A Flawless One-Liner

Hands down the #1 cause that tanks B2B response rates is a bad one-liner.

TIP: If you get this right and put it at the top of your website, you can easily boost conversions by 50%.

Your one-liner should have as many of the following four StoryBrand elements as possible:

1. The Character

  • You must call out who you’re selling to, or your prospect will think it’s irrelevant to them and tune the message out.

2. The Problem

  • What’s the #1 problem you solve for your prospect (the real problem)?

3. The Plan

  • Exactly what you do in layman’s terms.
  • Don’t be vague.
  • Be unique.
  • Use words your target prospect uses.
  • In as few words as possible.

4. The Success

  • Scaling qualified leads on LinkedIn for $99/month

Here’s an example of a lead generation company’s one-liner:

Cleverly helps busy founders scale their qualified leads on LinkedIn for $99/month – building a predictable revenue driving machine.

1. The Character

  • Founders

2. The Problem

  • Busy

3. The Plan

  • Scaling qualified leads on LinkedIn for $99/month

4. The Success

  • A predictable revenue driving machine

TIP: If you’re in a competitive market or sell a commodity, you must knock down the big domino (Source: Russel Brunsen) and make them believe (Source: Frank Kern) what you’re selling will work for them.

The big domino is the #1 objection that is often hidden (meaning they won’t tell you) that kills the response. If you’re a marketing agency, the big domino is they don’t believe you can get them a positive return on their investment. You must call out the big domino and try to knock it down.

Here’s another great example one-liner from a generic merchant processing company:

We provide CFOs with the best wholesale merchant processing rates – eliminating the middleman so you retain more revenue from all credit card sales.

1. The Character

  • CFO’s

2. The Problem

  • Saving the company money on merchant processing fees

3. The Plan

  • Providing the best wholesale merchant processing rates

4. The Success

  • Retain more revenue from all credit card sales


Especially with cold outreach, most prospects are skeptical and won’t believe you. Saying you’re the best IT provider in town means nothing until you can prove it or at least until you say the right words that do.

Strong credibility builders:

  1. We’ve developed apps for brands like Apple, Kaiser, and Target.
  2. We work with over 100 local businesses in Dallas.
  3. Our clients see an average 30% decrease in employee turnover.
  4. I’ve managed over $50M in Google Ad campaigns in the past 3 years.
  5. We’ve generated 200+ qualified leads your competitors in the past 6 months.

TIP: How many years you’ve been doing something is not a good credibility builder at the top of funnel messages anymore because technology is constantly changing industries. Your potential clients want to see recent results you’ve directly driven in the form of concrete numbers.


Irresistible Offer

A great offer can trump all. First, you must understand what the sales genius, Chet Holmes, found to be true years ago:

Only about 3% of all your prospects are actually in-market for what you are selling at any given time.

This means, even with a great one-liner with amazing credibility, it still “isn’t the right time”.
The secret is to end your message with a call to action that’s practically irresistible to say “yes” to, while ultimately resulting in a natural upsell or smoothing transitioning into a phone conversation.

Example irresistible offer call to actions:

  • Would you like a free SEO audit? Just drop your website and I’ll take a look.
  • Can I ship you a free sample of our high-quality corporate T-shirts?
  • Who might be the best person to discuss this with? (best if you’re not sure who the decision maker is)
  • Can I send share a few case studies we did for similar companies?
  • Would you like a free copy of my best selling book?

The key point is that even though 97% of prospects aren’t in-market for “corporate T-shirts”, they may still say yes to a free sample, so when the next company event comes around, they’ll remember you.

Source – The Ultimate Sales Machine – Chet Holmes

TIP: This is why following up with every lead is key. You’re burning cash if you don’t follow-up 3-7 times a year with prospects that have expressed interest but the timing was not right.

Would you like this exact formula applied to your cold outreach messages and also distributed to your ideal prospect for only $99? The book your free consultation now.



Nick Verity

Head of Growth at Cleverly