Brief Well for Success

In our experience, projects fail when the caller is poorly briefed.

Writer Jill Konrath, constantly reminds us how hard it can be to contact people who have very little time to evaluate your offer.

We’ve developed ways to uncover needs quickly, catching their attention from the start.

So once again with feeling…Don’t simply show your agent a website and a few bits of publicity telling the world how great the company is. Trust me, no-one cares, they know it’s usually outsourced to a copywriter and sanitised.  But talk to us and we’ll soon uncover great reasons why they should speak to you.

Questions to unlock minds

We try not to use the standard intros on calls (Hi, It’s Ian from XYZ company…). Every receptionist knows what’s coming after the third syllable, and they’re waiting to put the phone down after the fifth.  A far better way is to start with an easy question then follow up with a few more.

We’ve developed an approach that picks up people who need to buy – and encourages them to tell us why….

What most companies don’t tell you

We believe that honesty is the best policy. Read on and judge for yourselves.

Database Sourcing

A purchased Database will save you a lot of time compared to trawling the Internet or the Phone Book.However they should be used with caution. Here are the some of the issues.

Data Accuracy.

All bought lists have errors, because things change so quickly. Businesses are acquired or divested, people change jobs. Some organisations even give the wrong  information to avoid sales calls. Most lists will be 30% incorrect within a few months.

Reputable providers will explain that their lists can never be perfect. Expect them to raise this issue, and offer compensation should the data prove inaccurate. A figure of 5% ‘gone away’ is acceptable.

Frequency of use. Avoid lists that are over-used; people will see the messages as Spam and act accordingly. Push a supplier hard on this issue and expect an honest answer.

Quality of Checking. Ask about their research efforts. How often do they call people to check the record accuracy? What evidence can they provide to support this?

Of course ID Associates cleans the data during an engagement. Usually we will advise you of changes and send back the amended records.

Clean Lists

Remember the 30% rule – you need to keep checking your database. Imagine sending a letter or brochure to the wrong person. People will simply assume if you can’t be bothered to get the name right, your service delivery will be equally careless.Spend the right amount of money on cleansing. It’s brain-numbing work, and poorly-paid people become sloppy.

Internet Marketing

In the early days it was easy to be number one in the search engines. Competition was limited and it you could manipulate the results.Now everybody has a site, all are desperate to be seen, so a more professional approach is needed.

Review your web site often. Appraise it honestly. Has it kept pace with your business? Is the content relevant – do you own a selling tool, or a boring brochure?
Are visitor numbers rising or falling?
How much money is it making?

If you can’t dedicate the time, employ a professional.

Customer Care Programs

To understand how important this is, you’ll need to make a few simple calculations.
Take a look at your customer list and sales history and work out:

  • The dates you
    • made first contact
    • sent the first bill
  • The billings
    • Value of the first bill
    • Sales since then, quarter on quarter

Warning: you will have trouble sleeping afterwards. You’ll realise how long it takes to acquire a customer (how much did that really cost, by the way?). Then it dawns that most money comes from a few people; not an 80:20 rule, more like 95:5.

Now ask ‘If I lose a key customer, how long would it really take to make up the revenue?’.

That’s why client retention matters.It doesn’t cost much, and you will pick up business.

Channel Building

Most people assume that partner organisations will fall over themselves to sell their product; if only that were true!.

Usually it takes a lot of time and effort to build trust, make sure you do it right.