Mastering Your Outreach with Lewis Gadsdon

We're back with another co-created edition; this time focused on how you can massively improve your outreach response rates 🔥

Before I tell you about Lewis, I wanted to give you a final nudge about our upcoming live podcast event in Manchester next week.

We have under 20 tickets left, and we're going to discuss how to become a top biller recruiter, no matter the market.

If you get a lot of value from editions like this, you will love attending our podcast events.

You can grab some of the last few tickets here: Get Live Podcast Event Tickets For Manchester.

Now a bit about Lewis: he's an Associate Director at Wiser Elite + The Founder of SDRs of London.

He's consistently been a top performer throughout his career and is at the forefront of what excellent prospecting looks like due to the market he specialises in.

Lucky for us, he is sharing all of his insights with us today on what brilliant outreach looks like so you can start getting more replies from your target clients and candidates.

Let's get into this week's edition.

To get us started, where do you feel recruiters often go wrong when writing effective outreach messages that get poor reply rates?

The short answer to that is that people write too much.

When I first started recruitment, I did exactly the same thing; I used to throw the whole catalogue of services, really try and sell exactly how great we are and how much of a good job I could do. Proper kitchen sink stuff.

When you do all that, you just end up writing too much, and it's like reading a full dissertation, which when people receive, they are just going to delete. 

That’s just facts, unfortunately.

What are your non-negotiables when it comes to writing effective outreach messages?

My non-negotiable for outreach is the 5 x 5 x 5 method, which my team has used and has seen great success with. 

The person who came up with it has tested thousands of hours on outreach messages and found that the shorter the message, the better.

At the same time, this method means that you are getting the key bits of information in there so people know who you are and why you are messaging as well as some personalisation, which is key to capturing their attention and building some credibility.

What exactly is the 5 x 5 x 5 method?

The 5 x 5 x 5 method is a framework which will enable you to send effective outreach messages without spending more than 15 minutes per prospect.

It is split up into three sections, with you spending 5 minutes on each. When broken down it looks like this…

  • 5 minutes of personal research to build a connection

  • 5 personalisation points from your 5 minutes researching

  • 5 minutes of creating your outreach message

Goal 1 - Build a connection

Basic Information (Where they work, mutual connections, previous roles)

Interests (People they follow, outside of work interests, events they have attended)

Activity (Posts, shares, comments)

Goal 2 - Offer an insight to build credibility

They are Hiring an SDR (Did you know SDRs are 3 times as likely to remain in role for 12+ months if they start at the same time as another SDR?

They’re supporting Women in Tech (Did you know gender-diverse companies are 48% more likely to outperform their competitors

Goal 3 - Maximise the impact of the message

3 - 5 word subject line

Keep it under 150 words

No emojis to avoid being detected as spam

What does this look like in practice?

Why does the 5x5x5 method work? What does it force recruiters to do that they probably get wrong?

I think it works because, in a short, contextualised piece of text, you can express that you know this person and this message was made for them.

It shows that you can research and understand their business but also come across like you are human and not too salesy.

It is also great because you have to stick to the framework, unless you go super left field with the personalisation, which I wouldn't recommend (always try to keep it business-focused)

You will be able to present your business case in 150 words without having to include all your case studies, which will be super punchy and impactful.

We have nothing to use to personalise; what are your go-to's when they don’t have a fountain of content to use to personalise my outreach?

So if they're not a regular poster on LinkedIn, there are some things you can latch on to. 

You can use LinkedIn analytics to see if the business is growing.

Most people have LinkedIn Recruiter or LinkedIn Premium, and you can see business analytics on that. 

Another big one that people tend to miss is that you can actually go on your prospects' activity, so even if they're not posting, you can see what they like and what they're engaging with.

Even if they're not much of a commenter, you can at least say, “Oh, I saw that you liked X, Y, and Z post by this person.”

So even if they're not posting an absolute fountain of content, as a lot of people do, you can see what they're engaging with and what they might find interesting, and you can build up an image of a person pretty quickly.

I get a reply, now what? What is the best way for me to turn these replies into phone calls/meetings? Do I call them right away?

So I always think the sooner the better, there is a certain element of “am I coming across too desperate?” but if the engagement is there then you have to strike while the iron is hot.

Nobody's got anywhere for being too quick or too fast; realistically, maybe 1% of clients will reject you for calling them straight away, whereas many more would reject you for acting too slow.

We can’t cover written outreach without mentioning AI - Are you an AI fan of using it for outreach or not? How can recruiters leverage AI in the right way? 

I do use it, but not always.

The short answer is that I only use it when I am stuck.

I currently use, which is a free tool (although it isn't going to be free for too much longer). 

However, when I'm struggling to put something in the right context or if I need to handle an objection in an email because I know full well they're not just going to pick up the phone to me, I’ll use that to try and get some inspiration as to how I can handle certain situations.

Do I think everyone should be solely reliant upon AI to write all their messages? 

No, I think it takes a skill out of the message, and you lose the human element because AI is good, but it doesn't always have a personality, and people still buy from people at the end of the day, not from robots.

Lastly, if our readers implement just ONE THING tomorrow in their written outreach, what would the ONE THING be?

Personalisation in line 2.

Based on the continued analysis of 52 million pieces of outreach sent out across their platform, SourceWhale has found:

Business Development Stats:
  • 71% of conversations kick off from follow-ups, yet most only try twice.

  • 47% of meetings are secured from the 4th touchpoint; 26% from the 6th!

  • Phone reigns supreme, securing 30.5% of meetings.

  • Quick follow-ups are crucial: 37% increase within 24 hours and a whopping 81% within 30 minutes of interaction.

Headhunting Stats:

  • Persistence pays, yet most stop at one follow-up.

  • 44% of meetings arise from the 3rd touchpoint, with 19% from the 6th onwards.

  • InMail, phone, and email lead as top channels.

  • Connection requests work as a singular touchpoint in a multichannel approach.

  • Follow-up emails drive 82% of email bookings.

The moral of the story: More touches, timely calls and a blend of channels boost your chances of booking that crucial meeting with both candidates and clients.

Chat with a member of the team today to find out how to get started with SourceWhale.

P.S. Whenever you're ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

#1: Do you listen to my podcast? I release a weekly episode with either a top-performing recruiter or recruitment entrepreneur to find out how they achieved their success so you can learn directly from their journey Check out my latest episode and subscribe to the show.

#2: Promote your brand to over 4,050 recruitment professionals by sponsoring this newsletter (bookings available from May 2024).

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