Owning three small businesses gives me an interesting perspective on marketing, specifically email marketing. In addition to being part owner of MyTeamConnects email service, I also own a 48 unit apartment complex in San Antonio Texas.
For my apartment complex, I buy from $500 to $3,000 worth of stuff every month; things such as paint, refrigerator parts, plumbing and electrical needs to security cameras and pest control service/chemicals. So you would think every sales person in those fields would want me as a client. Granted, I am hard to get a hold of. Some reps will call the office and miss me for days, if not weeks. I am busy. But, if what they have is what I want, they always can find me. Or should I say I find them.
This last week our apartment association held an excellent trade show. You know the type; lots of venders trying to expose their businesses to apartment owners.
While at the show, lots of reps told me that they would call or follow up with me. No one asked if they could put me on their email or mailing list though…
Let me just say that I do want to be sold to. I need the products and services all those vendors offer. But I want to explain how I want to be sold to…and I do not think that I am that different from a lot of buyers.
Let me give you a real life example. In walking the show, there were a number of companies who provide credit checks for future tenants. One company in particular interested me and since I am thinking of changing who I use I am very interested in looking at these companies. I asked all of these companies at the show to call me or follow up with me. Now lets see how many actually do contact me. (As of this writing, I’ve received one phone call.)
A perfect sales approach…
A perfect sales approach would be:
- One of these credit check companies would have put me on their auto response email system.
- By the evening of the show or the following morning I would have received a thank you email.
- Then the next Monday (four days later), an informative email on tips and tricks on how to better use credit checking services.
- On Wednesday (two more days later), another email with a success story of another happy customer, a glowing testimonial.
- And maybe another email every few days for 7 or 10 days.
You get the idea. They would have three touches in less than one week, not including the trade show. And all done for no extra cost and for no time from the sales rep.
Let’s say that the following week two companies schedule a sales call with me: one was from the company that sent the emails and the other one I was hearing from the first time since the show. Which company would I have a better connection with, all other things being equal? Of course it’s the one that has already had 3 to 5 email touches to my business.
Or lets say the company that sent the emails did not have their rep call me but another company’s rep did call me to schedule a meeting. I bet that I would want to hear from the company that had engaging and informative emails, even if I had to call them to get their rep to come out. Because they reached out in educating and informative ways, and because I had the contact info readily available in my email inbox, I might be inclined to pick up the phone myself.
To recap, we have two companies:
- One used email marketing and “reached out and touched me” three maybe five times before the actual sales call.
- the other company had no touches, hence I would barely remember that company.
Which would you choose? I can not guarantee that I would buy from the company that sent the emails, but I would definitely listen to what their rep had to say and maybe give them a better chance of closing the sale.
This is how I would want to be sold. But then again, I am betting that none of this will happen — this time.
Granted I own a email marketing company, so you can guess I would expect sales reps to use all of the tools that matter. Email extends that personal meeting better than any other method out there.
So to the sales reps of the world, go ahead and try to call but I may not answer the phone. But send me an email and I just may surprise you by responding back.