After reading through his tips on how to influence people to do the things you want them to do, it struck me how his applications to sales can also be applied directly to link building.
While a salesman tries to get someone to buy their product or service, a link builder is trying to get a blogger, editor, or webmaster to link to them. The only thing different about the two processes is the end goal.
Which means that link building should be much easier for a salesman because selling someone on linking to you is much easier than selling someone a product or service. It’s a lot less of a buy in, and you have the same arsenal of sales techniques.
Therefore, embrace these 18 sales tips when performing outreach:
1. You can sell only if you yourself are convinced – If you were that webmaster or blogger, would you put that link up? If you’re not convinced that you would, then you need to go back & build better content, invest in a better design, or have a better angle.
2. Know who you’re pitching – Find things that the person likes and talk about it. You should also know as much about them because it helps you understand how they make decisions.
3. Put everything in terms of them – Don’t tell them all about you, just tell them what matters in terms of them.
4. Be clear & direct – If they have to decipher a 400-word email, then you’re going to lose their interest fast. Be as understandable as possible & get straight to the point.
5. Know their name – In Dale Carnegie’s book, he talks about how a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language, so make sure you address them by their first name.
6. Be enthusiastic – Be the first email asking for a link that they’ve seen that wasn’t boring. Excitement grabs attention.
7. Appreciate, don’t flatter – People love getting recognized, so find something that take pride in and show honest & sincere appreciate, but don’t flatter them. People see right through flattery. It’s a fine line, but it’s essential you get this right.
8. Use humor – Using humor not only makes the email more personal, but it helps set you apart from other similar emails.
9. Make them want to link to you – This is the toughest tip to embrace because it’s hard to make someone want to link to you, but it’s also the most rewarding. Try and see things from their perspective.
10. Make the other person feel important – You could be pitching a webmaster or blogger that’s one in a thousand, but if you make them feel as if they’re truly important, then you’ll win their respect (and a link) much more easily.
11. Ask for their opinions – Whether it’s asking what guest post topics they like or if they feel the same way about something as you do, showing that you care about their opinions goes a long way.
12. Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately – When asking for a link, lead up to it before with suggestions or questions they would say yes to. Once they start saying yes, it gets easier to see each & every time.
13. Appeal to the nobler motives – Tie in a charity or something of similar status when building links. People might originally say no to a link, but they won’t say no if you’re giving to a charity as a result.
14. Dramatize your ideas – Like everything, use this in moderation, but dramatize some of what you’re saying to spark excitement. This makes it less boring.
15. It’s all about presentation – Whether it’s using a logo or stating your job title in the signature of your email, understand that how you present yourself is important.
16. Talk about their mistakes indirectly – This is more human relations than sales, but this is essential to do when building links via site issues such as broken link building.
17. Be prompt when you reply – This usually comes across as being enthusiastic and shows you’re a real person.
18. Stay on the radar – Once you’ve acquired a link from someone, don’t lose touch. You can get more links from them down the road.
There’s a reason CRMs were created for salespeople but also used by link builders. A lot of what we do is becoming the same. As link building becomes more about dealing with people, those who are well educated in human relations will succeed the most.
Bonus: If you’re still not convinced, then meet Yesware, my favorite Gmail plugin for efficient outreach. Yep, it’s made for salesman. The applications are everywhere.
What are your thoughts? Are their any sales techniques that are applicable to outreach that I missed? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.
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The Dale Carnegie Approach to Blogger Outreach – Some of the same tips mentioned here, but goes way more into depth on the 12 laid out in the book.
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