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27.02.2018

6 tips for generating new acquisitions

1. Keep your addressees' details up to date.

Compile meaningful lists: Pull out all the stops when it comes to identifying potential customers. A well-maintained lead base will catapult your closure rates into unimagined heights. All you need to do is a little bit of homework: Online research, keeping in touch via social media, networking at regional events. Collect business cards and enter the address details into a file - you might pop in when you’re in the neighbourhood... Does your website have a blog or newsletter subscription option? Place a clearly visible mailing list at your trade fair booth and organise a survey, a raffle or a competition. Many of your competitors will fail to make use of these opportunities: and that’s your big chance! These activities create a relationship between you and your addressee, allowing you to ask him for permission to send him information.

But hang on a minute: who is going to give you their email address just so you can send them emails? Only somebody who thinks they will get something of value in return.

So:

2. Offer them added value.

Share your expert knowledge: Let’s say you want to reach out to retirement homes and care facilities with your proposal. Write a blog article about the increasing number of computer-savvy pensioners and their need for WiFi hotspots in care facilities. To do so, call the retirement homes in your neighbourhood and ask a few questions about the topic. As you have prepared yourself well, you can shoot off a few interesting acts and figures.

Your advantage: You find out who is responsible for the Internet at each facility, whether they have a satisfactory solution in place or still need one, and you have positioned yourself as an expert. You have instilled confidence in your dialogue partner and can provide advice from your position as an expert. But you should always do so whether your dialogue partner wants to buy or not. You don’t need to hide the fact that you are selling these services. But you will only create the right legal conditions if your advice has a value that is of interest to the customer independently of a purchase. Your bonus: you will not be perceived as an annoying salesperson for the simple reason that you are not an annoying salesperson. You are an expert who is sharing his knowledge.

ATTENTION: Your phone call is the first and most important sales instrument in a campaign of this nature. Prepare yourself carefully, as described in Hunting for new customers through telemarketing?, with all the available information and the right contact partner.

TIP from the field: Solve a problem – but not immediately! To avoid being fobbed off right away, your dialogue partner needs to quickly recognise the potential value of talking to you. You should therefore always avoid the words survey and study, as most people cannot see how they can be of value. Think about which problem your product can solve for the customer and talk about it in a straightforward manner. In our example it could look like this:

Mr Jones, I am XY of ABC Company. I was referred to you because I have a few questions concerning older people and the Internet.

We are currently preparing a blog article about the challenges posed by this development. You would be surprised at all the things we have found out. How is the situation at your facility - do you provide Internet access to your residents?

How do you manage to enable people who are not technologically minded to get online without help?

Now let your dialogue partner speak and ask a targeted question every now and then. How many residents go online every day? What do they use: smartphones, tablets? What service do they use most of all when online: Skype, email, Facebook? How about video-streaming and gaming? How does it work - do they have to register? What about data protection?

To finish, talk about your product, mentioning that there is a specific and very attractive offer available to homes for the elderly and that your blog article will soon be available online. Which email address can you send the link to?

You now have the customer’s consent to sending him information by email. IMPORTANT: Make a note of the customer’s consent in a memo and include the date (and perhaps the time).

So what about the solution to a problem and all those surprising facts? That is the so-called cliffhanger. If you are asked about them, tell your dialogue partner that all will be revealed in an email / blog article and be happy that you have aroused their interest and very probably gained a new reader. However, you must make sure the email arrives within an appropriate time period, (three days to a week at the most).

