Empathy for workplace distraction is essential to cold outreach success

Research shows the average worker is interrupted more than 5 times an hour. Being able to empathise with those challenges is critical to succeeding at outbound sales.

  • 07 April 2021
  • Dave Holloway
  • Insight

Research from The University of California shows the average worker is interrupted every 11 minutes, even before the challenges of COVID-19 reared their ugly head.

While distraction is a seemingly natural part of life, that doesn’t mean we should take it for granted, especially when it comes to our approach to business development.

In order to maximise our chances of building meaningful relationships, we must be mindful of the likely situation that our prospective customers are currently facing.

Some steps that we can take to do this include the following:

  • Avoid clogging up the prospects’ primary communication channels (i.e. phone & email).
  • Any approach should be brief to minimise interruption.
  • Choose channels that allow the prospect to control when they engage.
  • Don’t try to force people into action because that immediately implies more unwanted interruptions.
  • Be genuinely apologetic for the interruption, chances are; it’s unwanted.
  • Never expect a reply, as people generally have more important things going on.
  • Be VERY frugal with follow-ups, or risk quickly becoming a designated pest

These steps might seem counterintuitive to most traditional sales advice; that’s because they are. The difference is, these steps will help you to build meaningful connections, whereas ignoring them is the fastest way to alienate vast swathes of the very people you want to attract.

Try using more empathy in your cold outreach approaches – you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.