By Andrew Field
As a sales professional, you wear more hats than meet the eye. You’re an expert in your space, a curator of information, and a ruthless researcher. You bounce back from rejection. You’re tougher than Rudy and Rocky Balboa combined.
But even the most resourceful sales teams scratch their heads when they face the same obstacles again and again. Let’s take a look at some common problems and an effective tactic you’ve probably never considered.
Gaining Initial Access to the Decision Maker
You’ve done your research and have contact information for the decision maker at a large account. But your calls and emails go unanswered despite your strong message. You know that if you could just get your foot in the door and make your pitch, you’d land the new business.
Problem solved: When people get a personal package in the mail, they don’t throw it away without opening it. While email and voicemail are important parts of your sales strategy, they often go straight to the trash. So send the decision maker something she doesn’t expect: your collateral in printed form, along with a nice gift and a handwritten note.
A tangible gift sails past the spam filter and lands right on the desk of the decision maker. Your note adds a personal touch that stands out. Include a PURL so you can drive digital traffic with your dimensional mail piece.
Pro tip: Send your package through FedEx to receive notice when your gift has arrived. Then time your follow-up call for right after she receives it. She’ll be excited to take your call so she can thank you for the thoughtful gift. Door officially opened.
Reigniting Interest When a Busy Prospect Goes Dark
Just like you, your leads are busy. Perhaps a hot prospect has cooled down as her internal workload grows. She expressed interest during your last meeting but needed more time to sell your solution within the company. It’s been two weeks and all you hear are crickets.
Problem solved: Instead of placing another follow-up call, remind her of your pending contract with a gift that will surprise and delight. The more targeted the gift, the better. On your last call, did the fact that she’s a tech junkie come up? Send her a stylish gadget holder that organizes all of her tech in one place. It will be just the push she needs to feel valued, re-engage, and get your proposal moving again. Not to mention your thoughtfulness will blow her away!
Thoughtful items like this also create a natural advocacy for your company. She’ll show her coworkers (especially when they see her open the package) and relay the story every time she’s asked about her slick new gadget case. That keeps you top of mind.
Pro tip: For even more impact, fill the gift with useful branded goodies, such as office supplies, a phone charger, memory stick, or external hard drive. Not only is it a nice gesture, it ensures she’ll encounter your brand several times a day – prompting her to think of you.
No matter where you are in the sales cycle, sending real stuff gets results. According to Robert B. Cialdini, author of The Psychology of Persuasion, people who receive gifts are 10 times more likely to respond when asked for something in the future.
Want to see other scenarios like these? Check out our Idea Book for more tips on how to get better results in any sales scenario.
Andrew Field is founder and President of Printing for Less (PFL), a Marketing Technology company providing software solutions that improve marketing effectiveness, as well as printing, mailing, and fulfillment services.