The Multi-Step Sales Process
SS-F—When the product is perceived as "new," "exciting" or "leading edge," the offer of free information about the product can work well.
You may not need value-added offers to make the program work.
We do a lot of work for technology clients. When we use "free product information" offers for SS-F products, we often generate response rates 200 percent to 400 percent higher than we do for SS-E products with the same "for more information" offer. For SS-E products, we often have to use value-added offers such as videos, demo disks and white papers to hit an acceptable response rate.
SS-E—You can often use price-oriented offers such as "save 50%" since the price-value relationship is well understood.
SS-F—Price-oriented offers don't usually work. A "save 50%" offer has value only if customers understand the relative value of the product at full price.
SS-E—For products in this category, we find that the package must focus on offers and benefits in order to drive acceptable response. Often, a high degree of emotion and promised salvation is required to make these programs perform. Rule of thumb:
The more boring the product, the more exciting your copy promise has to be!
SS-F—Emotional copy will still drive higher response with SS-F products, too, but often you won't need it since the promise of an exciting product story may be good enough to generate acceptable response. Use of converters gifts or premiums may actually generate a response rate that's too hot, and therefore hard to close.
How aggressive can you get?
The skills and training of your telemarketing and/or sales staff determines how aggressive the offers can be. If your sales staff can close hard, almost any offer structure will work well. Let's look at the timeshare industry as an example. The prospect is given an aggressive incentive offer with no product information. After a 90-minute sales presentation, a good sales representative can close about 20 percent.