How To Get In More Key Accounts
Those of you attempting to improve the results of your industrial marketing realize the intense frustration there is in attempting to reach prospects. It may seem like these crazy-busy prospects are ignoring you because, truth be told, they are. Very few prospects actually answer the phone and more often they let it roll over to voicemail. They then quickly and brutally delete any message that is not of immediate interest.
Even worse, try to get an email read. First it has to get past the server spam filter, then through the spam filter on the prospect’s email client. If you get through these hoops you next need to get your email read. Then you need to get your email acted upon. It’s enough to make you want to pack in any form of industrial marketing and go join the circus.
So is there a way to get the attention of a higher percentage of key accounts? The answer is yes but it isn’t an easy thing to get accomplished. Simply customize your version of the following and you will find yourself getting in the door of your key accounts more often.
Focus on education
If you want to gain the attention of prospects in key accounts you must offer value in exchange for their time. What is most valuable to prospects in key accounts is educational information that will help them improve the performance of their companies. Your sales literature is irrelevant and will be ignored. Offer them factual and unbiased educational information and you will grab their attention. As a matter of fact, it is all about them.
The key to reaching key accounts is to think of integrated campaigns rather than a series of unrelated actions. You want to utilize a multi-modal approach that integrates print, email, and the telephone. Each of your campaign “touches” should build on one another and reference each other. For example, your printed sales letter may reference you will be sending an email and attempting to reach your prospect by phone. Prospects have different communications preferences so use as many as you can.
Don’t fight reality
Accessing key accounts can be a lot of hard work and it’s important to accept this as reality. Today’s executives are overloaded with work and are bombarded with demands on their attention and time. You can expect the following.
The vast majority of your phone calls will result in you hitting voicemail. I like to view a well-written voicemail as an opportunity to get 30 seconds of undivided attention from a prospect and provide them with what is, in effect, a personalized radio commercial.
A substantial percentage of your printed letters will never make it onto the desk of your prospect. So make sure your mail looks like personal mail, keep you message prospect focused, and send several letters out.
Your emails may largely be ignored as well. Maximize your probability of success by keeping them bite-sized so they can be read on mobile devices and always focus on providing value.
Don’t get discouraged
What are the odds of picking up the phone, calling your ideal prospect, having her answer the phone, and telling you she has been waiting all her life to speak with you and wants to send you a purchase order immediately? Pretty slim, I would say. But if you want to reduce these pretty slim odds (or any odds) to zero then simply stop trying to contact her. Logical persistence wins the day and will get you in the door.
Reaching key accounts can seem to be a major exercise in frustration. You may find you need to use 10 or more contact attempts. The upside is that the majority of your competitors give up too early and that’s good news, well for you anyway.