I don’t want what you’re offering

I don’t want what you’re offering

I’m in my office, the phone rings and I take the call. It’s someone I don’t know calling from a publication that I don’t know. I read my fair share of B2B publications in the animal health, pest control and material handling business to stay on top of our client’s industries. But this was a publication that had nothing to do with any of our client’s businesses, or was of interest to our marketing communications agency. The caller insisted that I wanted this complementary publication and just needed to verify my address – I’ve heard that one many times before. One thing was clear to me – valuable resources were being wasted on getting a magazine into the hands of somebody…anybody…even though I wasn’t a good fit. Why did the caller assume I wanted what he/she was offering?

It sounds like a basic mistake in targeting the wrong person or not having any criteria established to qualify a prospect. No matter what communications strategy or tactic (i.e. direct mail, print advertisement, press release, etc.) you deploy and no matter how good an offer may seem (even if it’s ‘free’), it can be a complete failure if you’re not targeting the right person. You have to set criteria. It surprises me how many companies skip this step. Don’t forget to ask the right questions to determine if the prospect or client will benefit from your product or service. In my case, had the caller asked a couple of questions, he would have known I was not the right target market. Had I simply said “okay” for the sake of ending the call, then even more resources would’ve been wasted in the future, theirs and mine.

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