I’ve been in sales for many years and have faced all the challenges that people in my line of work come up against. One of the most difficult is initiating conversations with prospects who, though they might need the product or service that my company offered, don’t really want to talk with a salesperson.
When I joined the team at North Star Marketing, I was well aware of the agency’s reputation for producing extremely effective outreach pieces referred to here as “high impact mailers” (HIM). I also knew that they had achieved response rates of 40 percent or more in campaigns that targeted everyone from small local companies to national brands.
In addition to the stats, I’d been told that a prospect once said:
“I don’t feel obligated to meet with you because of the gift; I feel obligated because the concept is so smart that you must be worth my time for a meeting.”
Even so, I was skeptical. Prospects today are absolutely inundated with ads, offers and pitches. Sending them something that 1) gets their attention, and 2) moves them to action is nothing short of miraculous. Until I experienced prospecting on the heels of a high impact mailer firsthand…
My First HIM Campaign
Earlier this year, we wanted to let sales leaders in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts know about our game-changing Sales Amplification program. But, we needed a way to break through the clutter and encourage people to meet with me so we could talk.
As it turns out, the key was beer… or more accurately, the promise of beer. For those not familiar, a “growler” is a glass or ceramic container used to transport a quantity of draft beer. In order to get the attention of our target audience, we developed what we called the Growler Campaign. We sent empty 32 oz. growlers to 70 top sales leaders and included information about our agency and our Sales Amp program. It’s not every day that you get a growler in the mail, so it’s a package that gets noticed!
The message was clear: Let us help your sales team fill your pipeline using our Sales Amp approach. The call to action was to contact me and RSVP to an event at a brewery during which they could load up the growler with some tasty brew.
It’s Not a Cold Call When You’ve Already Broken the Ice!
When I called people after they had received their growler, I was thrilled to find that the conversations were light and playful. People were intrigued by the gift and very open to talking with me. They also seemed to have a sense of obligation to at least chat briefly out of respect for the effort. It’s the most fun I’ve had prospecting, and surely the most successful as well.
There’s nothing like a clear demonstration of creativity and a sense of humor to warm people up to you. Sales leaders know that it takes innovation to get ahead in business today, and this campaign was a perfect example of it to them. The campaign resulted in open, honest conversations about what they needed and how North Star could provide it.
Getting Past the Gatekeeper
One of the keys to success with a mailer is getting past the loyal “gatekeeper,” whose job it is to keep salespeople at bay. A well-executed HIM tends to make it to the decision maker’s desk because the gatekeeper is intrigued and uncomfortable with just discarding it. In some cases in the Growler Campaign, the gatekeeper kept the piece, but it still served its purpose as they were impressed and much more willing to connect me to the decision maker.
Can You Say “Leads”?
The reaction to our Growler Campaign was universally positive. Not only was it a unique gift, it had a clearly defined connection to the idea of “filling the pipeline.” The theme showed that we understood the recipients’ pain points and that we could help alleviate them.
And the Growler Campaign was not a “one hit wonder.” Our HIM campaigns have repeatedly proven their ability to get the attention of our target audience, including the C-suite and senior leadership. We’ve achieved response rates as high as 46 percent!
Here are some of the results from our Growler Campaign:
- 33 percent of recipients accepted an invitation to the brewery event and a conversation about their needs
- Our largest new client acquisition this year was due to this campaign
- We expect several other opportunities to close in the next few months
Which HIM Catches Your Eye?
Intrigued about our game-changing Sales Amplification offerings? Contact us today to learn more.