I was originally going to share this tip with you on the CLONE YOURSELF Podcast (which by the way, if you haven’t taken a list - check it out on Spotify, iTunes or any of your other favorite pod players!)
Anyway, after some thought I decided that this tactical strategy would be best in the form of a blog.
If you’re ready to work with Virtual Assistants to help you prospect, then here is an exact step-by-step process on how to outsource your prospecting to a virtual assistant on LinkedIn!
Now, before we begin - I want to remind you that the best system is what works for you! With that said, take the ideas and concepts here and tweak them to make it your own!
I work with VA’s so that I can focus on my biggest strengths. I work with VA’s to free up my time so that I can increase sales to my business while in fact actually working less so I can go outside and play more.
These days prospecting doesn’t require the skill set that it once did during the classic “dialing for dollars” and “smile and dial” days.
Honestly, no one wants to talk on the phone anymore. Cold calling just doesn’t work… but this is actually a great thing because cold emailing works so much better than cold calling ever did and it’s way more efficient (and scalable!)
Cold emailing is extremely similar to cold calling … and even though this post is written for sales minded people; I’m going to take a step back here and define “cold”.
Cold just means that the person you are targeting to be your client doesn’t know who you are. In the cold calling days, you’d likely have a headset, a list of names & numbers and try to power through as many calls as you could to gain new clients.
This model was never efficient, it did work but the problem is the only way you could scale it is by having more butts in seats. You physically need someone to pick-up the phone and “smile and dial”.
Anyway, let’s talk about cold emailing…
Similarly to cold calling your prospects usually don’t have any idea who you are. However, the advantage of cold emailing is you can reach far more people than you could ever dream of by just picking up the phone and calling. With cold emailing you can fire out tons of emails at a time and obviously there’s no way we could ever make the equivalent amount of phone calls in the same time.
For the purposes of this post, we are going to focus on why cold emailing is a great task for virtual assistants … and it begins with it being scalable.
AN OBJECTIVE task is pretty black and white. Either it gets done correct or incorrect.
A SUBJECTIVE task is something that requires artfulness (that might be a made up word but we’re going to roll with it). Artfulness is the opposite of black and white. It’s the opposite of math, it’s the opposite of right and wrong. A subjective task leads room for interpretation.
If you’re fairly new to working with VA’s, then I highly suggest starting off with objective tasks. The reason to start with objective tasks first is because it’s extremely easy to find a VA that can do these, it’s simple to train and there will be less growing pains with your new VA since the task can only be done correct or incorrect. Simply just help guide them to do the task correctly if at the first shot they make a mistake.
As we can continue with this post, I’d like you to think about which of these tasks are objective and which are subjective.
Now, before we get into the actionable steps, I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed.
I’m going to give an example that is pretty advanced. I do not want you thinking this is what you SHOULD be doing when first hiring a virtual assistant. I’m giving you this advanced example so that you can visualize what life will be like when you’re up and running with VA’s. make sense?
Here’s a real life example of how I would prospect for my Swag business by working with VA’s. Oh and by the way so you have some context on my background - my business sells branded merch AKA Swag, promotional products or whatever you want to call it (our industry has an identity crisis… but that’s besides the point).
My target market for the swag business are admins in tech companies based in Silicon Valley.
Using the LinkedIn Sales Navigator, I can find the exact prospects and leads for my business. This in itself (the searching for my potential buyers in LinkedIn) is a subjective task.
It’s not black and white, there’s room for interpretation. For example, I might see something on someone’s profile where they check most boxes but there could be something that is a red flag… or sometimes people show up in the search results that don’t exactly fit my ideal customer - in these situations I would keep scrolling.
ORRR… maybe I see someone went to the same college I graduated from or we share a common interest in a certain non-profit… for cases like these I might put them at the top of my list.
The point is prospecting in itself can be very subjective … BUUUUUT that doesn’t mean the whole prospecting process needs to be done by me.
As mentioned earlier Cold emailing is just emailing someone without them knowing who you are. This can be a very repetitive task, so instead of doing it myself I’ll work with VA’s to do the actual emailing.
Here is what the entire process looks like… and as a reminder, I want you to think about how this would look in your business and which of these tasks are subjective vs objective.
Determine the number of people you want on your list when first getting started. You might want to do the first round just a group of 10 so that you can test it out. But as you scale you can easily batch this in rounds of 50-100 (by the way, the task of identifying the people is a subjective task).
Go to LinkedIn and find your tribe. I recommend using the Sales Navigator (paid for account on LinkedIn) but the free account can work too.
