You might recognize Jessica Alba for any number of Hollywood blockbusters from the last two decades, from Sin City, Fantastic Four, Little Fockers, and Good Luck Chuck. But here’s something you might not know about her: she’s also built a billion-dollar business!
In 2011, Alba co-founded The Honest Company, an American consumer goods company that sells lifestyle products for babies, children, mothers, and households.
Launching in 2012 with 17 different products, the company grew rapidly over the next seven years, reaching annual revenue of USD $300 million. As of their IPO in May 2021, the Honest Company has a valuation of USD $1.4 billion.
So what would you say if you were sitting across from Jessica Alba in a sales meeting, about to pitch her your product?
So what are you selling?
First, take a deep, calming breath – because, in our experience, sales reps don’t often find themselves in this exact situation. Usually, you’d be in a meeting (virtual or otherwise) with someone on a specialized team within the organization — not the celebrity Founder. But hey, it’s fun to imagine what this might be like, so we’re going to run with it for the purposes of this blog and our celebrity prospecting series.
As for what we’re selling in this scenario, let’s take a moment to look a bit deeper at the Honest Company and the latest trends in beauty, fashion, and wellness to pick the perfect product. After all, Alba’s now one of the world’s most famous businesswomen. As a result, she will have thousands of small companies trying to pitch products to The Honest Company. So you’ll have to ensure you’re pitching something worthwhile while bringing value!
It should come as no surprise that companies in this space are increasingly adopting technology and embracing corporate innovation to outpace their competitors.
L’Oreal, for example, runs a venture capital fund called BOLD Business Opportunities for L’Oréal Development, focusing on sustainability, service, and tech in the beauty industry. Through their investments, they’ve supported companies like Gjosa, a Swiss environmental tech startup that aims to create unique water-saving solutions such as showerheads that use far less water. They’ve also supported Carbios, a French biotech company that uses enzymatic recycling to reduce plastic waste.
We also know, The Honest Company has successfully used influencer marketing to build the company. As a result, they created a substantial social media following with around 1 million Instagram followers, 100,000 Twitter followers, and 2.1 million Facebook followers.
According to reports, the Honest Company targets millennials with personalized storytelling. The Honest Company produced daily content to grow its following and always personally responded to comments to engage with the audience.
That’s why we think a product that the Honest Company might be interested in is #paid, a tech-driven matchmaking platform between brands and content creators. As an alternative option to conventional influencer marketing – an approach Alba has used to grow her business – #paid allows companies to quickly launch campaigns, match with creators, and whitelist creator content. They’ve worked with some big names, including Coca-Cola, Hydrant, Starbucks, and Ikea.
If you’re looking to pitch a product to Jessica Alba, you’ll struggle to find a better option than this!
Here are the steps we will take as we prospect:
1 – Research
Firstly, before you attempt to reach out to anyone, you should gain knowledge about your prospect. You could be pitching to Richard Branson, Mark Cuban, Elon Musk, or an unknown Sales Director at a growing startup — it doesn’t matter — you’ll still need to know as much as possible about your prospect.
Luckily, when you’re pitching to someone in the public spotlight, you can easily research their business investments, life story, and get to know their personality. Jessica Alba has a very active personal social media following, including an Instagram page with just under 20 million followers.
A quick Internet search will surface tons of information you can use to tailor your pitch to the person:
- Her social media profiles and activity
- Interviews she’s given (trust us, there have been a lot!)
- Her career trajectory and the kinds of roles she’s taken on
- Company information (in particular, with her recent IPO launch)
- The latest trends in the health, beauty, wellness, and lifestyle markets
Our goal here is to understand the value that #paid can provide to The Honest Company – something we can’t do without first understanding who the prospect is, what kinds of challenges Alba and The Honest Company struggle with, what topics she cares about most, and what kind of approach will pique her interest once you do reach out.
As a founder of the company, what Jessica Alba cares about will have a wide scope. But for more specialized roles, it can be easier to deduce the pain points they are feeling, especially if your company has nailed down the ICP that you are selling to.
With a little bit of digging, here’s what our own research found:
- She might say she’s a proud mother of four – three kids and her company. That’s because of the hard work she personally put into creating and growing it. In other words: this isn’t just a business to her, so we won’t treat it that way either.
- She didn’t rush her business to market. Instead, she took her time to make sure every product and every move fit with what she was building. So we can expect her to do careful research on us, too.
- She believes in authenticity, both in the products she offers and the stories she shares. That’s why we’ll be as authentic as possible in our communications – and stress how much #paid allows for authentic connections.
2 – Outreach
Jessica Alba is a famous actress with a huge social media following, a billion-dollar company, and the tight schedule that comes with that. So, now that you’ve gathered all the relevant information about her, how on earth do you get her to agree to a meeting?
Ask most BDRs and they’ll tell you that prospecting is the most difficult part of the sales process – particularly at the beginning when you just need to grit your teeth and make that first call. But Alba said it herself: “Success takes communication, collaboration, and sometimes failure.”
