PHONE - MAIL - PHONE is just that!
You phone people, then you send them something by post or email, then you phone them again. You should absolutely be doing this right now for some part of your marketing, so pay attention because you need to understand this.
FIRST THINGS FIRST...
You don't have to do this yourself.
Some of our clients get their staff to do it; others employ a part-timer, a friend or someone they've met who just loves talking to people on the phone, or maybe someone who wants to work from home and can't commit to a full time job.
You are NOT a telemarketer so you must not sound like one.
You don't like talking to telemarketers so it's no surprise that neither do your customers! But you don't mind when someone from a local business phones you up and asks if you'd like some information on a subject that interests you. That's who you are - someone from a business phoning up asking exactly that. To make sure you don't sound like a telemarketer, write down the bullet points of what you want to say. Then practice it until it sounds like you're just having a normal conversation with the person. Try it on your friend or partner until you've gotten over your embarrassment and can say it just like you were talking. Oh, and make sure you smile as you talk (it affects the sound of your voice), and get to the point quickly.
Don't try to short-cut the process.
For some reason, this approach always works best when you stick to the phone-mail-phone sequence.
First, you phone and ask permission to send them whatever it is that you want to send them.
Second, you send it.
Third, you call, ask if they got it, and whether or not they did (many won't remember getting it), you explain what was in the mail anyway, repeat what the mail offered them and ask them if they'd like to receive that offer.
The 'offer' doesn't have to be them buying something or some service. For instance, the letter might be inviting them to say yes to a FREE CHECK (of their hot water cylinder, their car tyres, their feet and their running shoes, their glasses and eyesight etc.). Or it might be inviting them to a customer evening.
Low-pressure selling generally gets a better response because it builds a relationship - and a relationship means they will keep coming back for more.
And that's what you want isn't it? Your customers are sick of people trying to pressure-sell them. But they do want help, information and relationships with people who can provide those things. At Holloways, we always stick to this principle. You should too. Our marketing must help people - whether or not they buy from us. So your customer evening might not be a chance to look at all your cool new TVs. It might be how to know which TVs are best for your eyesight. It might sound silly to you, but companies who do that get higher sales. The more you help people, the more they buy from you. That's true in your day-to-day dealings with your customers, and believe me, it will definitely be true if your marketing helps people (whether or not they buy from you).