| August 24, 2021
As digital advertising grows, print companies must increasingly differentiate and offer marketers valid reasons to invest in direct mail. For some, this is undoubtedly a struggle. But others demonstrate their success through their growth and the sales results they drive for their clients.
To understand how successful companies and their sales leaders are driving these results, I try to join as many sales calls as I can with our print and agency clients.
Since many of our clients have a strong focus on direct mail, we invest heavily in understanding the trends as they emerge. Learning what's working (and what's not) not only helps my organization and me understand where our OptiChannel platform can add value to a service provider’s print and marketing offering, but also gives us insights we regularly share with the community at large.
According to a recent article in Forbes, 75% of marketers report direct mail is the best channel for reaching a C-suite audience — yet many print sales executives struggle to paint a compelling narrative that motivates their prospects to buy.
Today, I want to share with you the sales process used by a growing print company. They have found a repeatable process that breaks through objections and helps them sell and deliver ongoing ROI to their clients.
It Starts With Productized Direct Mail
It's important to know that this company has productized its direct mail offering. They've created a systematic way of using direct mail to drive results for their B2C clients, which is repeatable and can be scaled more easily than ad-hoc campaign services. Anecdotally, we are seeing this trend with many of our most successful clients (but not certainly not all).
I joined some of the company’s recent sales calls to understand how they present their offering and how they get prospects to say, “Yes, let’s move forward.” But first, let’s walk through each of the significant steps.
Where Do They Get Leads?
This company's sales process starts with leads generated via social media (their organic activity on LinkedIn and Facebook is excellent). They employ the OptiChannel Social-Selling Framework, which consists of four actions: decide on a content modality, relentlessly produce content that is of value to a target market, discern where the audience’s attention is and learn to siphon engagement. The framework also helps bolster the print ads they run in various industry-specific magazines. It helps that they spend healthily in this area.
They also attend trade shows (the first in many moons was held earlier this summer).
In their first meeting with the client, they ask that the client send them their customer address list, along with the revenue generated by each customer. They don’t need the customer’s name, just the address, city, state, ZIP code and income derived from that particular location. (Remember, this print company focuses on helping B2C companies, but this strategy also applies to B2B.)
Then they analyze the data and present it to the client in a second meeting. This analysis gives the client insight into what’s already inside their data, something most customers don’t know. For example, they show the client the geographical locations their existing clients buy from on a three-dimensional “heat” map, bringing their sales patterns to life.
They also include demographic information like income and home value, so the client's ideal prospect profile emerges. Then, with this information, they make a collaborative decision on where to invest in the mail to drive the desired results.
In the calls I joined, this second meeting usually ended with the prospective client saying something like, “Wow, this is very interesting. I had no idea this was the case. I want to move forward. What do we need to do?”
At this point, the print company makes it clear that it's not worth investing in the mail unless it’s done for six months or more. One reason for the minimum campaign length is that the company does a match-back process that demonstrates the sales generated by the mail every three months.
The match-back process is similar to the initial analysis, in that the customer provides its up-to-date sales data with the jobs that have been completed, and the print company does a match back between the completed assignments and the folks they’ve mailed to, thereby identifying the overlap so that they can match back revenue to each mail campaign.
At a high level, this process is how the print company closes sales and generates meaningful results for its clients.
Is this similar to what you do? In what ways is it different?
I hope this makes you think, but more importantly I hope this helps you succeed.
David Rosendahl is the president and co-founder of MindFire, a two-time Inc500 award-winning software company. Commercial printers, agencies and brands like BMW, Microsoft, Harvard, Facebook and 15,000+ other companies grow their leads & sales with MindFire’s unique marketing platform that finds and engages clients using direct mail, email and social.
Marketing and Sales Manufacturers/Suppliers; Distributors/Resellers Direct Mail