In the United States of America we are guided by a Constitution that protects our right to be individuals in thought, deed, and beliefs as long as we don’t step on our fellowman. We thrive because we’re all different, and our differences are the threads from which our flag is woven. Lumping people and companies into groups; giving them a number, and dealing with them in a generalized mass handling method may not bode well with a nation where people value their right to be an individual.
The evolution of email marketing In 1978 Gary Thuerk, Marketing Manager for Digital Equipment Corp sent out the first mass emailing, earning him the title of “Father of Spam.” It didn’t take long for others to see his approach as a potential gold mine. In theory, it was. When the public protested, action was taken. In 2003 Spam laws were put in place, so the processors of mass emailing had to learn how to adhere to guidelines, and mailings went on. The afore mentioned article does make it look like mass mailing is the be all to end all – but there is a danger when you fail to keep your finger on the pulse of consumer attitude.
Mass Emails: The Seller’s Point of View
- Emails save money. Direct Mail is expensive.
- You save time. You can put your energies elsewhere.
- Emailing is efficient. Click the mouse and you’re done. No heavy bundles to drag to the Post Office.
- You reach an unlimited number of prospects.
- More people will know your company’s name and product.
- You can repeat the process over and over again.
If every ten emails nets you one chance to make a sale; it stands to reason that you’ll get ten chances if you send out 100 emails, and so forth. Do those statistics pan out in real practice or are consumers beginning to see the process as one that shows no respect for the hard work a business owner has put into making their business unique?
Mass Emails: The Prospect’s Point of View
- Who I am, what my company stands for doesn’t matter. I’m seen as nothing more than a random target.
- I’d rather have a meaningful conversation than a bulk sales pitch.
- Tons of time is spent cleaning out my online mailbox, when I have more important things to do.
- Opening emails from an online sender that I don’t know, puts me at risk for computer viruses.
- If I open your email and choose to discard it, I’m annoyed when you just come back at me wearing a variation of your original email address.
- I will remember your name – which may not serve you well.
The Future: Mass Conversations
The bottom line is mass marketing via emails might make a seller’s life easier, but you might be shooting yourself in the foot by forgetting that making a sale depends on you being able to make your prospect’s life easier. To do that you have to learn to adapt and stay current with changing attitudes. It might serve purpose to take Marketo’s fresh viewpoint under consideration in their article Conversations, Not Campaigns. In this whitepaper, Marketo outlines an approach that uses engaging emails that are sent based on the buyer’s interest and behavior. Since these emails are triggered by behaviors such as viewing pages on a website, clicking links in an email, and filling out forms, the content is delivered at exactly the right point in the buying process. These “conversations” become much more targeted and allow for a wide variety of content to be generated but only the relevant information is delivered to the prospect, when it is needed.
At a certain point, companies need to pick up the phone and have a meaningful conversation with a prospect. Incite2, the Salesforce add-on that is offered by ShadeTree Technology makes it easy. Paired with a Marketing Automation program like Marketo, Incite2 can help sales people pick up the marketing “conversations” without missing a step.
What, does the term “Selling” mean to you? I decided to see how the various dictionaries define Selling–beyond the obvious. Paraphrasing what I found, Selling is “to persuade or influence to a course of action or to the acceptance of something; to bring about or cause to be accepted; to advocate successfully.”
Persuade. Influence. Advocate. To sell-and to do it consistently and successfully-you must communicate ideas to the prospective client. To really draw them into the process, you must first listen, then ask, and answer questions. Communicating is not the same as telling,just as hearing is not the same as listening. Indeed, if you measure a reps performance only by the number of calls they make, you may not adequately be emphasizing the distinction between holding a conversation with someone, and simply speaking with them. That’s becausetalking is not the same as conversing. Read more
Instead of making calls, are your salespeople making excuses? It might happen to even the best members of your sales team from time to time. According to research from Dudley & Goodson, about 40-percent of all career salespeople experience episodes of call reluctance that are serious enough to threaten their careers.
But you can’t lump all the call reluctance into the same boat. Here are five of the most common personalities that fall to call reluctance, the symptoms, and the potential fix.
1. Polite Polly: Doesn’t want to intrude on others. Feels like their role is invasive in another professional’s space. Read more
The debate about whether to leave a voicemail message on a cold call is as old as voicemail itself. You all know that leaving a voicemail rarely results in a callback, no matter how great your technique. Statistics found on various sales web sites show a range of five- to ten-percent of voicemails are returned. So even if you are spectacular at your VMs, you might top out at 25-percent call backs. So is it really worth it?
I say yes. Definitely. You just need to change your reason and expectations for leaving that message. Instead of expecting a callback, use the voicemail as a friendly, personal, targeted billboard. If you do it right, the next time the person sees or hears your name, they’ll have some kind of positive brand recognition. Read more
The next target name and title for your new B-team salesperson pops up on his screen. He takes a quick look at the company web site and then punches “dial”. His conversation starts the exact same way his last conversation did. He doesn’t have any context for how your company can help his target, instead using a “One Conversation Fits Most” approach.
How much better would his sales numbers be if he could cater each conversation to the person on the other end of the phone?
1. Research the company as it relates to what you’re selling: It’s not enough to get an overview of the target, for example, understanding that they manufacture and sell lenses. Your team needs to get a quick overview that is relevant to the product that they want to sell. Using recent articles about the company might have tremendous hints for their needs (for example, if they have new management or if they recently opened a new location). In addition, current articles about their industry might point to pain that they’re having that your company can address (for example, if there is a huge market for a new size of lenses and they are going to need to ramp up production). If you can start your conversation with a relevant bridge between what you’re selling and what they need, you are much more likely to engage a sale… than with a generic conversation. Read more