6 Ways to Increase Responses
My last blog, “5 Reasons to Stop Using Voicemail,” triggered several conversations with people who had different viewpoints. Some conversations, including one left as a post on the blog, asked for ways to increase responses. Today’s post gives you alternatives to increase responses that are much more worthwhile than leaving voicemails especially when prospecting.
Do Some Research
Cold calling effectiveness continues to decline—significantly. Do your homework before reaching out. At least read the person's (or company’s) blog, Twitter feed, press release or company accounts to find out potential synergies. At a bare minimum, understand the person’s background from their LinkedIn profile.
Interact with Posts Online
If you are lucky enough to find the prospect has a blog or posts online, interact with them. Don’t become a stalker and comment on everything, just do enough to have them notice your name. After several interactions, reach out carefully.
Send a Package
Voicemails are the last thing many of us check, but packages are always opened first. We want to know what is inside. It doesn’t even have to be expensive, but the more expensive the better. Obviously, a personalized promotional product or self-promotion is the top thing to send with a great letter. At this point, a call even with a short voicemail is reasonable.
Recently, I had a vendor send me a YETI tumbler. It was not personalized or customized, but I didn’t have a YETI and I know the value of the brand. When this person left me a voicemail, I gave them the courtesy of a call back. They spent probably $40 (shipping, etc.) to get my attention and they got the return call.
Be Transparent and Honest About Your Purpose
Be upfront about your purpose, and be sure to show them WIIFM (What’s in it for me!). Being upfront doesn’t mean aggressive, so don’t launch into a sales pitch, just be sure you aren’t saying that you are calling to help them (how do you know they need help?). I can’t write your opening for you, so lead with something that shows WIIFM while being clear that you would like to be their marketing resource.
Real, true, personal connections remain the best way to get into different businesses. I refer people to businesses I like and trust whenever the opportunity arises. I have quite a few very positive vendor relationships, and I always tell them to use me as a reference whenever possible. Whenever they ask me for businesses that might benefit from their services, I share my thoughts freely and write introductions. “Mine” your connections for possible prospects. Send your connections a package with something great in it thanking them for their business and asking for them to think about others that might benefit from your service. Follow through with a phone call.
Keep in Touch
We all know the sale rarely happens on the first touch, so be prepared to keep in touch. Please don’t do it with voicemail. Do it online with continued interactions and the occasional phone call or email. Don’t add to your newsletter unless they ask you to—the touches should be personal touches not preprogrammed.
And for those of you who left me a voicemail since my last blog, very funny!