I thought it might be fun to change things up a bit today and take you through how I used a “sales mix” to generate new clients recently for my business.
For those of you who are new to my blog, a “sales mix” is a mix of sales activities or “touches” designed to move you closer to a sale.
Sadly, most people either don’t mix things up or they just cling to a phone and perhaps an email. Usually one immediately after the other but don’t get me started on that one!
Anyway, here are a few things that I did recently for a new class I have starting this month. You can easily duplicate the steps and tweak them to your style and your audience.
In my case, I decided to leverage a really strong Linkedin network. Emphasis on the phrase “really strong”. Mine is incredibly strong, because I’ve been building it long before I needed it.
Step #1”: Since I was marketing a Sales Management course, I did an advanced search on LinkedIn for every Vice President of Sales, Sales Manager and business owner that were 1st degree contacts in my network. I compiled a list complete with all their contact information. As a side note, there were some things I did with all my other sales contacts asking for intros to their VP of Sales etc but for the purposes of this blog post, I just want to focus on one type of prospect.
Mistake: I was really pissed off at myself for waiting to transfer many of my contacts into my CRM. Sound familiar? Because of this, it cost me a tremendous amount of extra time. Please learn from my mistake and make sure that every time you make a new connection, you get them into your CRM if they fit your criteria for an ideal client.
Step #2: I sent the following direct mail piece.
Inside (Answer To Question)
Inside Of Card With QR Code
A few notes about this piece . . .
The envelopes were hand addressed because I wanted it to resemble a personal card and get opened.
I included a QR code which sent readers to a landing page for the course.
Note: I like QR codes because they add mystery and inspire immediate action. My website stats tell me, we succeeded in getting them to the website. I talk about that in greater detail in a moment.
Step# 3: For those who didn’t buy upon receipt of the card, I gave them a few days and then moved in with an email to the same group.
Step #4: I followed up within 48 hours with a phone call. My message wasn’t one of desperation, or “please buy from me” it was simply “I hope you’ll be joining us?” It was inviting instead of intrusive or aggressive. It was conversational and not salesy!
Note: I used technology to help me out big time. I checked my website stats to see which companies had visited my landing page but didn’t buy. I put these companies at the top of my list to call. My feeling was that many might have liked what they saw but then had the old “bright shiny object” syndrome kick in and take their thoughts somewhere else.
This step paid off big time because at the very least, I didn’t have people asking me “Paul who?” or “What sales management training class?” In fact, in many situations, I had people tell me, “I was just on your site today and have been meaning to enroll” Don’t ask me why but I had this sudden flashback to the old Calgon commercials where they said “Ancient Chinese secret huh?”
Note: Whether people bought at this point, or not, I always asked them if they knew of anyone else who would find value in the program. I helped jog their memory by providing 3 groups of people where they might know of someone. Here are the three I offered: Other sales leaders in their organization, their clients and their LinkedIn network.
As a result of this simple step, I turned many single enrollments into 2-3 enrollments and many “no sales” into sales with other organizations.
There are a few more steps that are involved but I’d rather not write about them now because I’m in the middle of doing them. Bad luck to talk about stuff while you’re still doing it!
Overall, the campaign was a huge success but here’s why I believe it worked.
1) I didn’t go in cold. I had built a strong network, long before I needed it. Please stop and reflect on this step because most just build networks when they want an immediate result. I’ve been building my Linkedin network since 2008!
2) I actually decided to use my LinkedIn network. Too many times we collect names and wait for the world to beat a path to our door. Good luck with that one!
3) I sent out a mailing piece that was hand addressed and made it past the “Should I open this or sh*t can it” phase. (at least that’s what they call it in the marketing books)
4) I created some curiosity and inspired people to get involved by scanning a code.
5) I emailed to get immediate yeses or immediate no’s so I could concentrate my efforts.
6) I used technology to see which companies visited the landing page and made them the first companies I called.
7) I asked for referrals (even when I didn’t get the sale)
I saved the most important part for last . . .
I used a mix of sales activities for many reasons but the most important reason is that everyone (especially our prospects) have their own preferred method of being contacted. We limit our results (and become really predictable) when we only cling to one type of “touch”!
Everyone has their own preferred method of being contacted
Truth be told, there’s more I could have done to mix things up but I was working on a 5 week window and didn’t want to blast the hell out of my network.
Could I have simply picked up the phone and called someone? Yes and no. With my network, I have a strong bond with many and could get away with it but . . . too many people go from invite to sales pitch or connection to “buy from me now”. More importantly, people don’t give their prospects an opportunity to check them out anonymously, from a safe distance.
What are your thoughts?
How have you mixed things up?
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