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Dialog 7 : "Could You Send Something in the Mail?"


You sell software and you're working your way down your call list, trying to reach some prospects. You're hit with "Could you send something in the mail?" It's likely that this statement is made either because the prospect is somewhat interested and wants to review the material in detail at his leisure without a salesperson present or because he's giving you a total brush-off.


You'll do everything you can to try to get a face-to-face meeting by focusing on the fact that literature fails to present the whole picture. This is the essence of the Time-It-Takes strategy. But if necessary, you'll go ahead and mail the information—with a twist by utilizing the Tap-into-Technology strategy. This strategy utilizes the power of e-mail to help advance the sales process. If you have the e-mail addresses of prospects, you can communicate with them directly rather than through a gatekeeper. You can also communicate with them in a way that is less intrusive than a telephone call might be. And you can leave your message at any hour of the day or night, which makes it more convenient for you! Finally, if you're still met with resistance and you sense that the request for material is just a brush-off, you can address that resistance head-on with a strategy that attempts to identify and overcome unspoken objections: the "I'm Curious" strategy.


"A man's success in business today depends upon his power of getting people to believe he has something they want."
—Gerald Stanley Lee, circa 1900

Experience Shows

To improve your success rate, remember to reference meaningful people, products, and places when making cold calls. For example, "Hello Mr. Brown. I recently installed the audio system for ABC Company, right down the hall from you. They suggested I contact you to show you what I did for them." (See Chapter 2, "Cold Calling," for more tips.)

Figure 3.7 Could You Send Something in the Mail.

Further Considerations

If you do send something via e-mail, consider sending it as an attractive, full-color attachment instead of just an e-mail message. The more visually appealing your material is, the more interesting it will be to your prospect and the better it will reflect on you.

Be Careful

When you hear a message such as "Send something in the mail" and you've determined it to be a brush-off, you must decide how much time and effort you should spend on following up and whether your energy would be better spent elsewhere.

When you send out information, consider how and when you'll follow up. Also, remember to include your company's Web site address in your e-mail so your prospect can visit.

Always seek a face-to-face meeting to explain or demonstrate what the literature doesn't. Also, if you ever hold a virtual sales presentation to demonstrate your product, you can send your contact an e-mail invitation to attend. (See Chapter 10 for more information on virtual meetings. )

What the Exemplars Do

You should not necessarily disdain the notion of "putting something in the mail." The concept can be utilized as an effective sales tool when that something is unique and compelling. A well-known public relations firm did just that when it saw a local company getting a bad rap in the press. The PR firm felt the company wasn't defending itself effectively and really needed help. It took the initiative to "put something in the mail" and sent a pair of boxing gloves to the president of the beleaguered company, along with a short note. He immediately signed on as a client.

Ask Yourself

  • Have I tried to get the personal e-mail address of every individual involved in a decision-making process?
  • Do I always follow up on material I send out?
  • Do I know how to utilize the current technology in order to make virtual sales presentations?
  • Do I sometimes mail an ad specialty or some other item along with my material to make it stand out and create an impression?
  • Have I ever ordered something based only on materials that were mailed to me? How and why was that so? Can I apply any of those factors to material that I send out?
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