I've been asked that question a lot lately. "What's a cartoonist doing writing a book about sales?"
First of all, I'm not just a cartoonist. I'm also a DMA Hall of Fame-nominated marketer. I've created countless record-breaking campaigns for some of the world's biggest direct marketers. It just so happens that they have all made use of cartoons as the device to command attention and drive response.
Along the way, I discovered that cartoons also make a pretty awesome device for getting in touch with some of the world's most difficult to re
ach people. They have enabled me to break through to Presidents, Prime Ministers, celebrities and countless C-level executives and top decision makers.
As a marketer, my approach has always been to test, measure and refine. And "Contact Marketing," is no different, although I have come to discover that the results it creates are quite different from other forms of marketing.
I am a big believer in the power of cartoons, but an even bigger believer in the power of innovation. And we are all innovators.
In my research for the book, I've had the pleasure of interviewing many of the top thought leaders in sales and marketing, to hear about their own solutions to the challenge of breaking through to VIP prospects. They range from simple techniques involving e-mail, the phone or mail, to personalized videos delivered on boxed iPads, contact letters run as full-page ads in The Wall Street Journal and more. So much more.
Contact Marketing is based on the premise that there are always a handful of people who can change the course of your career or business if they were to become a client or strategic partner. The Ultimate Sales Machine author Chet Holmes called these Dream Clients. Author Anthony Parinello calls them VITOs (from his book Selling to VITO , referring to a company's Very Important Top Officer). I call them my "Top 100" or "Strategic 100."
The campaigns devoted to this segment are, by definition, tiny in reach. But they're anything but tiny in scope. Take the campaign launched by Sales & Sales Management Blog author, Paul McCord. In his earlier career, he was in the mortgage business. At some point, he'd decided to reach out to the top 70 builders in his area, to cultivate valuable referral relationships. He devised a contact piece that looked like a tube of blueprints arriving through the mail, something the builders would recognize as important. Inside, the piece included a letter and something resembling a builder's flow chart, expressing his value proposition.
The produced a 60% response, ultimately generating a network of twenty five referral sources and $1.1 million in fees. All from a campaign that cost $175, including postage. That's an ROI of more than 670,000%.
Contact Marketing is unusual in many respects. It only reaches a select few, costs relatively little and produces otherworldly results. It fuses marketing and sales in a way that directly supports the most important sales relationships a company can have. Sounds exactly like something you'd see in a cartoon, doesn't it?
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