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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Biz Broker marketing...

Biz Broker Wife has several methods for marketing her services. After trying cold-calling, she realized she doesn't have the elephant-skin that one must have to make it work; besides, we despise telemarketing and she felt awful trying to be a telemarketer. Lots of the grizzled veterans in her office swear by cold-calling, but few of them actually do much of it anymore. The world has changed and emphatically moved against cold calling.

So, she found that direct mail flyers work well; she gets a free quota of 100 mailers per week at her brokerage. These have about a 0.5% "lead generation rate", which is pretty good.

Her best lead-generation rate comes from nightly drop flyers that are put on or under doors of businesses after working hours. Her lead generation rate on these is something like 2-3%, and since we can usually do about 50 flyers per night, this is by far our best marketing effort.

Last night, we had our most productive night, walking two big business streets in our area around midnight; we dropped over 100 flyers. This will likely produce 2-3 leads over the next few months if our past observations hold. We do this a couple times per month.

The key to her business is staying in the biz long enough to get a critical mass of referrals; she's been in this field for four years now, and gets about 1/3 of her deals from referrals. The old timers in her office do basically all referrals. But it's hard to start; her field is commission-only, and the first couple of years is very hard. But once referrals start happening, things get easier.

I'm with you. I despise making or receiving cold calls.
Flyers...what a great idea! The whole concept of cold calling is why I long ago ended my short career in sales. That almost never works today; and as you indicated, the paradigm shift against why that was once successful is nearly complete. Add to that the fact that if you once succumb to a cold call sale, you never fall off the list, as my parents can attest. (At least a decade after last purchasing some muni bonds from a NY/NJ boiler room, they still get calls every few months from the successor company.) Now that commercial telemarketers have moved into the non-profit arena, I take great pains to explain to them that it doesn't matter if they are exempt from the 'Do Not Call' list; they should still maintain one internally, since I don't want to be called and will never give money to a charity that solicits by telephone. Perhaps in another decade, that will finally sink in. Cold calling has become the modern-day equivalent of door-to-door sales.
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