Strategy Session: A Question of Strategy
Several years ago, I agreed to interview for the job of creative director with a major New York direct marketing agency. I didn't want the job for a variety of reasons, but my friend and mentor, Jerry Reitman, asked me to go through with the interview. So I flew into New York for lunch with the president of the company. He began his conversations with a provocative question: "What's your philosophy about direct marketing?"
The question was a little too broad for an intelligent answer, so I gently lobbed the ball back over the net to him. "That's a great question," I responded. "But before I answer, I'd love to know what your philosophy is." He spoke eloquently for 40 minutes, then glanced at his watch, shook my hand and told me he had an important meeting back at the office.
He later got back to Jerry, who got back to me with the following comment: "You made quite an impression! He loved talking direct marketing with you, and he thinks you're one of the few people who really understands it. The job is yours, if you want it." As I recall, my only contribution to the conversation was, "Uh huh," and, "Can you please pass the rolls?"
Questions are not only a powerful conversational tool, but also an essential part of any direct marketing program. And that's what I want to share with you in this article.
Whenever people get your direct mail package, or an e-mail from you, chances are they are going to have some questions. They may not know how your benefits will apply to their specific situations. They may be confused about how to put your product to use. They may not fully understand your offer.
Why Would They Have Questions?
1. Your message wasn't clear.
Things that are obvious to you may not be to your prospects. You know more about your product and its benefits than anyone-so you may have neglected to fully explain it.