bill mccormick Aug 25, 2022
"We cannot be too careful about the words we use; we start out using them and they end up using us"
Eugene H Peterson


Last week I wrote about “Dishonest Scaling” that pointed out what I think is the inauthenticity of much of the bulk email outreach and connection requests/InMail/direct messaging on LinkedIn.

Every day we’re all inundated with emails, invitations to connect and direct messages that are created with the idea that more is better, sales is a numbers game and if you throw enough mud up against the wall, some of it is bound to stick.

The messages are typically full of “I” or “we” statements that explain the fantastic results the writer and/or their company/offer/product can offer, all we need to do is schedule a call/meeting/demo and we’ll be ‘wowed’!

If we don’t reply, the follow up messages are all about ‘bumping this the to top of your inbox’ or ‘circling back around to see what you thought’ or the one I dread ‘if you’re not the right person or if you’re not interested, can you let me know’- my lack of response is a response!

Once of the big problems I’ve seen with this templated, mass outreach is that the wording, the styling and sequencing is being reproduced by people that AREN’T doing mass outreach, they are actually conducting what they think is personalized outreach copying this style- let me tell you how great we are at what we do and the amazing results you can achieve if you just meet with me.  

I don’t think we will ever totally eradicate mass, cold outreach.  Not in email, not on Linkedin.  

But if you stop for one minute and think through what your actual goal is in your outreach, you may realize there’s a much more effective way to interact with potential clients on LinkedIn.  

You think that the goal is to sell more, and because of that end goal that’s where you start.  

Or, you read somewhere you need to ‘warm up the cold outreach’ and your entire warming up technique is “Hi Bill, I hope you’re doing well in these uncertain times….”  Have you heard that one??



Remember this: 

For revenue to come in, a sale has to happen.

For a sale to happen, a relationship has to be established.

For a relationship to be established, a connection needs to be made.

For a connection to be made, communication has to happen.


The main problem with scaled outreach (as well as individual cold outreach) is that most of it starts off with the premise that a sale has to happen and then jumps right to communication has to happen!

There’s a better way, what I have come to call Micro Scaling.

Micro Scaling is an organic process where you highlight prospects and nurture them along the ‘scale’ from connection to conversation.

I hesitate to give a step by step process because I used the word organic.  But let me give you the components of an organic, micro-scaling process.



Consider this the warm up.  The best case scenario is an introduction from a current client, networking partner, or associate.  If you’re looking at the LinkedIn profile of a prospect and see you have mutual connections on LinkedIn, who do you know that you can reach out to and ask for an introduction?  

The easy way out here is to just drop the “I see we have mutual connections” line.  That tells the other person nothing.  

Finding someone to introduce you is one of the shortest ways to go from introduction to conversation.

But let’s say you don’t know anyone who is able to make that introduction, what’s your next step?

Look at their profile.  Can you see mutual interests, do they have content you can engage authentically with?  Another easy, inauthentic outreach technique being used these days is to say that you’re ‘impressed with their content’ or ‘you put out some impressive content’- but if you weren’t impressed enough to react or comment on that content, how serious are you with that compliment?  

We all create content with the hopes it will resonate with our audience.  If someone gives it a 👍🏻or comments authentically (not just, good post!) that person moves to the front of the line as someone I want to connect with.

But what if they have no content?

Look at the LinkedIn page of the company they work for. Google press releases from their company, look for community related initiatives that resonate with you.

Remember, you’re looking for an opportunity to establish a connection with the person.  That connection happens when we communicate in a way that says that they are important, not that we have something they need.



Once we’ve established a way to communicate with them the sales tendency is to spew out our pitch of features and benefits and tell all about our company history and list all of our satisfied clients.  RESIST THAT URGE! Fight it for all that it’s worth!

Instead, go and listen to Anthony Iannarino's latest episode from Selling Power From The Heart podcast.  Learn how to build business acumen and know how your product/service/solution can help them achieve the results they need.  But just as importantly, you need to give them advice on their challenges not a pitch on our services.  

This is where you begin to build your relationship with them and build trust.  

This is really where the organic part comes into play.  

You may have the opportunity to do this in a face-to-face or Zoom meeting.  Or, it may take place over several emails or DM’s as you share content.

The idea here is to organically move from online communication to an in-person conversation or phone conversation.  

You want an opportunity to engage with them in real time to provide insightful knowledge that helps them with the challenges they face.

Then you have the opportunity to discuss how you may be able to help them.  The help you provide may lead to a new client and a signed agreement.  Or, it may lead to no deal at all, but an opportunity to connect the person with someone in your network who can help them.

Either way, the relationship can continue and you’re seen as a valuable asset as a trusted advisor.  A total win-win.



In a typical mass communication the work is on the front end.  Writing copy, selecting an audience and hitting the ‘send’ button take time, but once you hit that button your work is done and you wait for the inbound leads to pour (drip) in.  Or not…. 

Micro-scaling takes time because you’re moving at the speed of trust.  Trust can built quickly when all the factors align and personalities mesh, but that is more the exception than the rule.

Larry Levine recently wrote about ‘relational capital’- the idea that as we build a relationship with a client or prospect, it’s like depositing into an emotional bank account.  The more deposits we make, the more relational capital there is to draw on.

If we only make a small deposit leading up to a signed agreement, and then only come back to the emotional bank account at renewal time, or when the client has an issue, we’ll find there’s nothing to draw from.  That’s a bankrupt relationship.

Micro-scaling, when done at an organic pace, decided by the prospect or client, build emotional capital with each interaction.  


I think there are two things that modern sales professionals need: passionate curiosity and patience.  Neither are easy, we want to control conversations so asking curious questions goes against the ability to control. And we’re not patient because we have expectations of our encounters with clients or prospects.


When you’re micro-scaling you need to have an end goal in mind, but you have detach yourself from that outcome and show up just to have a conversation because remember:

For revenue to come in, a sale has to happen.

For a sale to happen, a relationship has to be established.

For a relationship to be established, a connection needs to be made.

For a connection to be made, communication has to happen.


So how are you going to deliberately communicate and connect with your prospects this week?

I suggest starting small and looking for a way to build your own micro-scaling strategy that will work for you!

Originally published on Bill McCormick's LinkedIn

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