and I don’t the moment I see a Calendly link, it looks like a, like a marketing thing, like a spinny thing. And that’s here, the balance. My my two of my guiding principle here has become, let’s be 100% authentic number one, rather have a spelling mistake or so that this is real, and make it as personal take clues from the LinkedIn profiles, linked to the same university to the same previous employer to the cities who have lived in something where it’s not about the link itself, which is also good. I mean, this personal link, the more important thing as the person realizes there is someone who looked into my profile and and sent me this message. And so I tried to avoid anything which destroys that perception and LinkedIn is destroying that perception. But in a follow up, I do put it in and quite some people pick it up, I put in a Calendly link and in later discussions, usually, yes, people people, right, they would like to want to see the interested. It’s not I haven’t found it a big hurdle to set up a meeting. So it’s not such a big thing. It’s not needed to hook the person in, I believe, whether I put it in or not. I have. Yeah, I don’t think the the person was interested. It’s very clear, they would like to talk.
Will Bachman 17:54
Right? So in that first long message, you don’t say, Hey, if you want to talk grab time, here, you more leave it as would you be, you know, open to discussing this? You know,
Ulrich Riedel 18:06
yes, it’s an invitation. For me, it’s an invitation to come to start thinking together. It’s not, let’s have a meeting. Right? And, and, I mean, it’s so difficult to get these people are very senior people, and it’s so difficult to who to get them interested. And they want to see, quite a few have told me so they appreciated the personal touch, they want to see that I am take care of them that I’m respectful of their time, and that I truly believe I can add value to them. Not that I get valued for myself. And that’s why why I keep it very focused on let’s let’s let’s start the journey together. Not a LinkedIn meeting. Yeah, I’m not gonna candidly meeting,
Will Bachman 18:56
right. And then, so they and what’s like a typical, positive? Like, what are some of the responses you get? Like I imagined some of them would be saying, nice, but not now’s not the right time. Check back with me in six months, or, or do they say, you know, interesting, but no need to chat now. Or? Or they say, Yeah, okay, let’s discuss, what are some of the responses that you get?
Ulrich Riedel 19:23
Very good. Maybe I answered that with a with a funnel with a numbers behind for it once once you know exactly who you want to target. You build the database of 1000 2000 people you would like to target and then you send out piece by piece. LinkedIn only allows something like 20 3040 A day at some point, it cuts you off for a couple of days, and then you can restart. So LinkedIn is not your can’t do that in a really spammy way. So for every 100 of those invites these short 300 digit invites, I get 20 to 25. Now, even 30 accepted connections, which I was I was told is really, really good for that level of, of people. Of those 20, let’s call it 20, I have five, which also respond in person. So not only accepted, then get the long text and then are silent, but they respond in person. And those five leads to one call one video discussion. So it’s 1% of the 100. Targeted, you send out. But that’s a short term view. Now I’ve done this already three quarters of a year. And now it I start to see the fuller picture. And the fuller picture is those 20 or the 15, who didn’t respond, eye contact again, and again, I get a quite significant portion who then start to be interested, and then very often, immediately want to have a call. And off the five, which only one is now really talking for exactly, like you said, saying, nice, nice stuff. But we don’t have anything right now I’m just leaving the position, we’ll start in four months time in a different company. And also there, the conversion rate continues. It’s the one is right now. But the other four, which were I was in contact, things start to develop, all of them get into my CRM system, and my CRM system is built on the logic, I only want to have one the guiding principle is when is the next interaction, my interaction, personal interaction, I don’t ultimate automize anything in my world. So when it’s my next interaction with that person, and then also what will I do with them, but what is the logic of that interaction, so typical thing is, reconnect three M three months. And then in brackets, mentioned a new job or mentioned daughter being born and back to work, or whatever it is, and, and that’s how I keep those alive, and I develop them. And whenever they have something, they will come and they do. It’s only nine months for that I realized how long the sales cycles are. But it’s it’s a numbers game. I mean, I have 200 people now from that exercise, which are in my CRM system, I 50, which I had video calls with. And, and all those 200 are, are reconnected, these are only the new ones. And then I have 100 from my from my original network, and I contact them every 236 months. And I get response, it just takes time and it takes takes context, funnily enough, I thought bothering people is not good. But if you do it in a very targeted sharp way, and you do it always with if you have a large complex project, I can help you, you will get this and they are happy to see this two three times before they even contacted me once and then they come with a request for a call. And they said they admire the stubbornness or the persistence and, and and are happy to then engage. They just didn’t have anything before. So why should they write back? So it’s a journey. This is not something you just do and you tick it off. And it’s done. You start it and you keep with it and you work with it and you do it in an innovative way trying to send what to my target audience what do they need the individual one what is this someone who doesn’t want to see me for six months? Or is it someone who probably is happy to hear again in two months and and then the birthday? Vicious? I’ve never done birthday wishes in business contacts of people I didn’t know now I do and people love it. I congratulate to the two doctrines all what you do in LinkedIn and Patrick, what you can easily find again and Sales Navigator. And it works. I deeply believe you need a number of contacts, whatever seven or whatever the number is to get to a contract. And it just takes time to get to to build up that trust over multiple interactions and they don’t what I learned is people don’t need to write back in order to feel that being an interaction. I sent them something it’s positive for them. They don’t have anything they don’t answer, but it was a contact and it raises a level of trust.