We now come to the centrepiece of your campaign - the email:

3. Grab their attention in the subject line.

Think like your customer: Would you open an email from someone you don’t really know if the subject line said: “News from ABC System House”? References such as “The info you asked for” and “Our telephone conversation” are also often used by spammers and don’t sound that great anymore. That’s why you should take the time to put yourself in your customer’s situation. Make a reference to your telephone call, perhaps in the form of a provocative question, or reveal a couple of hard facts right from the start:

  • 3x more pensioners using Internet on the go
  • So who's too old for the Internet?
  • Pensioners happier online

4. Keep a promise.

Not a trick, but rather a question of diligence: As the originator of your campaign, your email must fit in with how you address your customer as otherwise he probably won’t be able to put two and two together. It is likely that he only has a vague memory of what the two of you had spoken about. That’s why it’s important to reiterate the subject-matter:

Mr Jones,

As promised during our phone call of {DATE}, I am sending you the link to our blog article. You’ll be surprised at how many and how often pensioners access the Internet these days using mobile devices. But are they savvy enough to recognise and avoid cost traps? What about security? Is Internet access regulated and traceable? It stands to reason that we cannot afford to neglect these issues in this day and age and that we also have a certain responsibility in this regard. 

For the past XX years, ABC Company has provided secure and efficient solutions in the field of guest Internet access that are in use in a large number of facilities for the elderly and fully compliant with GDPR regulations. To satisfy the current acute demand, we are currently running an attractive promotion that could have been designed with you in mind. I will be pleased to get in touch with you with regard to a brief consultation free of charge.

Your email could look something like this. Send?

STOP! Not yet! First, you need to do a few things to increase your chances of being read. Wouldn’t it be unbelievably disappointing if your carefully composed email ended up a victim of the spam filter?

5. Avoid these two traps at all costs!

Spam folder: You’ve got IT specialists on your team, so make use of them! Every email is scrutinised by servers and spam filters that decide whether it belongs in your inbox or spam folder. Work together with these specialists to ensure your email conforms with standardised authenticity criteria such as DomainKeys or SPF and is not rejected due to non-compliance.

Undesired advertising: Cold calling has been made very difficult in recent years, especially in the B2C domain, but also in B2B. Cold emailing (i.e. without any pre-existing customer contact) is generally prohibited; calling a person for marketing purposes is only permissible if the addressee would “presumably” consent to receiving the call because it concerns information of relevance to him.

But that does mean that marketers like us have to forego the use of email and the telephone as fantastic marketing instruments. We simply play by the rules. We make sure that addressees are pleased to consent to receiving emails from us. You didn’t forget to obtain the customer’s implicit consent to receiving the link to the finished blog article about pensioners and the internet, did you?

6. Pay attention to timing.

Email opening rates differ significantly depending on the day of the week. That’s why timing is a decisive factor for the success of an email campaign. While it is true that everyday office life is becoming ever more flexible and mobile, it is a fact that, according to statistics, emails are more frequently read in the morning. Generally speaking, the first half of the week is better for B2B emails. Mondays, however, are not so good. Overflowing inboxes are the reason why emails that were not actively requested are more likely to end up in the bin folder on a Monday rather than, say, on a Tuesday. The latter has the best opening rates, slightly better than Wednesday. Friday afternoons are a very bad idea - an email will very probably spend the weekend unread in the inbox and on Monday will already be an “email from last week”.

Working with these 6 tips will not only ensure your cold marketing campaign is legally compliant, it will also deliver valuable input for your content marketing. Publish the article online and share the preview on Facebook or LinkedIn. You can recycle the whole thing again after an appropriate time period, perhaps making a few updates here and there. It is astounding how many other new readers you can reach out to after six months or perhaps a year. And if you can manage to include a few current buzzwords in your blog article, it will help improve your website’s search engine ranking. But please remember: everything you do, from the very first phone call to the follow-up email, must be documented. Feed it all into your CRM - every customer contact is another rung taken on the ladder to a successful sale.

Good luck!

The Asteas Sales Training Team

Are you interested in wireless Internet access for guests, staff or things for your enterprise, or do you provide network solutions for clients? Drop a few lines to share your opinion with us: service@asteas.com

At Asteas, we see it as our task to shape wireless Internet access in networks efficient and legally conformant for the supplier, efficient and comfortable for the user and secure for both.

For more information, visit our website www.asteas.com or contact us here.

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