In B2B direct mail, don’t ask for the order.

Written by Alan Sharpe

Business-to-business direct mail is different from business-to-consumer direct mail in one vital way: sales cycles are longer.

A senior vice-president of information technology doesn't buy a $1.5-million network upgrade by dropping a business reply coupon and cheque inrepparttar mail. In B2B selling,repparttar 105196 first step inrepparttar 105197 sales cycle is usually a request for more information. Followed by a sales meeting. Then a demonstration. Then a trial. Then a contract.

That's why your direct mail package should aim to move your prospect torepparttar 105198 next step inrepparttar 105199 sales cycle, rather than ask forrepparttar 105200 order. Start your planning by learning howrepparttar 105201 sales representative closesrepparttar 105202 deal. Work backwards torepparttar 105203 initial contact or event that generatesrepparttar 105204 sales lead. Then write your direct mail piece in such a way that you sellrepparttar 105205 next step rather than try to closerepparttar 105206 sale.

Selling to Hi-tech Prospects with Direct Mail.

Written by Alan Sharpe

High technology prospects are different. They don't respond like consumers and they don't respond like other businesses. What works with them is oftenrepparttar opposite of what works with consumers. Here's a primer on how to sell high-tech products to businesses using direct mail.

Mail to people who won't buy High-tech buying decisions are often made by a committee, not an individual. To winrepparttar 105195 sale, your direct-mail program must addressrepparttar 105196 needs of everyone aroundrepparttar 105197 table, whetherrepparttar 105198 president, purchasing agent, technical specialist or end user. So find out who wieldsrepparttar 105199 greatest influence in buying decisions (often it'srepparttar 105200 end users), and target these influential prospects in your mailings, along withrepparttar 105201 people who signrepparttar 105202 purchase orders.

Go cheap on design and printing Consumer direct-mail gimmicks sell sweepstakes, but not servers. Don't ask a senior verification engineer to "AFFIX FREE BUYING GUIDE SEAL HERE." Don't expect a network operations analyst to "PLACE TAB A INTO TAB B." The same goes for fake handwriting and fake underlining. They're genuine mistakes.

High-tech business readers are sophisticated. They want a letter, a brochure and a business reply card. That's it. The more inserts, lift letters, coupons, free-gift slips and other stuff you put inrepparttar 105203 envelope,repparttar 105204 more likelyrepparttar 105205 busy executive is to fling your package inrepparttar 105206 circular file.

Here's one caveat. Fancy folds, die cuts and 3D objects work well when you tie them into your offer. This is especially true of trade-show mailers, where a unique and relevant gimmick often draws more prospects to your booth than a traditional mailer does.

Assume your reader has a split personality Your reader is a business person, in that order. As a business buyer, your prospect wants to save money, raise productivity, increase efficiency. So your mailer must address those issues. But your business buyer is also a person. A person who is unlikely to buy your product–however good it may be forrepparttar 105207 company–if buying your product means more work, more stress or more grief for them personally. Your prospect may even buy your competitor's inferior product instead of yours for selfish reasons alone.

Today's rule of thumb in high-tech purchase decisions is this: "Sure, no one ever got fired for buying IBM. But did they get promoted?" Look after bothrepparttar 105208 business interests andrepparttar 105209 personal interests of your prospect andrepparttar 105210 sale will look after itself.

Keep it technical Telecom professionals know what SS7, ITU-T C7 and ISUP are. You don't. So you're inclined to explain these concepts in your copy, showing prospects that you don't understand their business.

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