Saturday, February 16, 2008

Copier Sales "Email or Not to Email"

Was a topic of discussion on the RFG (Ricoh family Group) P4P Hotel Message Boards awhile ago. I thought I would repost the string of threads for your reading pleasure.

(from P4P member in Kentucky) Does anyone have any success at cold calling by email? I've seen some Kyocera dealers that send specials out to schools in a mass email. I'm contemplating sending out our state contract pricing to all the schools in our territory, since they will be looking for equipment in June & July.

(from P4P member in Indiana) my first reaction is, what will it hurt? I likely don't need to tell you this, but like every other form of prospecting the follow up is the key. Your return will grow by double with follow up.

(from P4P member in Tennesse) [QUOTE]Originally posted by Neal:my first reaction is, what will it hurt?QUOTE]Unsolicited Commercial Email? Be careful how you do this. Why limit it to schools? Why not everyone? Not just businesses... people need Office equipment at home too... I just think this lumps you in with all those dealers we always bad mouth who fax over a pricelist and the customer picks their machine and the rep mails them the paperwork and the machine shows up the next week with a manual.

(from P4P member in Kentucky) Those are the folks you like to bad mouth, and I too. But with this, I already know most of the schools I will be sending them to, but have not had a chance to send to their email. Since most of the time when you show up, they do not have time to see you, and can't give you a time to come back, but when you do get to see them, they are sitting in front of the computer looking at email. I have tried sending the Ricoh email templates, but with no success. If I can get some to take a further look, then it will be worth the time. Closing a deal in front of the customer ensures a long lasting relationship. Email is just a marketing tool to get you to the next step.

(from P4P member in Wisconsin) Suggest that you think very carefully about this before proceeding. Because of the quantity it sounds like you are considering sending, you have some things you need to work out first.e-mail is under very close scrutiny right now because of spam laws and general public skepticism. Believe it or not, there is a rise in the use of printed direct mail right now because of the complexities of using e-mail.If you are going to proceed, suggest that you.

1) discuss this first with your IT administrator so he/she can manage your company's resources AND make sure you don't risk getting your e-mail domain blacklisted as a spammer.

2) finetune your database as precisely as possible. If your list is large, you may have to follow the CAN-SPAM laws, including providing and adhering to opt-out options.

3) finetune your message to the max possible. One idea only.

4) consider using a broadcast e-mail program or service. Examples: Worldcast or Komunik.5) you have roughly one second before the recipient hits the delete key. Make it worth their while to read your message. Make it about them instead of about you (personal). Consider education as your purpose.

6) remember that once you are marked as a junk sender, you won't get a second chance."...but when you do get to see them, they are sitting in front of the computer looking at email. ." - They are looking at e-mail that they WANTED to receive. They've already deleted the junk and spam that just takes up their time. Think about how you handle the e-mail you receive and proceed accordingly.

(from P4P member in NJ) Yeah, I agree! Emailing is tough and you do not want to turn someone off before you turn them on! I email to my current database of current customers and those who have stated that they want to recieve my mail. I do not attempt anymore broadcast emails, I would rather stop in person or make the traditional phone call. The best is to knock on the door if you can or just keep pounding them with direct mail, sooner or later they will call.

(from P4P member in Tennesse) has some great points. I agree with them all. Of course the best way to handle bulk emails is to discuss it in person with your contacts, getting their permission to email them. Then as member from Wisconsin said, make the email something they would want to read. One of the best sales reps I ever worked with was a master at this. He would set up seminars where we would teach local schools and churches how to use Color as a tool to reach their target market. Oh and it just so happened that we were printing on Ricoh devices... "Oh you'd like to do the same at your location? well, let me get you some information then."

The P4P offers a home for all industry wide reps to converse, share and voice our opinions.

Good Selling!

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