There are three ways you can do that: through email, social media, and cold calling.
1 – Email
The goal of your first email to Alba? Ultimately, to book some time for a demo! After all, you’re not trying to sell your product right off the bat. You’re selling a chance for her to see how #paid can help The Honest Company grow.
For that, all you need is a short, engaging, and concise email that covers:
- Company pain points that you can solve
- Evidence of a working solution
- How easy you can solve them
Don’t forget to pull in the research you did in the previous step, because connecting on a more personal level is a great way to get closer to a sale. And don’t miss this opportunity to put technology like Chili Piper to work for you – the easier you make it for your prospect to say “yes,” the more likely you will be to convert.
That said, don’t expect a “yes” right away. Entrepreneurs like Alba probably get thousands of emails per day, and we imagine her marketing team does, too. You might have to send a few more before anyone even opens a message you send — prospecting takes persistence. But if you aren’t careful with how often you send emails to the same person, you may end up in their junk mail folders.
Remember, it’s not about selling over email. It’s about providing value.
Here’s what our email would say:
2 – Social Media
We already know that Jessica Alba is quite active on her social channels – so it makes sense that engaging her the same way could result in a response. After all, she understands the power of social, using her own followers and reach to make her business a success.
But “Hey, buy my product” probably isn’t the first thing you should say in a direct message. Social selling is a science, and success in it depends on your ability to build a relationship over multiple messages.
Take things slowly. Leave comments on the posts she shares. Mention her in some of your own. Slide into her DMs to add a personal touch. And don’t keep spamming if you don’t get a response (remember when we said she has almost 20 million Instagram followers?) Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
For a typical prospect in B2B sales, the main social networking channel you will be using is LinkedIn. With a smaller following, these tactics mentioned above become much more impactful and noticeable. Even if you aren’t able to move a deal forward via social, it can help with name recognition when you use other channels.
Our DM might go something like this:
We’ve heard the best messages can be conveyed in meme format.
After seeing this — would you agree?
3 – Cold Calling
If you get cold feet over cold calling, you’re in good company: 48 percent of B2B sales reps would say the same thing. But a strong salesperson never shies away from cold calling their prospects because it works. Although this likely isn’t the best channel to reach Alba, we think it’s still worth a shot.
We’ll gloss over how you managed to get her direct number and skip right to the conversation. Tools like ZoomInfo and Seamless.ai are great for finding business numbers, but finding the personal phone number of a celebrity isn’t something we’re able to help with. But fictitiously if we had Jessica Alba on the phone, how can you make the most of the short minute(s) you have?
- Make it all about The Honest Company. Focus on the company’s needs, goals, and challenges rather than Alba’s own personal accomplishments and achievements.
- Ask a few open-ended questions that are related to #paid. How does she currently find and connect with influencers? How much time and effort does it take to do so?
- Share a quick story about a time when you helped a business like hers, and what the results were like.
- Define your next steps. Now’s the time to ask for your demo meeting – and make sure you agree on a clear path to get there.
3 – The Demo
The demo is all about getting the product in front of someone’s eyes and ears. For someone as busy as Alba, you may only have 15 minutes to convince her that #paid will benefit her business.
So don’t just tell her how much she’ll benefit by having influencers come to her instead of finding the best influencers. Show her.
Think of this demo as a two-way tennis game rather than a one-way street. It’s your chance to find out more about the challenges The Honest Company is struggling with around their current approach to influencer marketing; it’s also Alba’s chance to vet your products and services. Watch one of our Demo Days to learn how this delicate dance is done while under time constraints.
Be prepared with what you know – and be prepared to adjust on the fly depending on what you learn during this conversation. If Alba mentions that she has a hard time tracking how effective her influencers’ posts are, take the cue to showcase #paid’s insights and reporting. If she struggles most with approvals or scheduling, prioritize walking through your post preview features.
4 – Personalized follow-up and next steps
Once you’ve finished your demo, you’ll want to thank Alba for her time. Sure, there’s a slim chance she might love your product or service and purchase there and then, but chances are, you’ll need to follow up after the demo to clinch the sale.
Either way, a personalized follow-up is crucial – and it’s something many sales reps forget to do (or don’t do enough).
Here’s how we’d approach it:
- First, the timing. Don’t keep Jessica Alba waiting! Drop her a line within 1-2 hours of your demo meeting to let her know she’s still top-of-mind.
- Recap one or two highlights from the meeting, based on what resonated with her the most. Remind her of why she’s interested in #paid.
- Address any outstanding questions or concerns raised during the demo. If you had to do some digging after the fact, now’s the time to share the results.
- Set a clear path forward. Don’t leave her hanging with an “I’ll be in touch” – get specific about setting a meeting on X day, at X time.
If you manage to nail your personalized follow-up after the demo, you may well get the sale over the line.
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