Working Out Your Outreach with Habit Formation

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Like any good seller, you want to sharpen your outreach. In search of the most efficient tactics, you read every book, listen to every podcast, attend every seminar, enroll in every course, and interpret every bird sign out there — only to realize you could have spent that time actually prospecting.

Tactics can be great — but they’re useless if you haven’t built the right outreach muscles through execution.

Our latest guest understands this better than most. Liston Witherill, Head of Growth at Gold Front, Chief of Sales Insights at Serve Don’t Sell, host of the Modern Sales Podcast, and soon-to-be author, joined us to explain the transformative effect that habit formation can have on your outreach.

“There’s an overemphasis on tactics and an underemphasis on execution. Of course, that’s because it’s hard to sell a book or a course that says, ‘Just go do it 1000 times.’ But really, that is the advice.”

Liston Witherill, Head of Growth at Gold Front, Chief of Sales Insights at Serve Don’t Sell, and host of the Modern Sales Podcast

How to form successful habits

Seek out variable rewards

Have you ever been to a casino and watched people continually dump money into a slot machine and wondered why they do it?

Well, the answer is variable rewards — a quirk of the human brain that can just as easily be harnessed to create successful habits. Simply put: We are more likely to repeat actions that only sometimes pay off.

This is why execution trumps tactics when it comes to outreach. Doing leads to more doing (and more rewards along the way).

Create a normal cadence

Performing an action at the same time on a regular basis makes it more likely that you will continue to do so. It’s a form of conditioning similar to the one discovered by Pavlov, the presumably incredibly bored dude who figured out dogs would eventually start salivating at the sound of a bell if they got used to hearing it at mealtimes.

Have the right mindset

The key to prospecting is understanding that your prospects don’t care about you. They don’t care about your company. They only care about one thing: their own problems — and rightfully so.

“One of the key mindset places to start is, whatever you’re selling, understand what’s in it for the other person.”

Liston Witherill, Head of Growth at Gold Front, Chief of Sales Insights at Serve Don’t Sell, and host of the Modern Sales Podcast

If you want to succeed in prospecting, you need to go into it with the mentality that you are there to learn how you can help the other person solve their problems — you’re not there to solve your own.

How habits help

Outreach is its own reward

It’s almost the end of the month, and you’re worried about hitting quota — you have some names on your list, but you aren’t sure your outreach is as developed as it could be. What should you do?

Just reach out. Don’t try to prepare the perfect tactic beforehand — just execute. Don’t let it pass.

Pattern matching

All right, you’ve made time on your calendar for regular outreach; you start salivating every time your alarm goes off for your two hours on Tuesdays. You’ve built a regular habit — and now you start noticing the muscles that come with it.

One of them is pattern matching — eventually, you will start to recognize customers by their range of problems, and, every time you do, it’ll get a little easier to know how to solve them.


Now that you recognize these patterns and common problems, take a look at your ICPs. How many do you have? If you’re in a company with 12, maybe you should ask why you need so many.

Once your outreach mindset is dialed in, you’ll know how valuable a narrow focus is for your success rate — and the next time you try to profile a prospect, you can think in PGVs: The pains, goals and values your prospects are after and how your solution connects to them.


Tactics have their place, but without execution, they are worthless.

Outreach is a muscle, and if you aren’t using it, it will atrophy — so get out there and start making some gains.

Now that your outreach muscles are ready to compete against an oiled-up 1970s Schwarzenegger, are you ready to dive into how video delivers a more human CX or how to get the most out of your CRM? Check out the full list of episodes: The B2B Revenue Executive Experience.

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