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Inside Sales Reps: Stop Referencing The Whitepaper They Downloaded

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I love collateral and content.  I read it, write it, and believe in it.  We use our client’s content constantly in our outbound emailing efforts.  Whitepaper Links, eBooks, Gartner Reports etc…you name it and we send it to prospects. 

I believe that using collateral in your email correspondence with prospects is an essential part of the qualification process.  It builds rapport, can help your inside sales reps demonstrate thought leadership, and generally get your prospects thinking more about you prior to the point at which you catch them live. 

What I don’t believe in is referencing the collateral that you’ve sent in your voice correspondence with prospects (voicemail or when you get them live).  I listen to outbound calls all day and I can tell you that there are few weaker ways to initiate a sales prospecting conversation than with the following statement…

“Hi Jim, this is Pete from AG Salesworks.  I recently sent you xyz document and I was calling to see if you’ve had a chance to look at it”…

This is right up there with the ultimate teleprospecting kiss of death “is this a good time to talk”?  Don’t say this, 99.99% of the time the answer will be “No, I haven’t, can you call me back another time I’m in a meeting”.  Collateral is a way to legitimize yourself to your prospect.  A way to prove that you have a viable solution for them and to let them know that when you do finally get them live it may just be worth their while to listen to you.

So, send that content and be proud of it but don’t take the easy way out and use it in your intro.  Teleprospecting success starts with a great and concise intro that asks a question that gets your prospect to discuss some of their pain.  Save the lively banter about your collateral until after you’ve already determined they are a fit for what you have to offer.


Hi Peter -  
Boy this is a subject near and dear to my heart! I agree with you. 
However, I'd like to present an alternative. You could lead with the white paper in your intro if you apply context that gets your prospect to say, "tell me more." 
What if you opened with something along the lines of "what did you think of the idea about..." or "is that statistic of X that's covered in the white paper something that concerns you?" 
There are a lot of ways to connect content and conversations. And that's really the point. If your content isn't helping to establish those conversations, then is it really relevant to your target audience?  
I think it's all about creating the right context between the two.
Posted @ Wednesday, January 19, 2024 6:07 PM by Ardath Albee
Thanks for the great response. Your suggestion is an optimal way to use collateral in an intro.  
As I mentioned a great intro cuts right to the point an concludes with a question that gets our prospects talking pain. I think your tactic accomplishes just that.  
Posted @ Thursday, January 20, 2024 9:20 AM by Peter Gracey
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