The most important element of selling anything is to consistently be sending out messages through multiple channels to let folks know you have something to sell. Urban legend has it that revered brand Coca Cola tested the reduction of their familiar advertising messages in certain regions and immediately saw revenues fall.
Using multiple channels to communicate your appeal is always better because you can’t always know when those you need to reach are going to be tuned into where you’re channeling your message. Whether showing up at networking events, sending out post cards, blasting emails, or however you broadcast messages, constantly sending your message in all directions is the point.
There is one other ‘old tech’ idea I want to suggest that you may not have ever tried. Unlike networking, with this tactic you are guaranteed to make a connection with the exact pre-qualified contact you want to reach. Unlike email, your message won’t be filtered out to a spam box or appear suspicious enough to be avoided. Unlike post cards, this message won’t be thrown away unread.
What am I referring to? Voice mail. That’s right–dial their number, listen to the greeting, wait for the tone, and then leave a 60-75 second message.
Intentionally calling your prospective client or referral source at their office after hours is a strategic way to push your message to the top of the queue. You won’t be filtered or screened, and you’ll get at least a 60-second wind to offer a pleasant, brief greeting and concise message that can boost your brand and remind the receiver that you’re out there and ready to do business.
Prepare a tight, thoughtful message and edit it to perfection. Practice it, time yourself and even call and leave a message on your own line to test it (a poorly executed marketing message is worse than no message at all). Then compile a list of the 20 to 30 people that top your list and start dialing on your commute home (or even in the early hours on you way to the office).
Commercial lender training builds stronger credit cultures–get started here.
Don’t call too often. This ploy probably works well due to the unexpected nature of it, particularly in an era when most callers use multiple numbers to track down the recipient rather than leave a message. If you were calling every month, your message would begin to get old and expected. Limit yourself to not leaving more than two such messages per prospect per year.
Now you may be thinking that this marketing channel must be hard to ‘scale’ and you’d be exactly right. But the point here is the quality of the message, not the quantity of messages in this channel. Too many and you’ll ruin it.
What should your message be? Just a brief “call to say hello, hope all is well,and just wanted to remind you that I help small companies get financing for real estate, equipment or working capital, and hope you’ll call me at 555-5555 if I can ever be of assistance.” Short and simple.
And by the way, be prepared for the unlikely event that the phone could be answered by a live voice. That won’t happen if your call is timed right, but it could and you don’t want to swallow your tongue or go grasping for words.
SBFI offers 50+ training courses to improve commercial lending skills-see catalog here.
Subscribe to AdviceOnLoan–award-winning, weekly newsletter for commercial lenders.