|Telemarketing and direct mailing can be an extremely effective combination, supporting each other in B2B marketing. This article discusses the best ways of utilising direct mail marketing with telemarketing with the B2B sector tele...|
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Telemarketing combined with direct mailing giving you an edge over the competition
Telemarketing is often thought as a separate method of obtaining sales leads, something that alone should solve the problem of prospecting.
Yet telemarketing combines well with direct mailing. Each offers a different form of sensation, direct mailing appealing visually and telemarketing audibly. The combination is a kind of delayed-action audiovisual experience for the recipient and not at all ineffective if used correctly.
While there are businesses who rely on a single form of marketing and/or advertising for acquiring prospective clients and sales leads, it's safe to say that most B2B companies utilise a mix of marketing avenues for creating interest for their services and products.
Telemarketing sits well with visual forms of presentation.
Today, the best and most useful form of such presentation must be the Internet. If your subject matter renders itself to easy visualisation on a web site then nothing is more convincing that using the Internet while you talk on the telephone with the prospective client.
However, this does require some skill and coordination, as well as definite technical preparations and training for the telemarketer.
A simpler version of this is to combine telemarketing with direct mailing. Here, however, the goal is slightly different.
Direct mailing and telemarketing: One supporting the other
Essentially we have a definite problem in telemarketing, namely the lack of TRUST.
It's not easy to evoke trust in someone whom you've just got on the end of a phone line first time in your life. Regardless of how skilful you are in putting people at ease, first time ever encounters on the phone have severe limitations.
You can't see the other guy and thus you can't be certain of his intentions. That's because human beings receive more than half of their information from the environment VISUALLY. If two senses contradict someone tells you "I like you very much" while fiercely scowling at you we always believe our sight above any other sense.
You would not believe what our imaginary fried SAID but trust your eyes and go with what you SAW of his attitude and emotional state. He was clearly angry so it is not true he likes you...
On the phone, receiving a telemarketing call, we have the problem of NOT SEEING the telemarketer, so we can't see whether there's a genuine expression on his/her face or a sneering smirk... and thus we can't truly trust the person before our sight validates the truthfulness of his/her demeanor.
As discussed elsewhere on this site, the main goal of the telemarketer is to get the other person TALKING which, if successful, will gradually build up TRUST in his mind toward the telemarketer AND the company conducting the telemarketing activity.
And it is in this task of creating trust with telemarketing that direct mailing can have a good effect.
Creating a set of letters which are built on offering INFORMATION as opposed to SELLING something on your services and/or products from the clients' viewpoint will work wonders for the recognition and acceptance of your telemarketing call.
Essentially, telemarketing should not be seen as a one-time occurrence. If your telemarketing campaign approach, script, gradual step-by-step strategy and so on is planned correctly, telemarketing has a repetitive effect in CREATING interest.
This gradually increasing effect can be greatly increased by alternating contacts between direct mailing and telemarketing, sending one direct mailing letter every month and having your telemarketer call the same decision-maker once every two-three months.
Let me explain.
Envision a decision-maker receiving the first direct mailing letter.
If it has been planned correctly to interface with telemarketing, its whole punch goes into making ONE POSITIVE POINT, one point which so appeals to the thinking of the decision-maker that he REMEMBERS IT.
It also has some easily distinguishable VISUAL element, something that can be explained spot-on verbally with a few words. This could be anything but it would be easily explainable and a SIMPLE element.
Next, the telemarketer calls this decision-maker and introduces herself, asking "did you receive our letter by the way... it had a large yellow duck on it?"
Now, obviously she asks about the visual element that was on YOUR letter. The "yellow duck" is here merely as an example of something simple and easily describable.
Now, if this is done right if the letter is as it should so it impinges one positive thought upon the decision-maker and it also has the visual element AND the telemarketer does her bit correctly you will have INSTANT CONNECTION.
The guy instantly remembers your company.
So...what? What's so special about that then?
Well, it's instant recognition, instant connection with SOMETHING ALREADY APPROVED AND AGREED UPON... which is basically what "trust" is all about.
Your telemarketer is NOT a stranger though this is the first contact.
The target person HAS HEARD of your company, he has already formed ONE POSITIVE OPINION about the company... the company is proven to EXIST (the direct mailing letter being the "evidence") and things will start off from an altogether higher level of communication from the onset.
Now, let's not expect that this one letter and call will convince the decision-maker. So he is polite and the telemarketer doesn't push... and they end of amicably.
However, not all returns to how it was after this seemingly failed attempt of telemarketing.
No, not at all.
See, if you've planned your telemarketing script cleverly, this one short interview will have caused the prospect to formulate a couple of conclusions and adopt some information about your area of expertise.
Or, to be more precise, he has now experienced a higher standard of communication that what he ever received from any other service provider in your industry.
This is DATA and the human mind works on information.
So he will never again look at his CURRENT service provider quite the same way. Now he may see some shortages in their communication and attitude... but nothing to make him change the status quo...YET.
Next month, out goes your second letter.
Again, it brings a thought to the decision-maker, one with whose simple message he again agrees with wholeheartedly.
He learns something from the way your company seems to think alike with their clients... and his attention will now definitely focus on any occurrences wherein his current provider's service attitude is LACKING.
And so it progresses, month by month.
Every month the decision-maker receives some communication from your company that further solidifies his constantly heightening opinion about your special customer care attitude... and every month any OMISSIONS of similar attitude from his CURRENT service provider become more evident.
Where do YOU think this is going to lead eventually?
It might take a month, two or five... but who cares, really?
If you plan your telemarketing & direct mailing combo right, it can only end one way... and with hundreds of similar ongoing communication cycles, it will soon start raining new clients!
And that's the power of combining direct mailing with telemarketing.
"But," you may ask, "how do you create telemarketing and direct mailing letters whose message is guaranteed to include data with which the decision-maker AGREES, tidbits which he will find positive... where do you get that data?"
The short answer is "from a detailed survey."
We would conduct a market research survey with your target group PRIOR to creating the direct mailing letters and the telemarketing system.
If you want to read more about market research surveys of this specific type, there's an article "B2B market research: Securing a formidable competitive advantage with your target group" on our site www.competitivebranding.com.
And if direct mailing is of interest, there's more information about it on the same web site visit it to read the article "B2B direct mail marketing and how you can make it work for your company."
A good information pack on successful telemarketing tools and strategies is the Professional B2B-sector Telemarketing Guide.
And if you already have a telemarketing activity, consider the Telemarketing Result-Optimization Analysis for finding out the strengths and weaknesses of your telemarketing so that you can improve the results.
And if you want to maximise your success for an in-house telemarketing unit one you're planning or one that already exists then you can have a telemarketing system created and tailored to your specific needs... see HDK Custom-Made Telemarketing Systems for more information.
Consider using direct mailing to augment your telemarketing activity. The results can be quite impressive once it gets going!
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