Today’s post is by Stu Heinecke, the best-selling author of How to Get a Meeting with Anyone and host of Contact Marketing Radio. He is also the co-creator of NASP’s “The Power of Contact Marketing” training program, a Wall Street Journal cartoonist, hall of fame-nominated marketer, and founder of Contact, a first-of-its-kind contact marketing agency dedicated to helping sales teams connect with their most important prospects and assigned accounts.
It’s always amazing to take the stage to talk about Contact Marketing. The stories are entertaining, the metrics are shocking, and the audience usually leaves with take-aways they can put to immediate use.
But my favorite part is when I get to ask the audience what they use to make their own critical connections with prospects. Those are the stories that continue to expand the knowledge base of Contact Marketing. And I thought I’d share a few of those with you here, gleaned from the past month or so of speaking appearances.
During the BIG Breakfast/Ft. Lauderdale event hosted by Chris Roehm, commercial realtor Rick Tobin raised his hand to share his contact campaign experience. “You’ll probably think this is dumb,” he began, “but I once had a client who wouldn’t return my calls. But I noticed his birthday was coming up, so I bought a cupcake and a birthday candle and sent it with a card.” That one humanizing gesture melted away the resistance the prospect had to returning Rick’s calls – and resulted in an immediate $200K deal.
At the AA-ISP Leadership Summit last month in Chicago, CallSource vice president of Marketing Robin Schweitzer shared her story of conducting interviews in various locations of restaurant chains, then offering to share her research with C-suite execs at the head offices as a way to break through. Another audience member shared his use of old 45-rpm records as contact devices. “Call Me” by Blondie seems to be particularly effective at prompting returned calls from prospects.
And in yesterday’s Contact Marketing workshop with a roomful of CEOs in Atlanta, there was one fellow named Michael who heads a company that produces underground concrete utility vaults. After sharing stories from my book and from the audience, I asked if anyone had been inspired to launch their own contact campaign. Michael raised his hand to say he’d like to send cement shoes in a variation of the more commonly-known method of sending a single dress shoe with the promise of bringing the other when the requested meeting takes place. In the case of cement shoes, the appeal would probably involve not wanting to complete the pair. He’ll have a lot of fun with that as a contact campaign, and I expect it will work well. Meaning it quite possibly could explode the scale of his business.
All these fit with the pattern of Contact Marketing, which is to employ bold, creative, and thoughtful means to connect with the handful of prospects who can change the scale of your sales career or business. These quite regularly produce response rates approaching 100 percent and ROI in the tens – even hundreds of thousands – of percent.
In the interview below, I spoke with A Winning Brand author Kraig Kleeman about his use of research, insights, and business intel as a method for breaking through to C-suite executives. As with my speaking appearances, I hope you’ll come away with a few strategies you can put to use immediately in your business. And if you’d like Michael to fit you for a pair of cement shoes, just let me know.