Think about the type of people you are trying to sell to. Do you know what is going on in their world? Do you understand what is important to them and what worries they have right now? Are you familiar with the key developments in their industry, legislative changes that could affect business and opportunities available to them?
By becoming familiar with the environment in which your prospects operate – being committed and not just paying lip service to doing so – it allows you to not only empathise with them, but more importantly, positions you to pitch your services to their actual needs.
If you are blanket-mailing your database with an offer that may only appeal to a small percentage of them you will not make yourself popular, and you may even border on being a nuisance! This also means that the communications that you send which are relevant may be overlooked. In order to maximise the effectiveness of your communications you have to target the right message / offer to the right people – at the right time.
A good example of someone getting this wrong happened today. One of our competitors sent out an e-shot offering their services. Not only had they failed to segment their database so that they excluded their competitors but they had also decided to use the entire mailshot as an advert for themselves. I read it with interest because it’s always good to know what other people are doing, but had I been a prospect wondering what they could do for me then I would have been disappointed. They certainly didn’t seem to show any interest in the readers’ needs or issues.
More on knowing your customers to follow.