This morning I mailed 250 CEO`s with a valuable newsletter. Before 7am I had 2 opt-in reponses and later today (as yesterday and the day before) I would expect at least another 5 contacts from CEO`s opting-in to get what I sent them. This happens most days and they all visit my website in the process. In the next 14 days every single one of them will get 4 automated follow-up responses about the gift I gave them and they accepted. That is 35 CEO responses a week. How many CEO`s do you get in front of in a week cold calling? Furthermore, I have not lost control or given away my positioning in any future contact because when you cold call you are perceived as needing the prospects` business which weakens you position. You know, if you have the time and the pressure to have to cold call, then you must be desperate for the business from the person you are calling. I am sorry but that is how you are perceived these days and the more senior you are the harder this reflects on you.
Get them to call you...and they will if you have something they are interested in. Out of the 1700 or so opt-ins I get per year. If I get only 2% as clients I am very happy and very busy (too busy to cold call). All of them though, know who my company is, what we do and where we are, so if I did call them it is not a cold call. Don`t make hard work for yourself.
I get this type of objection from older sales guys like myself who have been taught all of these techniques before the information age. I have a 35 year career in sales and marketing behind me but I have always wanted to do things the easiest and most effective way I can. I am not so set in my ways that I can`t listen and learn from the changing world and other people`s experiences.
What I do know now is that sales people and especially sales mangement need to change their old appraoches as the world has already left them behind. Work smarter not harder. We have the tools at our disposal so use them. Don`t be closed off to new ideas and trying something different just because what you know is implanted deep in your brain. After all, everything on this planet is evolving, improving and adapting, So why don`t you give it a go?
I tend to agree with Robert at eXsell, he got me to sign up which is something I rarely do, but I also agree with Marketingpro1 that you cannot be bashful. I really think the answer is some in the middle leaning a little toward Robert’s solution in the beginning and Marketingpro1 as you close. This is because cold calling potential buyers today can be very difficult and expensive, even with extreme persistence and killer tricks. Remember the old 80/20 rule with salesmen, I will bet that it is worse now with all the new technology and government Do Not Call rules. With DND, voice mail, and executive assistants screening calls, getting to the buyer with your message has become nearly impossible. In fact, I think these systems seem to almost be working too well - to the point buyers are having a problems getting information at times that would help their companies. This is why most buyers are turning to the web for information. This can be done on their schedule and without pushy sales people. This means that you need to fight fire with fire and go with the new plan like Robert says. I don’t think Marketingpro1 will disagree, if the customer calls them they have a much better chance at closing a sale than if they cold called them. I do agree thought that once you have made the link with the buyer through technology, old fashion calling needs to also be employed. Every time I tell our sales people to get back on the phone and check in with our identified targeted customers that have corresponded with us in the past, sales go up...
Great comments! Selling skills are definetely in play once you are in front of someone in person. If you don`t keep in touch with your customers every 6-8 weeks they think you are ignoring them or worse, that you don`t value them. That is why I get mine (prospects to) to opt-in to my newsletter. When they get that sent on autopliot on a regular basis it reminds them that we are still out there and still care about them. Its personal.
In the UK we are a small country and you are actually expected to get in your car and meet face to face. When I lived in the USA demographics prevented me from doing that. It is very different for you guys. Every Friday was my phone a friend day and that was when I would keep in touch with my valued clients, even if its just a Hi how are you and is there anything I can help you with today?
Even for a large land mass like the US, newer communications technology seem to fill in the gap of some face-to-face meetings. The use of autoresponders works well. The next best thing to getting face-to-face with a distant client is to send them a video. If they have connected with you, they can definitely relate to your familiar face and voice. There is clear evidence that you message is retained better (30%) than a text email or voice mail.
If you have not tried this technology, it is well worth a go. They are now of great quality and cost-effective.
I`d recommend a company here in the US. (see http://www.firststreaminc.com)
Copperman (California, USA)
I totally agree with you. The impact in video email is well worth the effort for the returns in investment. It is easily achieved using a webcam and a little knowledge on file formats. Do you think the best way is to put the video on a page in your website and provide a link with a strong message to click to the page instead of delivery within your email?
No doubt we shall see much more of this medium in our mailboxes in the future. The great benefit is that you can relay your appearance and personality in your message and build on your image and presentation skills, just like in a first call. Prospects more readily identfy with you and the reception in heightened by the `personal touch`. Your message is more powerful and defined. The great thing is, your presenation delivery and message are exactly the same everytime it is played and you could sit in someones intray for a while and get repeat performances.
What do you think are the best techniques for reaching prospects by new technology without using SPAM or any intrusive or disruptive methods? There must be other ways we can effectively get our message in front of our target audience cold calling on the web?
You`ve hit the nail on the head.
With the newer products on the market, you don`t have to worry about file formats. For example our provider automatically transcodes (all inclusive in your package) to any format you want. When the recipient access your message, it knows to send the right format. There is also full tracking....so you know when it was opened, by whom, and how many times.
What I have found useful are new tools like podcasts, blogs/vlogs, RSS subscriptions (cold calling on the web).
Beside videoemails and video on your website, blogs, etc. you can also broadcast live to your cold market. If it is of interest to your audience, they will find you through links to your contact page on your broadcast. Such broadcasts are also archived for future playback. This is particularly useful for new product launches and those wanting to educate a customer base
Of course I still speak with people (which I enjoy) wherever I meet them, collect contact information and permission to contact them. You already mentioned CEO`s signing up for your newsletters, have you asked those that signed up to refer you to others of like mind (perhaps you could reward them for doing so).
Newer digital media technology can also be linked up to a global video base social and business networking. So you can really see who you are doing business with and thus avoid SPAM.
So, with all these new tools out there, how do you know which one works for you and in your marketplace? Trial and analysis of your feedback data. The advantage with we have is that all the tools mentioned above and including multi-location video conferencing and collaboration tools are available in one package. We simply choose which works best for us. It saves having to go to multiple vendors for each component (blogs, live broadcast, videoemails) and having to move your content from one format to another. We opted for this systems that allows us to create our content and from one "studio" drag and drop into my website, my blog/vlog or email.