Can you create a convincing sales hook?
Whether you are cold-calling a prospect by telephone or generating cold email outreach, you want to snag the attention of your prospect quickly.
Is your sales hook catchy, irresistible, does it tempt the customer to ask questions, to start a conversation?
In this day of outbound marketing, when B2B firms have low-cost ways of spreading messages about their products via social media, it pays off to devote particular attention to the art of hook-making.
Crafting a useful sales hook can garner you increased sales, turning prospects into buyers. If you follow these simple strategies, you will see your sales improve, and your schedule of appointments take off with speed and momentum.
Sales Hooks - Steps to Follow
Keep in mind these strategies for crafting a great sales hook:
- Do your research. Know your customer and your market.
- Greet your prospect by name.
- Be concise. The shorter the pitch, the more effective, research has shown.
- Use emotions. People respond to feelings. Be persuasive.
- Use an element of surprise. Keep the prospect on the hook.
- Ask questions. They start a conversation.
- Highlight how your product benefits the buyer.
- Trigger curiosity.
- Reinforce positive feelings.
- Make it personal.
- Treat any resistance with respect. “Your product is too expensive.” Your answer: “It will save money in the long run.”
- Talk value, not price.
- Include a link to something of interest: For example,” here’s a white paper about the latest research.”
- If you plan to call, send an email to your prospect in advance.
- Give your pitch, then listen.
Customer Touch Points
As you develop the perfect sales hook for your sales calls and email pitches, you’ll want to keep in mind the customer touch points. Where do your customers live? Which social media sites do they frequent? Does your sales hook stress a benefit to the buyer? Know how to deliver your story by the right medium.
You want your hook to:
- Solve your customer’s problem
- Save them money
- Give them a feeling of reassurance that buying your product is the right choice.
You know your customer gets a ton of email pitches, so the question has to be how do you stand out from the rest so that your email gets read? If you send a mediocre, boring, or derivative message, you will just find yourself in the cursed burial ground of lousy email pitches known as the junk folder.
Source: Gary Magnone
Conceptually, what you’re trying to do is simple. You have a particular segment of customers that really could benefit from what you have to offer. So you have to touch on those in a way that:
- Grabs their attention
- Is authentic
- Communicates information
In so doing, you will want not just to approach an individual customer, but a whole group and this is where email automation programs like the one offered on Map My Customers will help you.
You may be a sales rep in a particular city, but you have a host of prospects all across the country (or world) that you should be reaching out to and an automated email program makes it easy.
Make a Memory
In Ad Age, advertising expert Al Ries wrote about five techniques to increase the memorability of advertising slogans. These same techniques can be applied to cold calling and email hooks. Ries cited:
Ries used examples of how they work in advertising slogans. Some of these can inspire your own compelling subject line for an email:
- Rhyme- The top-selling coffee brand is Folgers: “The best part of waking up is Folger’s in your cup.”
- Alliterations- M&M’s are the best-selling candy brand in the U.S. “M&M’s melt in your mouth…not in your hands.”
- Repetition- Fed Ex’s slogan made it the market leader: “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.”
- Reversal- Frank Perdue, bald and ordinary looking, was the spokesman for his brand until he died in 2005, building his company into a billion-dollar brand. “It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken.”
- Double-entendre- DeBeers created the top slogan of the 20th century, according to AdAge: “A diamond is forever.” It was established in 1938 and is still running. Forever.
Try working with these techniques and create copy that sparkles. No pun intended. If you have fun with your sales hook, you will grab your prospect’s attention. You are also sending a message that you don’t take yourself too seriously.
Use questions. You can snag interest, as The Huffington Post noted recently.
Mark Wayshak said that most salespeople are pushing their products or services onto prospects, whereas if you ask great questions, you will let the prospect sell himself. The five queries Wayshak thinks you should ask are:
- What are your challenges with regards to this issue?
- Can you give me examples of this challenge?
- Ballpark how much does this problem cost you?
- What would it mean if you could solve this challenge?
- What do you want to accomplish?
If you ask these questions, you can really get to the route of their problem, therefore creating significant value in the eyes of your customer.
Questions that can begin a sales hook
The great thing about sales hooks as questions is that they can start a conversation. If you’ve done your research, you may know some of your customer’s pain points. Their interests are:
- How to save money.
