It's In The Mail - Direct Mail is Alive and Kicking!Written by Jim Logan
Compared to a lot of companies in our field we do a lot of direct mail – postcards, sales letters, promotions, announcements, lead generation. Between client business and ours, we’re averaging one campaign every two weeks; about 1500 pieces per mailing. We’re planning expansion to over 2000 pieces per campaign and will increase mailings to once per week. One particular business interest will grow to 10,000 pieces a month. We’re constantly building and adding to our mailing lists.
We’ve learned a lot along way. We develop entire piece in-house and use printing services such as 48hourprint.com for production. We discovered bulk and presorted mail a while back and our costs dropped. We developed a couple in-house processes with staff to form a production-line approach to stuffing, sorting, and stamping pieces for delivery to local USPS office. By producing piece and mailing this way, our costs are low enough to make it affordable – we can recover costs with first client project.
We don’t currently use email marketing, ezine or newsletter stuff in our business. We have an auto-responder solution that’s never been used. I’ll probably begin a newsletter of sorts and use auto-responder in not too distant future. But until then, we haven’t used those solutions in our own business. Direct mail is effective enough that we haven’t felt need to do otherwise. But that will change with plans to expand our business.
Our direct mail campaigns are targeted to business leaders of all sizes, from venture backed companies to local small businesses and F500 executives. We’ve found results to be about same for all targets. Also, we’ve used direct mail in public sector and have had great success in lead generation efforts to meet with elected and senior non-elected officials. We use Michael Bolyan’s Circle of Leverage technique and write copy using Doug Hall’s three pillar approach to customer communications. We shy from popular direct mail copy writing techniques that to me read like infomercials. Simple, to point, and actionable – that’s about all we do.
Are You Afraid to Ask For The Order?Written by Jim Logan
"The time has come for one of us to buy and you’re only one at table that can do that." It’s not most polished closing statement ever made, but it won a $3.5M deal when I gave it. I smiled, looked our prospect in eye, and almost saw one of my regional manager’s lunch when I said it.
As we drove back to airport I was asked why I went for close in that meeting, it wasn’t staged as a closing call. Simple. We had already presented, positioned, and nurtured our solution – we had done what we were supposed to do, it was time for our prospect to either buy or tell us why they wouldn’t. Either way, we win.
Some sales people are afraid to ask for an order. I understand many of their reasons; none are acceptable. Fear of rejection or ending a business relationship is among top reasons many fail to close. Lack of confidence in their solution or concern of being pushy is others.
You should never be afraid to ask for a prospect’s business, after all, that’s why you’re there. Your job is to sell solutions your company offers. Your prospect expects that at some time in your relationship you’re going to ask for their business. Don’t disappoint them.