When it comes to tactics for connecting with prospects, we all hear the same thing - Google Alerts.

But who am I even setting the Google Alert up for? How do I actually generate my own leads? 

Traditionally, poor sales tactics have involved buying lists and hoping someone responds. But I need to prospect everyday, and I need people to actually respond.

So I devised my own system: I read 30 articles in 30 minutes everyday. I then strategically use a narrowed down list of posts as ammunition to reach new prospects in a tailored, relevant way.

The results? A 90% response rate. I'll share my process here for anyone who would like to try this strategy out themselves. 

Pre-Reading Prep Work: Set up a Digg feed.

Before you begin your 30 minutes, you'll need to identify companies that you want to work with. Then set up an RSS feed full of their content. I use Digg reader and subscribe to 50+ blogs. 

TIP: You can use this chrome extension to add blogs with one click! 


Now it's time to read. Split your 30 minutes like so -

5 Minutes: Skim the headlines to select posts for a deep dive.  

Then, open up each post in a new browser tab that caught your eye from a good headline. You should now have your browser populated the articles you're going to review.

5 Minutes: Quickly skim every post.  

Without skimming the post, you won't know if the article is what you thought it'd be about - and if you're wrong, it could hurt your credibility when connecting with the writer. You may need to close a bunch of tabs for the articles that what you thought they were something differen.

20 Minutes: Dive deep into each of the posts left.  

Typically I have between 20-30 articles left. Since you’ve already skimmed them, comprehension should be easier and it won’t take as long to read the full article.

TIP: Be in a prospecting mindset as you’re reading these articles, look for pain points and trigger events that the author is writing about.

Post-Reading Action: Pull the best articles and connect over email.

Pull each article with a pain point or trigger event into a new browser window. Then go through each and connect with a tailored email.

Below is the email I wrote to Anum, manager of this blog, that led to this post. 

TIP: Use HubSpot Sales to know when your emails have been opened.


Why this email worked:

  • It was short. Any quality cold email is no longer than 3-6 sentences.
  • It was personal. I specifically mentioned a post that she wrote and tailored it with a solution to a problem she mentioned in the article. It made Anum feel special that I wrote to her specifically about something she created.
  • It was timely. I sent this email right after I read the post not a week or month later.  
  • It was human. Mentioning a holiday and that I was feeling awesome about using her company's product were simple touches that make it feel less sales-y and more relational.  

Using this system consistently, I add around 10-12 hot prospects to my pipeline every month. And those 10 highly qualified prospects can make the difference between hitting my number, or not.  

If you give it a try, share your results in the comments below. And if it's not working as desired, I'm happy to chat about that as well.

Get HubSpot CRM today!

Originally published Jul 28, 2014 8:30:00 AM, updated July 28 2017


Sales Prospecting