Times have changed. Sales people of my generation were taught that if you contact 10 prospects per day, you would end up with enough commission to live comfortably. Today instead of 10, it’s 200. Wow! How do you do that? You’ve got to be some kind of telephone person to make 200 calls in a day. Well, the easier answer is technology. You must reach out to your customers and see who raises their head above the noise. Send your prospects a message, and email, a new release, do something. Then use the telephone, mainly to respond to those who answer. Refine your message and try again, it’s not quantity of leads. It’s the quality that matters speak directly with prospects who have a genuine need. You control the message, formulate your message such that those prospects who really need your product will feel compelled to speak up.
If you are selling work trucks, it might not the optimum use of your one on one personal time to talk with someone who does not own or run a business. Yahoo’s email addresses might not be your best prospects. Obviously, you don’t want to ignore these people. Your on-line systems should provide the information that these early stage prospects need. Everyone does their research on the web, try not to spend your one-on-one time with these researchers.
Lets talk a bit about your existing customers!
All the hype these days is about blogs, it seems that everyone has a blog, or maybe 5. You can do lots better, easier, more targeted, and profitable than a blog. Consider the well-known advantages of selling more to your existing customers. Focus your attention on providing the best possible service to your current customers, and they will bring in the business. Using comments and existing customer information gleaned from your automated partner portal, your prospecting web system can be more effective.
Every day, your customers, dealers, distributors place orders. Do they automatically get the finest, latest, prettiest information about your products? Think about the value of having your best message from your Product Manager right in front of the buyer’s eyes! What about a message from your Service Manager, or Product Quality Manager, or Sales Manager?
These people, your best people, have things to say to your partners. Give them a platform to speak daily to your customers. Let’s say that some of your folks just don’t do the written word well. I have hunted down an amazing tool to help make our words easier to read and to conform to written English guidelines. I use “White Smoke,” no affiliation, no connection, except, I purchased their product. It really helps me come closer to proper English. White Smoke is miles ahead of Microsoft Office spell and grammar checker. Fragments, run-ones, punctuation, wrong words, all kinds of stuff is found and suggestions are provided by this product. While my words may still not be perfect, they are now reasonably acceptable. I don’t really like White Smoke. The user interface is not great. I have to cut and paste my text from open office into White Smoke, BUT I do write better. White Smoke was well worth the $200 or so that I paid, looks like it’s even cheaper now. Give it a try, and you will see that even a poor writer manages to make themselves understood.
I really believe that printed words (or should that be displayed words?) and pictures are the most powerful medium to convey your message. This is especially true with your existing customers. Words convey more information than speaking, there is no rambling, no side topics. You simply get a well-thought-out solution. Often your customers can resolve their own issues and be happier and more self-sufficient than speaking with a customer support person.
Of course with Nauvou Partner Portal, words are not the only choice. You can just skip the words and make a little youtube videos to embed in your Partner Web Site. Sorry, no tool to make me better looking, but I guess that’s for another month.