The cobra kai philosophy of prospecting

Steve Harlow

Posted on: March 7, 2021

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Category: Prospecting

The Cobra Kai Philosophy of Prospecting

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Cobra Kai punched well above its weight in terms of audience reach.

Following on from the classic 80’s movie ‘The Karate Kid’ it brings us up to date with Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso, 35-odd years after that iconic crane kick decided the All Valley Karate Tournament cup.

And what, you ask, has this to do with prospecting?

Well, the TV series is a classic case of the follow up being just as powerful – if not more so – than the original.

And exactly the same is true of chaser mails.

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Strike First. Strike Hard. No Mercy.

The core philosophy of Cobra Kai also has a lot to teach us.

Strike First.

Strike Hard.

No Mercy.

This mantra has a lot to remind us when we wonder if it is ‘obtrusive’ to send chaser emails as a follow up to our initial prospecting outreach.

No Mercy – overcome your qualms and send out those chaser mails because without them you are slashing your chances of success.

And we’re about to show you just how powerful they are.


Strike Fast. Strike Hard.

Before (crane) kicking off with chasers, let’s take a quick look at inbound leads.

Because even here the Cobra Kai philosophy kicks ass.

Compare its ‘Strike First. Strike Hard’ ethos to the – more nuanced, but essentially the same – conclusion that the Harvard Business Review came to.

In its famous study, it found that companies who follow-up on enquiries from leads – or expressions of interest from leads – within an hour are seven times more likely to see the progress down that sales cycle. 

Be aware, however, that this first, fast, hard strike may not be the knock-out blow. 

It increasingly takes more sales contacts to create a viable sales lead – so this is not just about follow ups but many follow ups to that follow up.

Which brings us neatly to…


No Mercy.

Meet Percy. Percy Vere.

He’s the ultimate prospector because he never gives up.

And prospecting is definitely a sport that rewards those who show no mercy like Percy.

Again, let’s call in the experts.

This time it’s the SoPro Business Review that furnishes us with the data. 

We analysed 400,000 of our own prospecting emails to find out just what effect chasers have.

(Look away if you don’t want to know the results).

CHASERS BRING YOU IN MORE LEADS THAN YOUR INITIAL OUTREACH.

For a detailed breakdown, you can get all the data here.

But, for now, let’s just spell it out loud and clear.

 Do not take pity on your prospect. 

Do not think they never want to hear from you again if they didn’t happen to fall compliantly at your feet following your first message.

Keep going – show no mercy.

Because the biggest prize goes to those who follow up.

In fact, it’s not a case of sweeping up the leftover crumbs: the response rates actually increase after that first email.

Response Rate by Send

OK, we’ll admit it. 

After these four emails there is a marked drop-off – so we recommend you schedule three chasers to follow soon after your first mail.

We also recommend you keep your chasers simple – no need to reinvent the wheel here. 

Just a ‘remember me – still hoping to speak’. 

(You can check out some templates to riff off in this super-handy post).

And now for our crane kick moment.

Let’s reveal exactly how many responses you are losing if you are not following up.

(Warning – this may hurt).

% of Responses by Send

It’s okay – we’ve done the maths for you.

Follow up emails generate 77% of the total responses to a prospecting email sequence.


Strike first. Follow up quickly.

We’re often asked about how soon a chaser should be sent.

The scientific answer is: sooner than you think.

Emails, like fresh milk, have a pretty short use-by date.

In fact, 91% of emails are opened on the same day they are sent and roughly the same proportion of replies are sent on the same day.

Which means, if you haven’t heard back within a day, you are highly unlikely to ever get a reply.

In a perfect world, leaving five working days between each mail gives your prospect a breather, but not enough time to wholly forget you.

Unfortunately, this would mean scheduling each send to go out on the same day – making any attempt at appearing spontaneous impossible.

Try a gap of four, six, seven, or eight working days. Maybe factoring in considerations of your own workload into the mix – after all, you need enough time to strike as hard as possible in following up on your leads.


Cobra Kai-ism

When it comes to prospecting Cobra Kai has much to teach us.

Particularly with regards to the importance of the follow up.

We’ll leave the last word to Johnny:

‘I may not always win, but I never quit a fight.’
Johnny Lawrence

Go forth and kick ass.

Watch our explainer video to learn more about SoPro

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