Laying your cards on the table

Telling your audience something when they don’t want to hear from you is pointless, and possibly even counterproductive. But the same idea extends from marketing into sales. There’s no point in sending in the sales people, if the prospects don’t want to hear from them. Yet many websites try to do just this, asking – or even demanding – that the prospects give up their contact details (and accept an inevitable sales call) before the site will reveal its secrets. I don’t mean the “register here to see our product details” sites which died out ten years ago. I mean the everyday “want to see our data sheet? Give us your email address and we’ll send it to you” requests, which are still very common. Why not show the prospect the data sheet online? Sure, if they’d like a copy emailed to them, or even posted, give them that opportunity as well. But the chances are, if you tell prospects: “I’m not telling you the full technical details about this product until you give me your phone number”, then their reaction will be: “But I don’t know if the product’s what I want, until I see the information, so why would I be asking for an inevitable sales call at this point?”

Of course, being in marketing, we know one reason why companies use this route. It’s all about demonstrating the success of what you do, and collecting the names of enquirers is a good way to benchmark different strategies. If the ultimate aim of your marketing is to get appointments for your sales team, then might the best approach be to give as many people as possible all the information they need to decide whether they want to talk to you, and then to make it as easy as possible for them to tell you so?

Discussion

  1. Suzanne Paxton

    I completely agree with this. Having to hand over my info before I can have access to the basic information I’m looking for is beyond irritating. I just want to run – and I do… Long ago, I decided I’m not going to set my site up that way and have been criticized for it. “You can’t do that!” My point is why not? It’s like it’s less exclusive or something- you must be vague! Icky!

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