From Open Mics to Outbound Mastery: Lessons from Philadelphia’s Underground Hip Hop Scene

By Tim Savage

Coming up in  Philadelphia’s underground hip-hop scene, mastering the art of freestyle rap at open mic nights was a test of skill, perseverance, and authenticity. Much like the world of outbound sales, success hinged on relentless practice and the ability to engage an audience in real-time.

When I started as an Emcee, I hit every open mic in Philly. I wanted to perfect my craft, delivering freestyle raps on the spot. Armed with a Sony A7 III and Premiere, I dissected each performance to refine my technique. Lyrically, I aimed to be legitimate, captivating audiences with both prepared verses and spontaneous rhymes.

Surrounded by Philly Hip Hop legends, I learned the importance of promoting oneself. In those days, it was all about pounding the pavement—handing out flyers, posting on message boards like, and organizing Emcee battles. There was no email outreach, just raw, unfiltered hustle.

Simultaneously, I worked at a recruiting firm, making 200 calls a day to build sales teams. We placed 160 salespeople in four months—a feat in recruiting akin to the real deal Holyfield. This dual experience taught me the essence of outbound: it’s about creating a scalable, efficient process that drives real results.

Top of the Funnel: Setting the Stage

In outbound sales, the top of the funnel is crucial. It’s not just about the volume of meetings booked or the surface-level efficiency. It’s about dissecting every aspect of the process to understand what’s working and what needs improvement. Just as I would scrutinize every freestyle session, analyzing CRM data, outbound tools, and team dynamics is essential for creating a robust outbound strategy.

Middle of the Funnel: Moving the Crowd

The middle of the funnel is where deals either progress or falter. In the hip hop world, it’s the difference between a crowd that’s vibing with your flow and one that’s lost interest. In sales, it’s about identifying drop-off points and ensuring a seamless transition from demo to proof of value (PoV). Understanding these dynamics can significantly improve conversion rates.

Closing: Delivering the Final Verse

The closing phase is akin to the climax of a rap battle—where all your efforts culminate. It’s about evaluating the sales team’s effectiveness in sealing deals and ensuring that management provides the necessary support. Much like a well-rehearsed performance, closing deals requires precision, confidence, and relentless follow-up.

Deployment and Engagement: Keeping the Audience Hooked

Post-sale engagement is where the real challenge lies. In hip hop, it’s about keeping the audience coming back for more. In sales, it’s ensuring that the deployment of your product or service leads to high user engagement and satisfaction. This phase is critical for customer retention and long-term revenue growth.

Reporting and Future Planning: The Encore

Finally, compiling a detailed report of your findings and presenting a clear strategy for future initiatives is vital. Much like planning the next big show, this step ensures that all stakeholders are aligned and prepared for sustained growth. It’s about showcasing the results of your efforts and setting the stage for ongoing success.

The Lesson: Heart and Hustle

Outbound sales, much like freestyle rap, demands heart and hustle. It’s not just a tactic but a fundamental part of business success. Whether it’s handing out flyers on street corners or making hundreds of calls, the essence remains the same: promote yourself, engage authentically, and always strive for excellence.

In conclusion, the principles I learned from Philadelphia’s underground hip hop scene apply directly to outbound sales. It’s about relentless effort, continuous improvement, and genuine engagement. Remember, outbound is not just a trick; it’s the heart of your business’s revenue retention and growth.

So, as you navigate your outbound strategies, ask yourself: Are you in it with all your heart? If not, it’s time to rethink your approach.

For more insights, reach out to me at Tim at Net New Solutions. I’m here to help you elevate your outbound game. Thanks for reading.

Tim Savage
NET NEW Solutions
Phone: 859.490.1499