Selling Direct Marketing Services

November 21, 2008 at 3:29 pm Leave a comment

Your question: The company that I represent is a leading, minority-owned, digital marketing service provider of one-to-one communications which lifts response rates. We provide:

  • Four-color variable data printing
  • On-line and on-demand marketing solutions that help franchises and retailers manage, personalize, distribute and fulfill advertising and marketing materials at the local store level.
  • Personalized URLs
  • Point of Sale materials
  • Co-op marketing and advertising solutions which includes are AdBuilder technology which allows local retailers to customize and place print media. Our solution also tracks co-op spending for each retail/franchise location.

I would like to know:

  • What is the title of the person I should be contacting at advertising agencies, direct marketing companies and at national retailers?
  • What could I say in my cold calling endeavors that would make you as a potential prospect want to meet with me?

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

My answer: First of all, it sounds like you offer some excellent services, especially for retailers. Of course, the challenge always is to get in the door-get that first appointment-the opportunity to tell your story to the right person.

I’ll start off with your first question about who to target for your services. You mentioned that you are interested in reaching ad agencies, direct marketing companies and national retailers, and I believe that the target for each segment is different.

  1. Ad agencies: First off, I’d do the research to understand which ad agencies are working with top retail clients. Don’t waste your time cultivating agencies that are not a fit for your services. Once I’ve narrowed down the list to the appropriate agencies, I’d attempt to figure out who is working on the account you’re interested in. The titles I would target would be in the Client Services area, looking for people responsible for helping set marketing strategies. Specifically, I’d look for Account Supervisors, Account Directors and Account Executives. If the agency is on the small side, I would approach the head of the agency (president or owner) with your offerings.
  2. In regards to targeting direct marketing companies, I’m assuming that you’d offer your services as a complement to what they’re offering and that there is something in it for the DM firm (such as commission!). If this is the case, I would focus my sales efforts on high level officers in the company. Titles such as Owner, President, Partner, CEO, CMO, Vice President of Sales, VP of Operations, VP Planning would be appropriate. My thinking is that a high level leader might understand the benefits of partnering with your firms and see how your service might complement their product offerings and allow them to offer a broader spectrum of solutions to their clients and prospects. With that said, make sure that you are only talking to firms that offer complementary services. You definitely don’t want to approach direct competitors J
  3. In regards to targeting national retailers, I would seek to speak with the following titles: VP of Marketing, Director of retail marketing and any direct marketing title. All of these should be good prospects for you.

Now on to the hard part of your question-and that is-how to get these people to take and/or return your calls. Cold calling is never fun, is it? To make it easier on yourself, take the time to develop a script that you can follow when you actually get someone live. Make it benefit-oriented, as opposed to ‘product-speak’ Make sure you’re clear about how their lives will improve if they work with you.

Develop another script to be used for voice messages. Try to think of something unique about your solutions-something that will pique their interest just enough to get your prospect to return your call. Be human and have fun with these calls. Remember that people buy from people they like.

In the cold-calling game, I believe that the secret to success is persistence combined with a methodical approach. Set goals (such as number of people called or reached) and keep to a pre-determined sequence of activities (such as call one time/leave message, wait one week, call again/no message, call a 3rd time with a 2nd message, etc.).

Best of luck to you as you market and sell your direct marketing solutions!


Entry filed under: B2B.

Setting B2B Marketing Strategies How to be successful in sales

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