The stigma that is associated with a call from a salesperson can be pretty strong and pretty negative. I call it The UGH! Factor™. You know what I mean, it’s when you or your salespeople call a customer and you can almost hear them uttering UGH! as they’re speaking.

Salesperson: Hi, Mr. Smith this Jim Jones from ABC Electronics.
Mr. Smith: Ugh, Hi Jim what’s up?
Salesperson: I was just calling because I am going to be in your area on Tuesday.
Mr. Smith: Ugh, oh really, well Tuesday I am going to be busy.
(Sound familiar?)

They know the only reason you are calling them is to talk about your newest product or feature (whether they are right or not is another matter). So the question becomes how do you remove The UGH! Factor™? Simple, YOU NEED TO BECOME A RESOURCE TO YOUR CUSTOMER. Educate them about what is going on in the marketplace, things they should be aware but don’t have the time to find for themselves. People like to talk to people who can help them and are "in the know". Now remember, education is defined as the provision of knowledge or skill not the advertising and promotion of your newest widget! Leave the freshly printed marketing brochures on your desk and answer these questions to make sure you are educating and not advertising.

1) Where do you find your information?
The advent of the Internet combined with access to libraries gives you literally millions of research resources. Yet, some salespeople keep their exposure to information expressly within their own industry or sometimes even within their own company. Part of that problem is laziness: going to a library takes work; conducting a search on the Internet takes work. But the other part of this stems from the salesperson not knowing what else exists out there to help them in their quest for knowledge. How can you expect to truly educate a potential client if you are not aware of anything except that which exists in your own limited "universe"? You never know where the next great idea or potential threat is going to come from, and many times it is from a combination of sources. Moreover, unless your clients are in your exact same industry, what you think is informational may appear, to your customers, to be nothing more than a disingenuous attempt at education.

2) What format will you use to deliver the information?
Do they prefer email, faxes, website posts or maybe newsletter summaries of your own design? I can’t answer this question for you. Only your customers can. Be prepared for multiple formats; not everybody likes receiving their info the same way, and you can’t afford to be choosy about who gets this info and who does not!

3) What’s the frequency?
You want to have a basic schedule to follow, but you can never "JUST" follow the schedule. Who’s to say when a particularly pertinent piece of information (competitor intel, market analysis, government regulations, etc.) will cross your desk? If you deem it to be of value, send it off with a short note apologizing for the intrusion, but that you thought they might be interested. The absolute worst-case scenario is that they thought it was a nice gesture and they delete it or trash it. The best-case is that something in that information will save them money, make their job easier or maybe even prevent them from making a terrible business mistake. This is a truly no lose situation for either party!

Proactive education of your Suspect / Prospect will put you into contact with the largest base (95% of the market place is in the content/complacent stage with their current situation) of potential customers available to you. It will also demonstrate your level of service commitment to your customer. We all talk about our "first-class service", but we never seem to really mean it until our customers are ready to buy something from us. Not coincidentally, the greatest service we can provide to our customers is to educate them. The really neat thing is the intentional by-product. Setting up a Nurture Prospecting System that utilizes an educational touch process can be the single most effective marketing tool (highest ROI and conversion rate) you and your salespeople will use. The key to removing the UGH is in the execution. Pretty soon your customers start to appreciate your call and many will even start to look forward to it… NO MORE UGH!

Matrix will help you design a nurture prospecting system that fits your industry needs and your company goals. Using our B.P.A.S. we can define the best sources, methods and frequency that will fit your customers and your company.

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