Will Bachman 24:56
So let me see if I got the path so you send out 100 Connect Action requests, roughly 20 of those will accept the connection request of those 25 may reply to the either the connection requests. So 20 accepts a connection request, maybe a couple actually give you a comment. But let’s say none of them do. So those 20 people, you’re going to send a longer message of the people that you send a longer message five will reply. And of the five that reply, one of them in the short term is going to schedule and have a meeting with you. The other four of those people who reply might say, Oh, that’s interesting. Yeah, I don’t really need to have the call now. But thanks for reaching out. Now, we have to we have three groups. So the four people that replied, You know, that engaged with you, but didn’t schedule a meeting? When will you follow up with them? And how do you follow up?
I sent in LinkedIn, many, many 100, New Year, greetings to my network, and including those that was one getting back to them. And funnily enough, two calls to video calls came out of that, only of that, of that New Year’s greetings. I have a logic for everything, I decide every single time I touch a person sent assess. Not now. I put that person into my CRM and decide when is the next contact point already in two months? Or is was it pretty hard, not now and rather than 12 months, or in six months, and then I do it step by step I every single time I touch someone, I write that personal message, I have five to 10 different messages I’m sending in that circumstances. And I decide what that what could that person want to see and what what could work. And I adjusted with name, of course, and always was something else, which makes it clear that I looked into the profile, and it’s personalized. And very often, it’s really, I mean, I write so much from scratch, I write 50 6070 of these real messages I write from scratch every single time. And so that person gets a new message about whatever I think would be helpful for the person. And that’s how I grew those five. And also the one by the way, because the call itself may not lead to a project because now the person knows you and knows that it’s interesting, but it still needs continuation of the of the relationship.
Will Bachman 27:41
And then of the 15, where they accepted your connection request, you sent them one message, you sent them a follow up message, no response. What what do you do with those 15? Who accepted your connection requests? And now you so you probably have their email address. When do you contact them?
Ulrich Riedel 28:02
Yeah, so there’s 15, I contacted a second time, which I was told I shouldn’t do. But it worked. Well, I got another one or two. So the five went up to seven. And I even and that was even less advised. I even went to the at the ones which didn’t connect and invited them again. And I got another 10. So the 20 is now 30. And the five is now seven. And we probably got up to eight or nine and then it’s it’s finished, then it’s a close. Close group.
Will Bachman 28:37
Okay, so you saw the ad, you have to withdraw? Oh, by the way, are you sending connection requests from Sales Navigator? Or do you go back to LinkedIn premium and send it from regular LinkedIn
Ulrich Riedel 28:50
synced Sales Navigator, I know it’s a bit of a hassle. It’s looks different. It’s two different ways to capture them the responses. But if you’re in two different systems, you will get ripped apart and you can’t take people anymore. And it only works if you work within the system aggregator landscape.
Will Bachman 29:07
Okay, so you send them regular connection requests from Sales Navigator. And it’s always a customer requests. All right, amazing. So it sounds like you are like in addition to these new connection requests every day, you’re like, almost every day going in there and saying, Okay, what are all my action item pop ups from 236 12 months ago that I need to follow up at different stages of people.
Ulrich Riedel 29:33
Yeah, that’s not in LinkedIn that’s in my CRM system. But yes, absolutely. That is driving my day if I can. And if I haven’t, if I have a project, I simply don’t do it. I mean, at least not in that intensity. I only do the most urgent things but not the standard things and then the tool months, become four or six months and I very often delayed and people it’s not necessary to contact them. That was my judgment at the time, but if I don’t have time, I I simply move them two months forward. So absolutely every single day I go into my CRM and I see the list ordered by date, whom I should contact in what in what logic?
Will Bachman 30:13
And what can you tell us what CRM system you’re using? Is this a custom built one? Or do you use it off the shelf Pipedrive, or HubSpot, or one of these systems,
Ulrich Riedel 30:25
I tried HubSpot and set it up and everything and then discussed with the person of HubSpot, an expert there. It doesn’t work for me, because it’s so HubSpot works if you’re automize. But I do I love to touch my base of notes 700 Priority One clients in my CRM in general and the 400 or so 300 400. In my CRM system, I love to touch them, I want to know their names and who they are in what context they are. And so I have a bad memory, I need to touch them again and again. So I have I have actually Outlook, Outlook contact, I know you don’t do that, and so on. But I have a couple of customized fields, like the footer update, which is the guiding principle for everything I do. And then a couple of other ones, including the next step, the text in text form, where it says what I should do in half a year’s time, and then it’s ordered by date, very simple. I have a couple of specialized fields. So what kind of property is that client? What language does it have? Where did I find that client? What category and what what CRM stage so I also use it for the CM stages. 01 first contact 05 is the first project active project, and so on. It’s one client I copy all interaction, all emails, that’s my virtual assistant is doing that mostly, but copying all LinkedIn interaction, email interaction, my notes, from calls, all those are copied in the notes. So I opened such a such a person and I have everything in front of me. But more importantly, it drives my work. I don’t need to look at anything, I only need to look, what does what date do I have today? What do I have to do today? And it works pretty well.
Will Bachman 32:15
Amazing. Alric? If listeners want to follow up and learn more about your firm, or find out more about you, where would you point them online?
Ulrich Riedel 32:28
Online, I mean, your your saw that I do a lot with LinkedIn best. You contact me via LinkedIn, you will find my phone number there. You can always call me. You will always get an answer in LinkedIn within a day or two. That would be the easiest way I have a webpage of course. But LinkedIn is, is working very well in that regards.
Will Bachman 32:49
Amazing. Org. This was very informative for me. And I’m sure listeners will be you know, find a lot that they can mind and use in their own practice. Thank you for joining today.
Ulrich Riedel 33:00
Thank you so much for Thank you