Discover the 3 Essential, and 1 Optional, Elements That Guarantee More Appointments
There it is again. Your biggest hurdle to getting appointments. The telephone seems to be sitting there on your desk mocking you as if it knows you just hate to pick it up and use it to ask for an appointment with your prospects. You wish you had some way to make the experience of lead generation more enjoyable by sending something out to your prospect first and yet you know that most of your efforts have been costly, time-consuming, and ineffective. It’s now another Monday and you have to fill your week with appointments or else you’re out of a job or out of business
Guess what? There is a way to make those cold calls warmer, enjoyable, and more productive. It just takes a little creativity to warm up the coldest prospect and get them talking to you on the phone. It doesn’t cost much to do and if done correctly can earn you as high as a 40-50-60% appointment ratio or higher.
Today’s business prospects are hungry for information, but they are just too busy from job demands that most just want to eliminate you as quickly as possible. That’s why the “Prospect Release” fits the bill when it comes to lead generation. Getting the attention of your prospect and getting them to meet with you will become much easier.
The “Prospect Release” is simply an adaptation of the press release along with a few other pages of attention-grabbing material. The idea is to deliver enough interesting and stimulating information to your prospect that they actually look forward to your call for an appointment.
So what is a “Prospect Release” and how do you use it?
The “Prospect Release” is comprised of 4 pages that are either mailed or faxed to your prospect. They are: the prospect/press release; a biography; a question and answer sheet, and a cover page which is optional. Each one serves an important purpose that shows how much you understand your prospect and how well you can deliver a knock-out solution for them and their company.
• Hook them with a WOW headline. One of the pages you will be sending is a prospect/press release. This page should look like a regular press release only from the standpoint of having your name and contact information appearing at the top of the page – that’s it. The key is to include a headline that captivates your prospect and shows how another client in your prospect’s industry solved a problem. Make it interesting and about something that your prospect wants. The rest of the release should really be a story about one of your customers and how your product/service solved a problem. The key is to not make it sound like a sales pitch – it has to be about your client. Make sure that you double space the complete release. Almost all busy prospects want to know what you can do for them quickly. Less is more. If you can’t tell a story in 3 double-spaced paragraphs that makes them want what you sell, then they won’t want to meet you.
• Tell a story about yourself. Now it’s time to sell you in a small way. Ever notice how much you like to read the short biography that’s located in the inset cover page of books in general? Even if you don’t skim the contents of the book you just can’t help but read the biography. This page should be about your expertise and why you are qualified to be speaking about your product/service. In it you should communicate to your prospect that you are not just another salesperson but someone that can bring great value to them. Explain your credentials, but more importantly tell a little history of how you came about working in your industry, and make it as personable as you possibly can. Be humble, speak softly but carry a big stick, or be prepared for this technique not to work. No one really wants a conceited BMOC (big man or woman on campus) as their sales rep.
To see a sample of my bio go to: www.emdco.com/mediaroom.html
• Move your prospect to YES. The Q&A page. Here’s where you list the 10 most common questions and give them the answers. You can even address some common objections by rephrasing them as questions and providing the answer. Let’s face it all your prospect really cares about at this stage of the game is that they can disqualify you so they don’t have to waste their time. You will be much better off if you can address what is really on their minds right from the beginning. And the Q&A can actually save you time in the sales cycle. It shows that you have nothing to hide and can be trusted.
• Make them feel even more important. The cover sheet (optional). Use this page when you’re trying to be even more personal when faxing out your prospect release. A short hand-written note with the prospect’s name and a signature communicates that this is not a mass mailing. I usually write a note that says something like, “Ms. Jones, I thought you might be interested in how a fellow technology company was able to increase their b2b lead generation by 43%.” Sincerely, David
Don’t use company letterhead. My research shows that plain vanilla is the way to go. Any logos or corporate names will defeat the significance of your message. The idea is to be different. How many of your prospects get handed a press release with a personalized cover letter?
Now that you have the essentials down, work on writing your copy. It should be all about your prospect and their industry. When it comes time to follow-through with a call, all you have to do is introduce yourself as the one that sent the fax and ask for the appointment.
David Wells is a business development expert, speaker, trainer, consultant and founder of http://www.emdco.com a provider of business-to-business lead creation, data confirmation and integrated marketing solutions. You can subscribe to "The Business Promoter's Tips of the Week" ezine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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