Tuesday, April 6, 2010

You Need More Than Just a "Great Offer" These Days...

It's been a while since I've had the opportunity to write anything in this blog universe... been swamped trying to sell products in a time when "buying" is the last thing on the consumer agenda.  It's a daily grind: managing media, pushing close rates, perfecting productions, driving web hits, and analyzing the details of it all takes more focus than ever.  Oh boy- all this sparked a new kind creativity in developing sales methods... so here's a few notes on different things we are doing to make sure that our advertising is more than just "Great Offers".

1. Re-Write your call center script!  In the past three weeks I have re-written half a dozen inbound and outbound sales scripts.  The goal?  Higher sales conversion and higher AOV.  The method?  Encourage larger orders by speaking to the customer's sense of values and bargins in our current economical environment.  The script has to be delivered conversationally.  The script has to be peppered with "check-ins" to make sure that skeptical buyers stay focused on making a buying decision rather than being aloud to think about how much they are spending.  The key? K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Short!  A script re-write is good for a 3-5% increase in sales!

2. Real Time Outbound!  With close rates down across the industry Outbound Call Centers have plenty of leads coming their way.  Time is of the essense.  Try calling your customers back within an hour or less of the first time they called in.  Not only will you see a higher close rate on outbound calling but you will see full sized orders more often than reduced priced orders.

3. Change Up Your Offer!  Now more than ever consumers have a definite opinion on what a "Great Offer" really is.  If you are running a Risk Free Trial - try testing a Buy One Get One Free offer.  If you are giving away a Free Gift - try giving away a Big Discount and a Free Gift.  If you are promising a 30-Day money back guarantee -try a double your money back guarantee.  If you rely on soft offers - switch to a hard offer.  Try the same advertising with three different offers.  Many of my advertisers are seeing that some markets respond better to one offer than the other.  Figuring out what you can "give up" on the front end of your advertising is easy when you model out how it looks on the back end of the advertising.  Currently, I have 3 campaigns running with a minimum of 4 Offers each.  This will make your call center work harder and your media buyer buy smarter.  But it's worth about a 5% lift!

4. Change how you buy media.  Traditionally, advertisers go for the most cost-effective media (or the best CPM's).  I have been looking at media schedules from a completely different perspective lately.  Where are the most people located that will BUY from me as opposed to just CALL me?  Looking at it this way, I am purchasing media that is less cost effective on a CPM basis but is out performing lower cost media for two reasons: 1) I am reaching a more "buyer-ready" market 2) I am playing to the call center's strengths so calls come in when the call centers have the best sales staff available.  Customers are more motivated to buy and sales reps are more motivated to sell.

5. Stop buying traditional media without  "non-traditional" add-ons!  These days we are forcing our radio stations to include podcasting, short forms spots, web links and other value added elements to enhance the traditional media.  This can be done in print and TV as well.  Online video placement, audio streaming, endorsed-web campaigns, social media optimization... you need to incorporate these mediums into your campaigns.

6. Stop making commercials and start making entertaining content.  Consumers are tired.  Consumers are stressed.  Consumers would rather laugh than listen.  This lack of listening is why many advertisers are seeing a decline in their respose rates.  I am working on several campaigns to cusotmize their sales message into entertaining and content driven programming.  Invent a spokesperson, create a social following, encourage consumers to talk about your product, and feel free to feature your product in very different ways.  Traditional advertising laws DO NOT APPLY!

If you are looking for a quick way to spark your sales- call me for a quick chat and I'll give you some more tips.

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