What is a Touch?
Touches are personal, written and electronic communications to prospective clients with the purpose of creating interest in growing their business with an advertising program in your media outlet. Touches are communications to Start Conversations that lead to sales.
Objectives of a Touch
The primary objective of a touch is to make a prospect request more information about how advertising with your medium can help grow their business. These questions from prospects start meaningful conversations that lead to sales.
Another important objective of each touch is to gain information that can make subsequent touches more effective (decision maker names and email addresses, for example).
How is a Touch different from a Cold Call?
According to advocates of the practice, Cold Calling at its “best” is walking through a door, getting to the decision maker, making a full presentation, and closing a sale. Cold calling is walking through doors and getting as far as you can with every business owner.
Walking in and trying to hijack a busy prospect’s calendar with an unscheduled sales presentation also has a tendency to irritate or anger some of your very best prospective customers who are busy running efficient and profitable businesses. Their reactions to your interruption are often not kind, leaving you feeling discouraged in your sales day and leaving the prospect with a negative opinion of you as a sales professional. Even when reactions aren’t so averse, Cold Calling still eats up lots of time in long conversations with people who have zero interest in advertising but plenty of time on their hands.
There are many types of touches, including walking in to a business, however, the intention of a walk in touch is to deliver a printed “leave behind” for the decision maker and quickly gather information about the business and decision maker. That’s it. You are not there to try to push all the way through to a sale.
A large volume of touches each day will generate prospects CONTACTING YOU with questions. Setting a face to face to face appointment or having a phone conversation to respond to those questions provides you a chance to sell to someone who is asking for your help. This is far more likely to lead to a sale than attempting to “Cold Call” sell to someone after intruding on their day unannounced.
A walk in “one call close” like the Cold Callers hope for puts you in a position to beg and deal to get the business, resulting in accepting an agreement for an advertising program that may not be optimized for the client’s success. A sales conversation initiated by a touch is more likely to lead to a “quality” sale where the advertiser follows your recommendations, i.e. an annual agreement to reach the right circulation with the right offer.
Types of Touches
To create interest in advertising in with your media outlet, it will usually take several touches. It is best to touch the prospective client frequently with a variety of types of touches. It is important to record each touch and any data about the prospect like a decision maker name or email that you attain. Recording your touches in the CRM will help you manage the task of keeping a steady stream of sales communication going to your prospects. It will also allow you to optimize your strategy by looking back on the variety of touches that lead to each sale.
Marketing Consultant Initiated and Marketing Support Initiated Touches
Marketing Consultant Initiated Touches are touches that you, the Marketing Consultant, make and record in CRM. These include walk-ins, emails, phone calls, door flyers and social media communications.
Marketing Support Initiated Touches are touches like postcards, media kits, emails and sales letters that are made by Marketing Support on your behalf. Touches made by Marketing Support should be entered in the CRM system by the marketing team so that you will be able to field responses to the touches they initiate in an informed manner
Note: It is very important to record and update all decision maker and contact information in the CRM as you obtain it so that Marketing Support Initiated Touches can be done on your behalf.
Types of Touches – Marketing Consultant Initiated
Here are the types of touches marketing consultants make:
Walk In: Deliver a printed “leave behind” for the decision maker and quickly gather information about the business and decision maker.
Flyering: Deliver a printed “leave behind” after hours at the prospect’s door so that the first person to arrive (someone with a key) will receive it. Usually done in mass, hundreds in a few hours.
Cards / Notes: Mailing a handwritten card thanking a prospect for their time talking with you or congratulating them on opening their business or another major accomplishment can go a long way in building rapport and making them want to work with you.
Email: Conversation Starting Emails have a goal of creating interest and getting a reply with a question about advertising in your medium. A Reply & Buy Email can be used follow up on a meeting or phone conversation with a proposal and close new or renewal business.
Social Media: Messages, reviews and comments via Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and LinkedIn are often effective in starting a conversation about growing a prospect’s business with direct mail advertising.
Phone Call: If you get a decision maker on the phone, pitch the appointment. If you get a “no” on the appointment or don’t reach the decision maker, still quickly gather information about the business and decision maker.