Cause Marketing Prospect First Interaction - dummies

Cause Marketing Prospect First Interaction

By Joe Waters, Joanna MacDonald

Your first interaction with a cause marketing prospect probably won’t be in person. It will be over the phone or e-mail. There’s a schism about the best way to initially connect with prospects: phone or e-mail.

Dialers, as they are sometimes called, argue that the phone is more personal, builds a relationship sooner, and is overall more effective. Technologists counter that e-mail is instant, preferred, detailed, and actionable. Both have been used with success

Regardless of which channel you use, keep the following in mind:

  • A sale is not your goal. You’re not an inside sales position that has to close cause marketing pacts over the phone or through e-mail. Your No. 1 goal is face time — a meeting. A meeting allows you to present your pitch in person.

  • Make them beg for more. Ideally, you want to give them just enough info on all the great things you can do so that they’ll meet with you and take the meeting serious enough to include the right decision makers.

    Okay, maybe you’ll never have a prospect begging for more. But hopefully you’ll be able to hang up the phone with a prospect knowing that she was eager to hear more and was looking forward to the meeting.

    The best way to excite a prospect about working with you is to address their needs and to relate to their interests, concerns, and goals.

  • Get them talking — a lot. You should be listening for clues on what their needs might be and how you can best address them. (For more on getting them talking, see the nearby sidebar.)

  • Get the lay of the land. Whether it’s by phone or e-mail, use the time to find out the decision-making process. Can the vice president of marketing really make the decision, or does he have to run everything by the CEO?

    Will you have to meet with three people at once to get a decision? Or meet with one person three times? It’s never too early to make sure that you’re talking to the right person and begin counting the steps to success.

  • Know when to shut up. Your goal is to speak strategically so that you land a meeting with the right decision maker. If you drone on, you risk giving the prospect too much information, and he can make a decision without ever meeting you! That’s why you should never talk for too long. E-mails should be short and never, ever include attachments. People say they open them, but they rarely do.