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Businesspersons buy when they trust the value they see is applicable to them and comes from a trusted source. This article shows how e-newsletters can accomplish this and be used as a tool by the salesperson to close business.

Previous articles have shown how to use e-newsletters to respectfully gain your prospects attention and build your company's reputation. A carefully constructed e-newsletter helps your company demonstrate stability and earn trust among your readers by providing information your readers find important to their business.

When your e-newsletter speaks to the hearts and minds of your readers (suspects, prospects, and customers) you will not have to seek out sales, they will come to you.

Your Readers Sell Themselves

The final step in the e-newsletter process is closing sales through qualified leads. Once a reader clicks on a link in the e-newsletter from your “call to action,” the reader now moves from suspect to prospect and fully enters into the sales cycle as a qualified lead. The reader does this on their own, providing the time for your sales team to focus on closing business.

By demonstrating value, building trust and showing stability, you have proven your e-newsletter's worth and in turn developed the reader's interest in your company. By being attuned to your customers and prospect' businesses, you have shown them you can provide solutions for current problems.

When a reader believes your company is stable, trustworthy and provides value, there is no trick involved in converting this belief into a sale. When the reader is ready, he or she will accept your “call to action” within your enewsletter, invest the time required to contact you and provide information about themselves through a questionnaire.

Harvesting the Relationship

When you receive an e-mailed questionnaire from your call to action, from someone in your targeted audience, you know you've captured the right prospect and improved your sales odds by earning their respect.

Every prospect that comes through the e-newsletter pipeline will have a wealth of information “attached” to them. Your sales staff will be able to see when the prospect subscribed to your e-newsletter, how often the prospect has read your e- newsletter and even what articles the prospect has read.

Each sales person can rely on information from the e-newsletter to better communicate to the prospect in the following ways.

Tip 1: This one's simple. Follow up with the prospect's request for more information, whether that request goes directly to your Web site, is mentioned in a survey or is requested through a direct contact to your company such as the questionnaire. Following up with someone who is already interested in your company is the quickest way to a sale.

Tip 2: Know which e-newsletter articles are most read, and research which articles your specific qualified lead liked and disliked through your e-newsletter tracking system. If the reader filled out a survey, look for explicit comments about problems faced on a regular business or heartfelt comments about a particular solution.

Tip 3: Know the trends and challenges facing your industry. Never let a potential customer know more about the industry than you do. Yes, a reader will know more about their particular company and may know more about their business, but make sure you read the e-newsletter thoroughly and supplement your findings with other trade journals, company information, competitive information and current news.

Tip 4: Steer conversation to topics you know are valuable to the reader by tracking current e-newsletter interests, past e-newsletter behavior and by learning about your prospect's company. Just imagine a salesperson knowing their prospects ‘hot buttons' before they even talk to them. The hardest part of the initial sales call is determining the probing questions to ask to stimulate prospect interest.

What type of consultative conversation could they have, if the prospect's interests are known prior to that first call? An enewsletter can provide the salesperson will prospect specific intelligence that will allow them to formulate probing business questions that will capture the prospects heart and mind.

Tip 5: Identify upsell opportunities, with current customers, as they request information.

A Day in the Life

One way to better understand how to use e-newsletters to close more sales is to spend a day in the life of a sales person. Let's say this salesperson is a woman named Kathy. Kathy works for your company, a financial consultancy firm.

Kathy's day starts with a big cup of java and a reading of your latest e-newsletter. As she downs her second cup, she opens up her email and finds six qualified leads forwarded to her from the Web site, the e-newsletter and your marketing department. Her company's uses a free in depth financial analysis as their enewsletter's ‘call to action.'

Kathy looks to see how each lead came in, whether it was a Web site click, a response to your free offer or a referral from an association.

Let's say she starts to research the enewsletter's call to action leads first. She goes online and finds: a) the questionnaire giving the potential customer's company information including their Web site URL; b) tracking information from the last e-newsletter telling which articles were most read; and c) and survey, contest or questionnaire information giving specific comments from the reader.

After a visit to the company's Web site showing its services and products, its vision, and other company details, she makes the call to the qualified lead and asks qualifying questions to determine their fit. Kathy has determined that this prospect is a good fit and set up a follow-up call for the next step in the sales cycle, a one-hour meeting with the financial analyst as part of the free analysis.

After completing the call, Kathy's phone rings. A prospect is on the line about a tradeshow advertisement featuring the call to action featured in the enewsletter She provides information about the offer, sets up a meeting with the prospect and asks the caller if he would like a free subscription to the e-newsletter.

Well before lunch, she follows up with three more people who have requested information about financial consulting services. She schedules two meetings about developing the free analysis from the call to action and contacts her sales support team to invite them to a sales meeting.

By the end of the day, Kathy has lined up four clients committed to receiving the free analysis without having to ‘sell' her company to any of them. She is now ready for the assumptive close.

The Five Benefits of e-Newsletters for You

Throughout this series, Six Steps to Successful eNewsletter Marketing, we've focused on targeting your prospects and customers and tailoring your e-newsletter to be more valuable for them. You also reap the following rewards:

  • e-Newsletter tracking and reporting keeps you informed about what clients want and need and provides more growth opportunities.
  • When your company is perceived as understanding the full picture, your sales staff gets more leads and finds prospects more willing to listen.
  • Trust builds loyalty and loyalty builds better retention of your customer base.
  • e-Newsletters bring more traffic to your Web site.
  • Relying on this low-cost approach to marketing makes you more profitable.

 

We appreciate all the email from those of you who have found these steps useful and trust you will soon delight in much success by marketing through e-newsletters!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hank Stroll (Hank@InternetVIZ.com) is publisher at InternetVIZ, a custom publisher of 24 B2B e-newsletters reaching 490,000 business executives.

Tamara is a writer at InternetVIZ and is available for freelance work.