Phil Reese, vice president of Small Business Payroll Services, LLC in Columbus, Ohio had a problem not unlike what many of you may be facing.
“For a number of years,” Phil says, “we did very well driving new business purely on referrals. But as the economy tumbled, I came to notice that those incoming calls were slowing dramatically…which meant that I had to increase my prospecting activity.”
“In the payroll business, there is a lot of competition,” Phil says. “Business owners are getting called on all the time. There was this one prospect—the owner of a moving and storage company with 80 employees, I worked for a year to set up a meeting, with no luck. Then I learned about the value proposition—of giving someone else a reason to want to meet with me. It got me thinking.”
“I was visiting with another client who owned a woman’s clothing store,” Phil continues. “She had a stash of discarded manikins, and I asked her if I could have some of the components. She said, ‘Sure, take what you want.’”
“I took a manikin’s right arm and placed it in a box, gift wrapped with a note inside, and hand delivered it to my prospect’s office. The note read, ‘I would give my right arm to have a meeting with you.’ He received this and read my note, and called me immediately.”
In that instant, Phil gave his prospect a reason to want to have a meeting. I am also pleased to say that Phil’s prospect soon became a client, and the proverbial right arm is hanging up on the wall of his client’s office. Was it a gimmick? I say no—because it was sincere. Phil employed creativity to deliver a real message. But further, he made a sincerely emotional appeal to achieve true engagement.
In times like these, we need to be creative without losing sight of what’s important—sincerity and honesty. Getting your foot in the door can be hard enough—getting it into the right door—that of the decision maker—is even harder. That’s why you should be afraid to connect with your prospects on an emotional level. You need a wedge. It worked for Phil…it will work for you.