You may—or may not—remember the song from the end of the original Mickey Mouse Club. But today when I was closing a sales letter that old song came to mind. Unfortunately, as charming as it is, sung by cute little Mousekateers, we can’t simply end our sales communications by saying something so obvious as “respond, because I like you!”
Trying to communicate with potential customers when you’re in sales can be tough. It seems like folks don’t answer their phone unless they recognize the number, and people ignore emails because they have so many already. To motivate your prospects to reply, give some of these tactics a shot.
Incorporate direct mail.
If you’re trying to connect with multiple customers, direct mail can be the key. There’s so much noise online direct mail stands out and can get your message across more quickly.
Personalize one-on-one communications.
With a little Internet research it’s easy to find out a few things about people and their company. Mention something personal: I see you’re in Saint Louis—my husband’s family is from there and we’re dedicated Cardinals fans. OR I see your company supports St. Jude. I’ve been a St. Jude donor for years. It feels good to work with like-minded people.
This shows that you’re willing to go above and beyond to connect with your prospect. It also shows that you’re not too busy to put time and effort into your relationship, even when that “relationship” doesn’t really exist yet.
Everyone (us included) likes food! Humans have connected over food since cave man times—sending lunch or something fun and delicious is a great way to show you’re interested and you care about this potential business relationship.
Give a “respond by” date.
For instance, if I don’t hear from you by <date>, I’ll move forward with the process. Thanks!
Ask for a reference.
Perhaps, if the prospect you targeted isn’t the right fit, he or she can point you in the right direction, connecting you with someone who could benefit from your product.
Offer a discount, or a service for free.
You know your company is awesome and does a great job, but your prospect may not know much about you. Consider letting them try out what you have to offer either for a discount or for free (initially). Sort of the same way you can try Hulu before paying.
If you’re trying to get people to respond and they’re not, don’t feel bad. It’s pretty normal, and it’s a challenging new world out there these days. But trying these tactics can help you get some traction, and get your foot in the door.