Friday, 17 April 2009

Reverse Selling

Here’s another idea I came across for making print sales in difficult times. What about companies who have tried their own DIY marketing? You might want to call on companies who have sent you any form of junk mail or conducted any form of bad marketing.

I heard a story from a print salesman who many years ago used to do this when starting off in business. His first sale from junk mail was a cavity wall insulation company who sent him a really awful mailshot. He noted down some ideas and comments on the leaflet and posted it back to them.

Five days later he got a call from the company, and after a chat about it, he “guaranteed” to at least double their response (not hard, seeing how bad their existing efforts were). The outcome was that they commissioned him to produce their next promotion, and the resultant response rate increased from under half a percent to around three - not hard, given that their original effort was pretty dire.

So why not try phoning the companies who send you junk mail? Ask to speak to the "marketing manager" (who is usually an unqualified staff member). Tell them you have a professional interest in their promotion and asked “how did it go?” You’ll initially always get a guarded response, but when you offer a (tactful) professional opinion on the mailing you’ll get their interest and sometimes their future work. But be careful you only give away enough ideas to gain credibility and interest.

Keep on trucking!

Richard Fergusson