Years ago I worked in direct sales. One of the big lessons I learned along the way was that once a prospect or customer said "yes" the first time, it was much easier to get him or her to say "yes" a second time.
In direct sales, you tend to do a lot of tele-marketing—and as I’m sure you know from being on the receiving end a time or two, it tends to be second nature for people to resist phone solicitation.
So what I did and coached others to do was to lower or eliminate this resistance by finding easy ways to get people to say "YES," followed by irresistible ways to get their permission to talk to them about my products and services.
For example, an effective system I learned from sales trainer Traci Bild was to obtain five “yes” responses in less than one minute.
This was done by using a series of simple questions proven to get a “yes” response the majority of the time. For instance, when I got them on the phone I’d start the conversation by saying, “Hello, Susan (or whatever their first name was). This is Cindy Cyr calling.” Then I’d pause and wait for a response. 99% of the time they would say “Yes.” The other 1% they would say, “Who? Or Do I know you?” But 99% of the time I already had my first “yes” with that simple opening.
This technique was highly effective and not only increased my sales tremendously, but kept me in the top 5% of all sales people in an International organization for the ten years I was with the organization.
I don’t tell you this to brag, but to show you how effective getting a “yes” can be.
You can use a similar technique using direct mail. By approaching prospects in a way that lowers their resistance and has a higher percentage of getting a “yes” coupled with getting permission to talk to them, you can increase the amount of new business you bring through your door.
Today’s template is a direct mail piece designed to do just that…lower resistance and get the first “yes”.
In order to increase your percentage of getting your prospects to say "yes," keep several things in mind:
- Make your offer irresistible. Offering something for free with no strings attached is a great way to get someone to start down the “yes path." This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give away something that costs you a lot of money. The key is to make sure it has a high perceived value to your target audience.
For example, a successful financial investment newsletter promotion made an offer to open a Swiss bank account for their prospects just for trying them. It cost the investment firm next to nothing to open the bank accounts, but was viewed as a very prestigious and valuable offer by their prospects.
- Increase your response when you reflect the value of your product or service in the gift, prize or offer.
For example, I recently received a letter in the mail from an Internet Marketing Business Coach selling his $10,000+ services. He offered to buy me lunch if I would come see his 90-minute free presentation in my area. Lunch and free presentation might work in this case, however because he had a high-priced service and knew more butts in seats meant a higher chance of closing, he offered a free tablet computer for the first fifty people to sign up. Plus a free DVD with hidden resources to EVERYONE who attended.
- Try targeting Local Prospects. Supporting local businesses is especially hot right now. Take advantage by announcing you are their neighbor. And if you can save them money somehow because you are local, let them know.
For instance, let’s say you own a flower shop and you grow your flowers locally. You could say something like, “And because I personally grow all my own flowers locally you don’t have to pay the extra shipping charge other flower shops charge you to import their flowers, saving you up to 32% on every order.”
- Include Testimonials from real people. Be sure to use their full name and the city and state they live in. And if you are running a local campaign use testimonials from local people. Using initials only, or first name and last initial are sometimes construed as “made-up” testimonials and should be avoided when possible.
- Put a time limit on your offer. Give a time limit on how long they can get the free prize.
Be sure to give them a short window to reply. I recommend no more than two weeks. Three tops. This creates urgency for them to act now.
- Create exclusivity and demand. If your prospect feels he or she is special, they are more likely to reply.
For example, you can tell them your offer is only being sent to a select group, which they are a part of. You could also compliment them. For example, you could say, “As someone who is more knowledgeable about commuting by plane, than 99% of the population…” You can also tell them there is a limited number of consultations, etc. that you give away each month.
- Follow up. Send a reminder letter or postcard notice to those who don’t reply. Using a date stamp in red with the words “Expires on” is a great way to create urgency and remind them that they only have until such and such a date to claim their prize.
Use the included template and these seven tips as your guide to getting your first “yes” and start the conversation to creating a new customer relationship. You’ll discover a valuable way to create new business whenever you need it.
Marketing strategist and copywriter, Cindy Cyr shows people how to turn words into increased leads and more money. Specializing in info marketing, training, and online, her client list ranges from small businesses to internationally recognized clients such as Zig Ziglar, Glazer-Kennedy Insider’s Circle, AWAI, and Wealthy Web Writer.