I’ve teenage excitement coarsing through me at present due to a new product I recently conjured up. My initial market research with existing customers received plenty of encouragement and take up. The product can give salespeople on the road anywhere between 2 and 3 days extra selling time each month. Now comes time to unleash it on a wider audience. One which, of course, will neither know me nor want to speak with me.
So I set about thinking how to make my life easier. I’ve a huge universe to go after. Let’s say I kick-off with one hundred likely prospects. How about a Direct Mail starting point? I was fortunate to receive schooling on this art as part of my first ever role. 1½% response rates are typical from a bog-standard mail-out. As an aside, I once met a fella through an acquaintance as we watched England hammer Holland 4-1 at Euro96 in a juicer off Leicester Square who pulled out a pic of his girlfiend. A stunner. I spluttered with incredulity. It turned out his tactic was to give every single “hot” girl he saw his business card (he was a bean counter) and await their call. In around 5 years since leaving Uni, he dished out 200 or so. 4 subsequently phoned up. That’s roughly the same response as standard DM. He’d gone out with 2 of them, both for two years apiece.
If you tweak your letter, with things like a PS and Offer, then you can raise response beyond 5%. The wonderful Crossing The Chasm concept suggests that around 1 in 6 people will entertain anything that is ‘new’. So how can I combine this knowledge to easily get in front of 15 of my initial 100?
Well, my starting point will be a day’s effort to obtain the best email address through the Sales Dept PA, send my spiel aimed at those that’ll bite on all that is new and shiny, then call each one up. In theory, every one in six I reach will agree to see me…