Anyone that checks out our content on cold email best practices knows that prospecting can be fun. Today, I’m going to share a story about how I merged two of my favorite talents, prospecting and piano together, and how it converted 40% of our cold emails into meetings.

Ryan playing the piano: merging prospecting and your hobby

Last spring, I was working from home, and was kind of tired of writing cold emails. I wanted to do something fun and different. We were trying to get some sales calls with larger teams to figure out what we needed to add to the product next. The problem was, I had to figure out how to do something that could scale. I decided it’d be a cool idea to try a little prospecting experiment.

A few months before, I got an amazing Casio digital piano, and was in the middle of writing a ton of music with some friends outside of work hours. Using the combination of my webcam, some song ideas I had, and banging out lyrics super quickly on Google Drive, I decided to send some songs to prospects. Sure I can’t sing, but I can do ok enough to get through the song.

Here’s an example of what I sent:

Ryan O'Hara sends a song to a prospect

Since I needed a way for my prospects to see my videos, I decided it’d be best to write a really short and sweet cold email with the video to their song in the message: A nice short and quick email with a link to a video of my song.

My workflow was fairly simple. Here’s how to recreate it.

7 Steps to turn Cold Emails into Meetings

  1. Find an account.
  2. Read up about their company, and find the best contact off Linkedin Sales Navigator.
  3. Capture their contact information and import it into Salesforce with LeadIQ.
  4. Open up a new document in Google Drive and write lyrics about the prospect based on content from their company website, and their personal LinkedIn profile (Note: It’s best to focus on the person more than the company).
  5. Record the video.
  6. Upload the video.
  7. Write and send the email with a video link.


So, what were the results?

Sure, it takes a bit longer than writing a cold email or cold calling a company, but when it comes to starting a relationship, showing off a talent I had was a smash success.

I love playing piano, and I love prospecting, so why not put my two talents together?

Over the week, whenever I had a few free minutes to make a prospecting video, I’d do this same technique. 

Another example:

Ryan's piano playing cold email axample

And another response. One of the many responses I got from prospects. This one came about a month and half later which was a bit unusual, but still solid!

At the time, I wasn’t using an email tool like SalesLoft or Outreach (which LeadIQ integrates with by the way), so I had no way of measuring the reply rate accurately, but just eyeballing my inbox, I definitely know not every reply was an opportunity. However, the campaign ended up being 12 unique videos for 12 different companies. Here’s the crazy part.

5 Companies Booked Meetings. That’s a 41% Opportunity Rate!

GIF: Man walking away from an explosion  Yup…this is how I felt after looking at the Salesforce report.


When you do prospecting, you’re not just competing with other sales people for your prospect’s time. You’re competing with the marketing machines out there. Try and beat the machines by being more thoughtful than they can. Beat them by making your work personalized, creative, and entertaining. 

Posted by Ryan O'Hara
Ryan O'Hara
Ryan O'Hara has been an early employee at several startups helping them with marketing and prospecting tactics, including Dyn who was acquired by Oracle for $600+ million in 2016. He's had prospecting campaigns featured in Fortune, Mashable, and TheNextWeb. Ryan specializes in branding, business development, prospecting, and coaching people on how to make good digital first impressions. He also mentors two accelerators, The Iron Yard and The Alpha Loft, and hosts The Prospecting

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