Now that your targeted direct mail marketing campaign is in full swing, you’re going to get someresponses. Be ready. One of the most important aspects of a direct mail campaign’s success is how you handle incoming calls. You need to be prepped and prepared to convert as many calls as possible. Let’s start that prep right now.
- Make a game plan.
Decide early, even before you craft your first marketing piece, what you want to accomplish. This will keep you motivated and your morale high through any challenges. Sales is a numbers game, and you have to go through “no”’ before you get to “yes.” Keep your eye on the prize, and treat every incoming call with care. Put your procedures in place for how you’re going to handle the influx of calls. Will you have a dedicated phone line exclusively for your mailing? Will there be a live person ready to take the calls, or will you have a voicemail dedicated to collecting messages for you to return? How can you give the mailing your undivided attention to take advantage of the new leads that flow? These simple considerations go a long way.
- Write a Script, and be prepared to improvise.
When calls start coming in, you need to be prepared to act, and yet no two calls (or prospects) are the same. That’s why it’s great to have a structure that provides consistency, but also flexibility to adapt. One without the other leads to either rigidity or aimlessness. Devise a structure that allows you to gather valuable information from the initial call, with five or six key questions for the prospect to answer. Choose questions that will provide you powerful insight into the potential to move forward. These may include contact numbers and emails, information about the property, and the prospect’s needs and motivation. While it may feel formulaic at first, you’ll soon develop an ease and intuition, and learn to navigate all levels of prospective interest.
- Don’t be intimidated by the occasional angry callers.
They happen. In every business, every medium, across all channels. The key is to remain calm and classy, treating an angry caller with as much respect as any other. Often times, these callers are passionate about being dispassionate, and you don’t need any negativity or bad PR negating all of your hard work. Let it go, and don’t take it personally. Be prepared, just in case, by putting yourself in their shoes and anticipating what a disgruntled caller might ask, such as, “How did you get my information?”, “Why do you keep sending me solicitations?”, and then writing down some tactful, patient answers to those questions. You’ll be ready to diffuse the situation and get back to the interested callers.
- Schedule a follow up.
When you have the information gathered from your script of questions, the next step is setting up a follow up. They took the time to make the initial call, and now the ball is in your court. If they’re unable to commit to a specific time and date to meet, ask when they’d prefer you follow up. Don’t lose heart. Most direct mail deals close after subsequent follow ups, and very rarely on first contact. Remember they’re considering a significant purchase, and listen, listen, listen to their needs and timeline. Your personalized care and consistent follow up will build their trust in your business, and the perception that the service you provide will be as dependable and high quality as your customer service.