1) Social proof
Why it works: Social proof describes the tendency to make choices based on other people’s decisions, because we believe those decisions reflect the right choices.
Marketing teams already leverage the concept of social proof through customer case studies and displaying customer or social share counts.
How to use it: Reference high-profile customers or the size of your customer base. For a more targeted use, point out how many of your prospect’s competitors and peers use your product.
The McDonald’s slogan “Billions and billions served” calls out the company’s giant customer base.
2) Get your foot in the door with a small ask
Why it works: Once a prospect says “yes” to a small ask — the proverbial foot in the door — they’re more likely to agree to future requests.
How to use it: Ask your prospect a question that they are unlikely to say no to.
If you sell software that tracks target accounts’ trigger events, an easy way to get a first “yes” is to confirm that your prospect’s sales team wants to improve their prospect outreach.
3) Include a headshot in your email signature
Why it works: When we make eye contact with people, we feel a subconscious sense of connection. In one Cornell University study, researchers edited images of the Trix rabbit mascot, then asked adults to pick between several cereal boxes bearing different versions of the image. Participants most often chose the box where the rabbit was directly looking at them.
How to use it: You can’t make actual eye contact through email, and by no means should you include a massive photo of yourself in the body of an email — that’ll just make prospects uncomfortable.
But it can be easy to forget that there’s a person on the other end of your emails. Including a small headshot of yourself in an email signature is a subtle way to remind prospects that you’re human too.
4) Include a reason
Why it works: Giving people a reason why you need something — no matter how ridiculous — makes it far more likely they’ll do what you ask.
Psychologist Ellen Langer conducted a study in which experimenters asked to skip ahead in line at a Xerox machine. When they asked, “I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?”, they were allowed to skip the line 60% of the time — not a bad outcome.
But when they asked, “I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?”, 93% were allowed to skip the line.
Despite the fact that everyone else in the Xerox machine line needed to make copies, they complied with the request simply because the experimenters provided a reason.
How to use it: We wouldn’t recommend making up ridiculous excuses to get your prospects to sign a contract — that’s not good for anybody. But even providing a simple explanation — “I’d like to set up a meeting with you because I can help with X strategy” — could pay huge dividends.
Instead of writing, “I’d like to set up a conversation so we can discuss your project management software strategies,” try this instead: “I’d like to set up a conversation to discuss your marketing strategy because we’ve seen similar companies increase their lead generation by 40%.”
Happy Monday & Happy Selling!