Download Magnetic Selling - Develop the Charm and Charisma That Attract Customers and Maximize Sales PDF

TitleMagnetic Selling - Develop the Charm and Charisma That Attract Customers and Maximize Sales
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Magnetic Follow-Up

Of course, response is important. But while response is indeed signifi-

cant, it’s not everything. It’s difficult to imagine that those who receive

phone calls but don’t respond are affected in a positive way. But don’t

assume they’re not.

There are too many unknowns. People’s needs and interests are con-

stantly changing. You’ll never know, for example, how many people put

your brochure in that infamous ‘‘in-basket,’’ which they really do plan to go

through just as soon as they get a free minute.

You’ll never know how many people file your material for future use, or

bookmark your website for future reference. You’ll never know how many

people pass your catalog along to a colleague who may be calling soon.

You’ll never know how many people are presenting the idea of working with

you to their bosses but haven’t yet received approval.

Yes, they’re intangible and unquantifiable, but all of these events can

have an impact on the results of your promotional efforts, and you’ll never

be able to trace them back to any one mailing.

But you have to measure something. You need some way to know if

what you’re doing is working—a gauge by which to judge. If you need some

hard facts, go ahead and measure response. Make 500 calls. Count how

many people respond positively, and keep track of how many jobs result

from that one phone effort. Just keep in mind that it’s not the whole picture.

Give each marketing effort six months, minimum. More often than not,

it’s not just one communication that brings a customer; it’s the succession

of messages. It can take four to nine calls to make a sale.

When you do make a judgment, take a wide view and go with your gut.

You will know whether what you’re doing is worth the time and energy

involved. You will know whether you enjoy the process. You will know

whether people like it, remember it, and notice it. You will know whether,

over the course of a year of consistent marketing, your business has grown.

How often should you follow up? There’s no set formula, only some guide-

lines. A good starting point is the ‘‘Rule of Seven,’’ formulated by marketing

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Magnetic SELLING

expert Dr. Jeffrey Lant. It states that to penetrate the buyer’s consciousness

and make significant penetration in a given market, you have to contact

those people a minimum of seven times within an eighteen-month period.

This is slightly more than once every quarter. Although your frequency

may be less or more, seven contacts within eighteen months—or four to five

contacts within a year—is a good starting point for a follow-up plan.

You can modify this plan to suit your preferences. It’s really up to you.

Do what works. Don’t get locked into a formula. If you get better results

contacting warm prospects monthly, do so . . . as long as you keep below a

frequency they will find annoying or offensive.

How do you know whether you are following up too frequently? If only

one or two prospects complain or seem annoyed, just modify your schedule

to accommodate them. But if 5 percent or more respond negatively to your

frequency of follow-up, scale back on follow-up for that entire group of

prospects. Use prospects’ feedback to guide you in your efforts.

When you follow up, you will often encounter prospects with an atti-

tude. That attitude may be positive and friendly. But more often, it is re-

served, guarded, or adversarial. Here are some ideas for handling these

different situations.

Calling and Finding the Prospect Friendly or

Here’s a rare thrill: You call and the prospect actually seems happy to hear

from you again! Don’t get excited or interpret levels of commitment and

enthusiasm that may not be there. Some people are naturally effervescent

and outgoing, yet may not have the slightest interest in dealing with you.

Others who are stony and silent may surprise you with an order.

When the prospects are friendly or receptive, match their enthusiasm,

but don’t exceed it. Prospects resent it when salespeople misinterpret friend-

liness as interest or commitment. They resent being pushed to a place they

are not ready to go. Mirror the prospects’ levels of energy, but let their

responses guide you. Don’t push to close a sale or set an appointment until

you get signals they’re ready to do so.

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About the Author

Bob Bly is an independent copywriter, consultant, and seminar leader with

twenty-five years of experience in writing sales scripts, lead-generating sales

letters, sales presentations, e-mail marketing campaigns, websites, and other

sales prospecting materials. He also teaches selling skills classes through his

training company, the Center for Technical Communication.

Bob has written sales copy for over 100 customers, including Network

Solutions, ITT Fluid Technology, Medical Economics, Intuit, Business &

Legal Reports, and Brooklyn Union Gas. Awards include a Gold Echo from

the Direct Marketing Association, an IMMY from the Information Industry

Association, two Southstar Awards, an American Corporate Identity Award

of Excellence, and the Standard of Excellence award from the Web Market-

ing Association.

Bob is the author of more than sixty books, including The Complete

Idiot�s Guide to Direct Marketing (Alpha Books), Selling Your Services (Henry

Holt & Co.), and Successful Telephone Selling (Henry Holt & Co.).

His monthly e-zine on sales and marketing, The Direct Response Letter,

reaches over 50,000 subscribers. His website,, gets over 4,000

hits monthly—without advertising or search engine optimization.

Bob’s articles have appeared in numerous publications, such as Amtrak

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About the Author

Express, Cosmopolitan, Successful Meetings, Inside Direct Mail, and Bits &

Pieces for Salespeople, of which he was formerly editor. He has regular col-

umns on sales and marketing in five publications: Early to Rise, DM News,

Writer’s Digest, Internet Media Review, and Subscription Marketing.

Bob has presented sales and marketing seminars for such groups as the

U.S. Army, Independent Laboratory Distributors Association, IBM, Thor-

oughbred Software, Whirlpool, and the American Marketing Association.

He also taught marketing at New York University.

Prior to becoming an independent copywriter, trainer, and consultant,

Bob was communications manager for Koch Engineering, a manufacturer

of process equipment. He has also worked as a marketing communications

writer for Westinghouse Defense.

Bob Bly holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of

Rochester and has been trained as a Certified Novell Administrator (CNA).

He is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Newslet-

ter and Electronic Publishers Association, and the Business Marketing As-


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