There are a ton of resources online (and tips & tricks) on how to use LinkedIn for prospecting - you might want to do some googling, but honestly just enter in your criteria in the search bar for the Sales Nav account and you’ll be good to go!
Open a google sheet on your computer and store the person’s name, company, and email.
Sometimes their emails will be listed on their LinkedIn profiles. But, if not don’t worry I have an amazing tool for you!
Check out this Google Sheet that populates emails. In this link you can easily plug in someone’s name and their company domain to discover potential emails. Make sure to check out this blog post for more info on how to use the email generator google sheet. This is the tedious task that a VA would do. This is the objective task. It’s pretty black and white. At this point, you’ll have a google sheet of someone’s name and email (and company too). Simply just task your VA with filling in the missing emails in your google sheet from your LinkedIn prospects by asking them to find their emails by using the email generator process.
You’ll need to create a canned email sales letter. If you use gmail, then go to the settings in your email and click “ADVANCED”, then scroll down to “TEMPLATES” and click the button “enable” then save at the bottom of the page.
What this does is allows you to easily insert template messages when composing a new email. Try it out… Click compose then on the bottom right of your email body, you’ll see 3 dots. Go ahead and click those to see the templates section.
Do not skip this step.
This is what’s going to make this task so easy for your VA. Type in your cold email message in the body of the email and click “save template”.
Let’s review where we’re at…. We discovered new leads on LinkedIn, we built a google sheet with their emails and we wrote a sales letter template within our gmail. Now it’s time to show you how a VA will save you time.
Your VA will need access to your email or if you’re not comfortable with giving them access to your email, then create a new email just for them!
For example, my email is [email protected], if I wasn’t comfortable giving them access to that email I might create a new one that reads [email protected]. The idea is you want it to look like the email is still coming from you.
Whatever you do, DO NOT create a generic email like [email protected] and send cold emails from some generic email. Those definitely won’t work, people want to see your name and know you’re a real person.
This is a bit of an advanced type project given the upfront work. But, my hope is to clearly illustrate the difference between a subjective task and an objective task. While secondly, providing you some real value on a sales trick that can boost your revenue easily (and efficiently). Honestly, this is way easier than “dialing for dollars” and it’s totally scalable (trust me, I’ve done this process countless times).
Now, if you actually want to implement this type of sales trick, (remember, I do think it’s a little advanced and you might have some trouble if you haven’t done this before). With that said, IF you are going to do this exact process or something similar, then I want to offer you 2 BONUS TIPS…
1. Create an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure)
We haven’t gotten here in the podcast yet, but when hiring a VA you need to always task them with creating SOP’s… that’s a standard operating procedure. This is to document the process so that anyone can do it moving forward and to save you time so you don’t have to train new VA’s. We’ll cover this in more depth in a future pod and blog. But, just know for now you aren’t the one creating the SOP. You simply ask your VA to document the process in the form of an SOP, cheat sheet or whatever you prefer to call it - just get it documented!
2. Secondly, 10 emails isn’t going to do anything for your business. You already know that. You’re going to have to block out some time to get that list up to 100 leads (at a minimum). Don’t give your VA all 100 at once tho.
Start with the 10 emails and re-evaluate. I have a theory called tiny tasks lead to BIG PROJECTS. Essentially, you just want to task your new VA with a small task so that you both can get comfortable working with one another. Once you find a rhythm, THEN go ahead and task them with the big project (give them 25,50, 100 leads at a time… whatever you feel comfortable with). We’re going to cover tiny tasks leading to big projects in more depth in a future pod.
So, that's it! This is the process I use to prospect for new business - it's quick and efficient (and best of all - it actually works!)
I know this was a lot to take in, but honestly DO NOT feel overwhelmed. I could have given an example that was super simple to task to your VA but I didn’t want to do that because I want you to see….
To VISUALIZE yourself building out systems with your VA.
Objective tasks can be as simple as just copying and pasting a blog you wrote in a google doc to WordPress, Medium and LinkedIn articles etc. Objective tasks are really simple… remember you want to start with simple tasks when working with VA’s. There’s a learning curve and we want to set ourselves up for success.
If you have any questions at all, hit me up! Email is [email protected] and you can schedule a time to chat with me by going to Calendly.com/CLONE.
You can do this!
Oh and Listen to the Podcast! The CLONE YOURSELF Podcast was strategically mapped out to give you a step-by-step action plan to hiring your first (or next) virtual assistant.
Sam AKA SwagSam