How to Boost Your Sales?A Q&A
Converting qualified leads into bonafide sales is both an art and a science. Mary Ann Kleinfelter, director of direct mail for Baltimore, Md.-based tutoring services provider Sylvan Learning Center, and a 20-plus-year veteran of the direct marketing industry, spoke with Target Marketing Group and offered her tips on the do's and don't of driving B-to-B sales.
Target Marketing Group: What are some common mistakes B-to-B marketers make when trying to drive sales?
Mary Ann Kleinfelter: Some of the most common B-to-B marketing mistakes start simply with the design of promotional pieces. B-to-B promotions do not have to be boring. Humor can be used effectively, even when selling the most complex B-to-B products. One outstanding example is the B-to-B cataloger, New Pig, who uses humor very successfully to sell hazardous material clean-up products.
Plus, make sure your B-to-B copy speaks to the person behind the business person. While business people need to be reassured of your company's credibility, don't resort to hollow chest pounding to build confidence. Instead, use copy focused on how your company and your products will address their B-to-B needs—and make them happy and successful in the process! You can use testimonials from satisfied customers and benefit copy to establish credibility without holding forth about how many years your company has been in business, how many employees you have, etc.
Don't assume the most effective B-to-B offer is based solely on discounted price. You need to test. Offering free customer and/or technical support or value-added information may be just as important. Above all, don't assume, just because your mail volumes may be smaller than your consumer counterparts, that you can't conduct a statistically sound test. Sometimes you may need to test and re-test to build significance. Don't forget to test lists.
TMG: What are the current marketplace challenges to boosting lead conversion and making that sale?