Don't believe that the lists you have compiled are accurate! The chances are that they will not be up to date.
In particular, people will have changed and, since you will be writing to them personally it is vital that you get the right name.

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Targeted marketing Stage 3: Telephone research

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Don't believe that the lists you have compiled are accurate! The chances are that they will not be up to date. In particular, people will have changed and, since you will be writing to them personally it is vital that you get the right name.

So the purpose of this stage is to check the name and position of the decision maker - or decision influencer - who is most likely to be in a position to buy, or authorise the buying of your product or service.

At the same time, you can check that the company hasn't moved (they do, you know!) and perhaps get other useful information to let you know if they are a real prospect.

At this point, let me say that you will not be mailing out thousands, or even hundreds of letters a week. Only enough that you can comfortably follow up by telephone within a week or so of sending out the mailshot (the next stage). So, having selected which your first target market sector is going to be, research 50 - 60 at the most to check that your information is correct. Remember, what you are aiming to do each week is to:

  • Research some names on the lists.
  • Select some names for mailshots.
  • Send out some mailshots.
  • Follow up some mailshots.

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In this way, a continuous process will be created and the marketing impetus will be maintained. So bear this weekly list of tasks in mind when deciding how many names to research in one batch.

So.. you get through to the switchboard of one of your target companies. What's the first question you ask? "I need to write to your company. Can you tell me your post code please?" Note the word "need" - it puts the switchboard operator in the position of having to tell you! And it's an innocuous question - s/he doesn't feel threatened. Also, it enables you to check that the address is right (assuming you have the post code anyway - remember, companies can still move, but retain the same phone number).

Next, get the name of the decision maker / decision influencer that you want to contact. Say "And can you tell me the name of your Managing Director, please? .. or whatever is the appropriate title of the guy. Check very carefully the initials and the spelling of the surname - and, if there's any doubt, whether it's a Mr or a Ms. Remember, a person's name, to them, is the sweetest sound in the world!

After that, you could gently probe for any other info that might help you to qualify the prospect as a real potential customer. Eg. "Do you know if your company actually uses 'xyz'? Chances are that s/he doesn't, but it's surprising what you can learn from a switchboard operator! I know; I've done it

That's Stage 3. The next one is shorter...

 


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