Recently I've been getting almost daily calls from telemarketers offering me mainly insurance or cellphone contract upgrades. Despite asking to be removed from their lists, the calls have persisted.

There are four types of prospects for telemarketers:

1. Impressionables : People who will buy the product because they were called (and wouldn't have otherwise);

2. Customers: People who would have bought the product whether they were called or not;

3. Indifferents: People who won't buy the product whether they were called or not; and

4.  Boycotters: People who will decide NOT to buy the product BECAUSE they were called.

Out of the four types, telemarketers only gain from calling Impressionables - they waste time and money on the rest.

Unless I've specifically asked a company to call me, I'm a number 4 - a Boycotter. Unsolicited telemarketing, like all spam,  is abhorrent to me.  So not only is it a waste of time calling me, but it's actually counter-productive for the companies concerned.

However, in SA the responsibility is currently on the consumer to somehow get removed from these call lists. You're supposed to go here (DMASA website - nothing there) or here to opt out.  Unfortunately, as Andrew Rens has pointed out: Opting out of Direct Marketing in South Africa Doesn't Work.

Telemarketing is a numbers game though, so it hardly matters to the call-centre agent whether one customer is peeved about them doing their job - if they contact enough people in a day, they're sure to make a couple of sales. This is why they don't seem to respond to requests to be removed from their lists - there's no incentive for them to do so.

If telesales is not to be banned, then companies who practice it need to start responding to complaints themselves, and adapt their databases, offers, incentives and calls accordingly.

Real Estate marketingEstate Agency has been referred to as a “walled garden“, in other words an industry that is criticized as being based on asynchronous information between the agent and the buyers/sellers. Making money by getting in the way.

Many major online entities, such as Craigslist and EBay, thrive based on tearing down those walls - putting buyers in direct contact with sellers with full information. Property, however, is the biggest purchase most people will make, so most people would actually prefer to have a reputable, knowledgeable and experienced professional guide them through the process.

Property search sites like Ex-tate will clean up some market inefficiencies, but won’t replace the professional, human service and advice that a good broker offers. The brokers that do well, then, will be the ones who will combine the ability to filter and sort masses of information online and combine that with superb customer-service.

Michael Shvo, New York’s top estate agent, would agree: “Your average apartment buyer today isn’t in their sixties, they’re in their thirties.� Developers, he says, “want somebody who understands technology, not somebody who is just trying to understand how their e-mail works.� Shvo is reknowned for his obsessive dedication to supreme customer service - a good word in at the best schools for their kids, the best seats in the house to see the Knicks at Maddison Square, or flying cross-country for a face-to-face deal signing.

Zillow.com may be able to present a scientific price valuation on a property based on fantastic calculations, but it may not capture the subtle details which can affect the value of a property such as the comparable state of the fittings, a special fireplace or a fresh coat of paint.

The individual and their personality, character and reputation are significant in Nomadic Marketing. We can find very particular information about people online. IncredibleAgents is a site which seeks to identify the best agents in America. Then people seeking to buy a house can go directly to the agent, irrespective of the agency. Hence organisations, particularly those with a prominent salesforce, have the opportunity to create a remarkable marketing advantage based virtually on the quality of their people alone.

Whereas the internet initially threatened to depersonalise Real Estate Marketing, Web2.0 is providing the platform for more personal expression, and it is proving to enhance the human aspects of the trade. Speedy access to accurate information is becoming a hygeine factor, property brokers need to partner with technologies that can simplify this aspect of the business for them so that they can focus on what they’re good at – relationships.
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AuthorDave Duarte
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Apple's official podcasting logoA great way to generate more potential business (leads) is to provide thought leading content. That way, you catch people earlier in their buy-cycle when they are most susceptable to influence.Blogs, newsletters and whitepapers are great for this purpose.

I read a report that showed (among other things) that waaay more business people would consume your company's analyst reports and whitepapers if they were delivered in audio form (podcasts).

Just remember to keep it interesting, thought provoking and educational cos business people get bored too. Oh, and don't try sell anything - that's only relevant at a later stages of the buying process.
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AuthorDave Duarte
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Sale of a complex product or service requires a good model. I have created a simple mnemonic to help remember the essential elements of my own sales process. 

P.A.C.E.D.
Good sales consist of five primary elements

Personal - understand what motivates your buyer.
Attention - Get their attention based on their motivations.
Conversation - Establish rapport, understand their needs in their language
Education - making our offer easy to understand and memorable for them.
Decision - Getting a decision towards our desired outcome.

PACED is built on the platform of solid prospecting and Marketing work. It should be applied in all sales work, from cold-calls to collaterals.

Person Prep (before making contact)

  • Business is always personal: it's about who can make it happen.

  • Know who you're dealing with - what's their role, where have they worked, what interests have they expressed online

  • Find out if you have shared connections e.g. on LinkedIn

Attention (first online/phone contact or introduction)

  • Get their attention with personal, relevant, and distinctive communication

  • Timing is all important at this step, show you’re paying attention to their needs, and are respectful of their time

  • Arouse CURIOSITY at this step.

Conversation (first meeting or follow-up call)

  • Ask good questions

  • Discover their needs

  • Uncover latent pains

  • Seek first to understand, then be understood.

Education

  • Finding a simple way to describe the product. (The great educator is the man who can make complicated things simple).

  • Visual aids to make it more memorable (e.g. a demo you can use, a brochure you can point to)

  • Make it interactive if possible, for example do live calculations based on their figures.

  • Make it easy to remember our primary Features, Advantages, & Benefits.Involve them.

  • Use descriptive, multi-sensory language when describing their benefits

Decision

  • Ask for the sale

  • Keep the focus on the value not the price

  • Have documentation prepared for their YES so there’s no delay and no cool-off

  • Help them feel good about their decision by clarifying how delivery and after-sales works

Posted
AuthorDave Duarte

I sat down on a low wall to remove my shoes before stepping onto the beach yesterday, when an inebriated young man in tatty clothes came and stood in front me. He stuck out his hand and introduced himself as Pietrus. The hand smelled like wee. His breath was noxious. He was wobbling like he was going to fall on top of me. He started telling me about how he needs money for food…. I had a banana on me, so before he could even finish I gave it to him and fled the scene!

As I left the beach I kept an eye out for him so as to avoid a repeat encounter.

Now, in Marketing terms, what happened there was this: Pietrus successfully interrupted me. He had my Attention and had engaged my senses in that moment (smell, particularly). He had selected a susceptible prospect in me, and his attention-grabbing earned him a banana. In internet marketing terms - I was spammed!

Spammers like Pietrus do make money sometimes, but their efforts aren't sustainable: they repel their existing client base after one transaction, so earning becomes even more difficult as time goes on. We learn to avoid them.

But at least Pietrus scored a banana, which is more than can be said for his friends who didn't even try.


"If one cannot command attention by one's admirable qualities, one can at least be a nuisance!" - Margery Allingham

Posted
AuthorDave Duarte