- How to improve the bottom line.
- How to locate more customers.
- How to retain consumers.
These questions obviously have to be tailored to your specific industry/solution. When you know your market inside out, these questions will just flow. Then drill down to find the specific levers that will trigger an emotional response. When you are able to elicit an emotion with your tagline, you have something substantial.
Successful Sales Hooks
Let’s look at these email opening lines cited by Hubspot
as greetings that “put, ‘Hi, My Name is’ to shame.”
- “Is X a priority for you right now?”
- “I loved your post/tweet/blog on X.”
- “Great insights at the Y Summit…”
- “I know you’re an expert in [Topic}. I thought of you when I saw X and wanted to share it with you.”
- “How do you know [shared connection]? We worked together on…”
- “I have an idea to address [pain point].”
As mentioned earlier, these are openers that use questions, that engage emotions, that suggest commonalities, and that add value.
In your research, you may have come across your prospect’s blog, tweets, or appearances at a conference. Don’t hesitate to pass on a sincere compliment. They will not only appreciate it but know that you’re on their wavelength. You have common interests. You are on the way to building rapport. Just be sure not to seem like you’re just being ingratiating.
If you can address one of his pain points, and offer solutions to a nagging problem, you’re halfway there. Hubspot notes, “Instead of stating your name and company, pull out your value proposition instead. This makes your email relevant to your prospect from the start.”
Once you have crafted a killer opening, you’re on to the meat of the matter. Tell a story.
“I loved your blog on (random topic).”
Storytelling and Selling
In any new relationship, you tell stories: whether you are on a first date, at a job interview, or joining a new fitness center. You are introduced to a new friend, and you want to know her story.
Similarly, you tell yours: “I graduated from college five years ago, work in the tech industry, need to work out more so I’m looking for a fitness center close to the office.” You’ve told your story.
When you develop a great sales hook you will also tell a story: in this way, you will connect to your prospects.
Tell a Simple Story
In Entrepreneur.com, Bedros Keuilian coached readers on how to use storytelling to sell a brand. He said that learning the “Point, Story, Metaphor” formula helped him in speaking events with people where he talked about saving their businesses.
When you adopt the “Point, Story, Metaphor” formula you will:
- State your lesson – the Point
- Story – positive consequences of following Point or adverse effects of not following
- Metaphor – demonstrate the Point again, from a different angle
Keuilian also notes that having a story to tell while selling differentiates you from the competition. It makes you easy to remember. It offers lessons. You will emotionally impact your customers.
There are a host of emotions and concepts that your sales hook can appeal to, including security, advancement, love, friendship, health, beauty, growth, efficiency, power, readiness.
Be creative and start brainstorming with your team.
Also, consider how we make buying decisions:
- 60% of us rely on word-of-mouth, friends, and social media;
- 49% on customer references;
- 47% on analyst reports and recommendations;
- 44% on media articles
Are you a salesperson who is cold calling as if your buyer had no awareness of your product? Think again. According to a
a Baylor University study, experienced salespeople can expect to spend 7.5 hours of cold calling to get ONE qualified appointment
Make a Promise
When you create a sales hook that is emotional; that promises rewards; that is motivational, you will hook your prospect. Use a message that is sweet and simple. Be whimsical. Punchy. Here are some other memorable ones:
Make your sales hook funny, flippant, irreverent. It will grab attention because it’s different.
We are all bombarded with marketing messages day and night. Some of us would like to occasionally retreat to a quiet, simpler, Thoreau-like existence where we don’t always need to buy The Next New Thing. In this way, we may prefer a contrarian approach.
Personally, that’s why I like this song by Jud Strunk about “Bill Jones’ General Store” in Stratton, Maine. There’s a sign outside the store, and the hook line goes:
“If we ain’t got it/You don’t need it.”
What a way to live.
Remember these tips: Use questions. Do your research. Be concise. Use emotions. Trigger curiosity. Your well-crafted sales hook can help you open doors, build relationships, garner new customers, and close sales. Spend the time necessary to create the perfect sales hook, and you can open your next phone call with confidence, you can know that your emails will be read, and you will know that you are paving the way to sales success.