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    Direct Marketing to Businesses
    I have a small home based business that sells products that would be of benefit to specific industries. In the past, I have sent catalogs and introduction letters to law firms, banks, etc, but only 3% turned into sales. I was expecting a higher return, so it was disappointing, but I have recouped the costs of the advertising material and made some profit from this marketing attempt.

    Does anyone else directly target companies? Have you discovered a strategy that works?


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    Hi Alice. If you're targeting specific businesses, what are you doing to start and build a relationship?


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    Alice-

    What many firms do is create separate mailings - where they change several thing about the offer, wording, paper color, targeting, etc. Often they may even use a separate 800# or email address so that they can track which offer worked the best. So... that is the expensive answer, but that is what is done.

    But if I were in your shoes, I would hone my copywriting skills as priority number 1. If you have decided to communicate with direct marketing, then the words you put on the page must be compelling. People must throw money at your brochure (or mailing)

    For copywriting, I recommend that you Google - John Carlton. Most of the things you have bought online, through magazines, etc -- were likely inspired by his teachings.

    Rick Grantham


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    Hi Joel - I browsed your site and found a lot of the information very useful =) I am in the process of checking out the 5 web tools that you mentioned.


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    Great advice here, I would only add that no matter the quality and sales pitch that you HAVE TO reach the decision makers or you are toast.
    I have worked in a large organization that spread out to twenty-five branches in three states. From the inside I witnessed many attempts from outside vendors and providers that wanted to do business. Mailings from unknowns go into the trash, personal visits from unknowns never get past gatekeepers.

    Cold calls would have to offer something extremely extraordinary, a better strategy may be to find a connection and start a relationship. It's like dating.


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    You have to have connections and contacts with the companies that you are specifically targeting. Most companies ignore letters, catalogs that belong to complete strangers. Since it is a risky business, I suggest you should personally introduce yourself to companies which you plan to penetrate. Depending on the product you're selling or the program you want to sell them, these businesses and companies would respond if they are certain that what you are selling is definitely worth buying.


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    Hi Chuck! I'm glad you dropped by! Any topic you're looking for specifically?


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    Does anyone else directly target companies? Have you discovered a strategy that works?
    I spent one weekend driving from business to business, meeting owners and leaving business cards. Doing that for one weekend got me 3 hot leads, one of which turned into a $2,000 client a week later.

    I find that face to face interactions dramatically increase your chances at getting leads, unless you are doing freelance work for less money, in which case online leads are pretty easy. Going to networking events and just visiting people can be great methods.


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    In any type of marketing, you need to understand who your target is. I have seen companies pay so much money for the wrong type of advertising medium and of course the returns on that investment where nearly zero. What I would suggest is reconnaissance of your target and yes I just used that word because marketing is basically war. You are at war with your competition and the profits you accumulate at the end of your business year is the prize. Know what the CEO likes to invest in, understand the type of person the MD is and make the staff members your private spies. In marketing, you cannot go at it the same way you look for consumers when your real target are the companies. Each company should be considered as a person, and we all know each person has a different personality. One person might like to be on the internet 24/7, so you target them with email marketing. The other might like to be in business with "the in crowd", so you do a commercial. The other might not like any type of electronics around them, so you arrange a face to face meeting. Simply do your homework and you'll soon find out that marketing is only expensive without research and the returns of simply taking your time could end up being 100%


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    I'd go with something a bit more personal. You send a catalogue... well so do a hundred others. Then you are stuck competing with all these others to see whose catalogue will get orders and the 99 others will stay as paper weights.

    Either drop by personally or at least give them a call.


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