Got some questions from sales people asking about how they should use business letters or direct mail in their sales process?
This is a great question at this time since most b2b sales people think the only thing working today is email. Email is a great tool for immediate responses after you have made contact with a customer or an existing customer who uses the email as an electronic delivery service and a paperless “green thing.”
Email is great for transacting current business, yet, it is not easy to use for prospects or people within companies you have not done business with in the past. In fact, the CAN-SPAM Act has made it a very expensive legal issue to use unsolicited email to individuals or companies. It can cost you up to $10,000 per emailed account – so beware of sending out unsolicited emails.
Business development or prospecting can be very effective using the old direct mail process. Today, direct mail is making a comeback since most people are not using it properly. In fact, it is pretty simple and there are only two true methods in my opinion to use direct mail.
These two methods are…
- Massive Mailings
These are usually handled by the marketing department within your company whereby letters and brochures are mailed in large quantities to possible or potential customers. This process or method is pretty expensive and works only if you have a good list. In fact, a good list is interesting due to the fact that to be labeled good you are getting only a 1 to 2 percent response on the mailing. This is why the mailings have to be very large to get both a lower cost per piece of the mailer and a decent return on investment from the mailing. I will discuss the strategy you – the b2b sales person – should be using later.
- Targeted Mailings
Here the mailing is limited to a select group of companies or position titles within a company. The mailing is smaller in quantity; yet, the letter is more targeted to the needs and interests of the job title selected for the mailings.
Sales Strategies for Direct Mail
Each of these mailings create a sales strategy for you that is very specific.
Massive Mailings – the Prospect Calls You. Yes, you should expect inbound phone calls from potential customers after a mass mailing. Actually, you are really dealing with a self-selected prospect who has stated by calling you – I am interested. It is your job to further screen the caller and then take the appropriate action steps to move the sales process forward.
Targeted Mailings – You Call the Prospect. Here your letter has been sent, giving you an opportunity or reason to call the prospect to discuss the merits of the letter and discover the prospects level of interest in your product or service. This is a structured campaign using mail and phone calls to find new customers.
The real strategy here is two fold. One, is to get enough information to qualify the prospect and Two, to get an appointment with the prospect. The targeted mailing is not to be used to close a sale. Very, very seldom would you have success selling anyone during a prospecting or first time follow-up call.
Remember it is your responsibility to manage the sales process properly. Never rush a b2b sale – it will not work.
There you have a new b2b sales tip for lead generation and targeting new customers. Use these b2b sales strategies and win more business for you and your company.