Tuesday, October 18, 2022
A lead generation ad has two components, identical to personal ads: they state who should respond and who should not (such as, “divorced male seeking single or divorced female age 22 to 35, no kids, non-smoker”).
In his book “Learned Optimism”, Martin Seligman talks at length about consulting with big insurance companies and dealing with their massive turnover problem, trying to plug the hole in the bottom of the bucket.
Now, the industry wisdom has long been that nothing can be done about this because while the new salesperson has some initial success working his warm market (friends, relatives, and neighbors), he soon runs out of those and has to start cold prospecting, dealing with the hardships of cold selling and promptly quits.
So, why not hire only optimists that would be much better equipped to withstand this process of getting the answer “No” on perpetual repeat, finally one “Yes”, then back to “No” all over again?
I wonder what happens when they use up all the natural optimists? Wouldn’t this experience gradually, insidiously convert optimists into pessimists?
I believe optimism is understanding the law of averages in selling and being able to withstand lots of refusal, but I've taken a very different approach to the problem.
Instead of saying, “Let's hire people who are immune to agony,” I've said, ”Let's change the entire marketing and sales process to replace the agony with a selling experience that is more pleasant for all parties concerned, salesperson and client.”
I do believe the author's diagnosis of the reason for all the turnover is correct, but the prescription is wrong.
Every direct sales business, every telemarketing office, every sales organization, and industry has a turnover problem, but let's stick with the insurance industry. We could take the author's approach and find ways to hire only emotional super-beings, with extraordinary ‘emotional’ immune systems, or we can try my approach.
You first need to change the entire marketing and sales process so that there is little or no cold prospecting involved by instead giving these salespeople the opportunity to talk with and meet with only those prospects who are already predisposed to accepting the sales agent's proposition.
I was once consulting with a company that sold a certain type of industrial product that is important to almost any factory, but purchased mostly when a state or a county or a city passed some new or updated laws about a certain kind of pollution control.
The company ran typical general image ads in all the appropriate magazines and the reps sat around on the phones cold calling. Their experience was days and days and days of cold calling with lousy results, being screened and blocked, not getting to the right person, playing phone tag, being told, “Not interested,” hung up on, and so on.
And every once in an agonizing while, they’d get through to the right person, get him interested, then FedEx literature, then get him back on the phone and then maybe make a sale.
At that point, the closing rate was about one for three, and this is a big ticket sale. But the task of getting there was like climbing up a mountain made of broken glass and rusty nails buck naked.
So here's what we did.
We switched all the ads to lead generation ads. Now, a lead generation ad has two components, identical to personal ads: they state who should respond and who should not (such as, “divorced male seeking single or divorced female age 22 to 35, no kids, non-smoker”).
So these ads now read something like this:
A timely, critically important free offer only for CEOs or Vice Presidents of Engineering in industrial companies in areas where new or updated pollution control regulations have just passed or are under discussion.
If you are the CEO or VP of Engineering of a manufacturing company with one or more factories, at least 10 million a year in size, located in an area affected by new or pending XYZ type pollution control regulation, it is extremely important that you get and read this new special report:
‘17 Facts That Industrial Managers Must Know About XYZ-type Pollution Control.’
“This report features:
- Legal precedent
- Case implementation
- Cost control and productivity protection information
- Case histories
- And details the 10 most commonly made costly errors in responding to these regulations.
Failure to consider this little known, thoroughly researched information could cost your company hundreds of thousands of dollars.
If you fit the above description, this report is yours free of charge, with no obligation on request. Just call the phone number or fax your business card to our phone number and a report will be sent to you on a 100% confidential complimentary basis.
Please do not respond unless regulatory activity in your area is imminent and you are the decision maker in your organization who must cope with it.
Here’s what happened. Over a three month period of time, the 20 salespeople's life experience changed from 100% outbound cold telephone prospecting to on average 70% of their time taking calls from people who answered the ad and were sent the report, read the report and then called to ask specific questions of a representative.
So assume that we have this insurance agent who, every Monday, must make cold calls all day long, just to get a few appointments for the rest of the week. He may make 10, 20, or even 30 calls without getting to even one.
Now instead on Monday morning, he gets his cup of coffee, he sits down at his desk promptly at 9:01 AM. His phone starts to ring, and each inbound caller one after the other has received and read his special report and is now calling to ask a few specific questions.
How many of these conversations are gonna lead easily to appointments?
The closing rate on these calls was also about one out of three, the same as before, but the company's total sales jumped by nearly 30% because of the obvious, dramatic improvement in both the productivity of the salespeople and, of equal importance, the rep's entire experience of selling being transformed for the better.
Use this example to craft your own lead generation ad and build this process for yourself.
If you liked this example, I give multiple examples and training as a free gift in my NO B.S Letter.
If you’re already a subscriber, then you can pick up where we left off, starting with your bonus “Midas Touch - Selling” course entitled, “19 Secrets of Exceptional Results Selling.”
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