First part. If you do not have a base with phones of potential customers
The first and the easiest way which is recommended to any provider for a start is “Promotional materials”:
1. Placing A4-size posters on bulletin boards or in other places where your advert will be visible to potential subscribers. As a rule, changing the layout of advertisement is not sensible more often than once every three months.
- Existing subscribers (home residents) stop noticing this advertisement and do not pay attention to the possibility of paying less (grace period for new subscribers), but for all new residents this advert is noticeable.
- The advertising lifetime (if you do not change the placement) grows three times or more, thus, the quantity and price of the required printing and distribution costs decline.
- Rarely changed advertisements do not interfere with the sale of connections without discounts in door-to-door.
- This kind of advertising is addressed to new arrivals, does not stimulate potential customers who have been living in the house for a long time (having ad for more than a month) to change their provider.
- The risk not to guess with the message, in this case you will have to wait for 3 months (or write off the circulation for scrap).
There should always be the presence of advertising in the form of A4 size posters in the territory.
2. Distribution of A5, A6 leaflets in the mailboxes: picked up, saw, connected! We distribute it 1-2 times a month, a day before receiving utility bills, and 1-2 days before the deadlines for payment of competitors’ services.
An important part of working with promotional materials (at least 50% of success) is understandability and its reach to the target audience. It doesn’t matter how interesting and ingenious your proposal is, if no one knows about it or know those who it is not intended for. Your offer should be seen and immediately understood, or at least people need to get interested.
The best way to sell Internet access is the offer «on-the-nose»: I saw, understood, bought it. I want to draw attention to a typical mistake: the publication of many small details, a lot of text, incomprehensible pictures that cause associations that are not related to the product or offer. It may be beautiful, but it does not give advantages.
The easiest way to check your proposal for the correct delivery message: showing it to a test group of 10-100 people. The duration of the display is 2–4 seconds. If the respondents tell about what they saw, and it is the same with what you wanted to convey — victory! If they cannot but want to get acquainted (they are very interested), and after 45 seconds of studying the material they tell about what they saw and it is the same with what you wanted to convey — also a victory! Everything in excess of duration cuts the efficiency of attracting subscribers. You don’t need to take large companies as a standard, perhaps they simply master the budget or pursue other goals.
The minimum efficiency of this method with the right approach even for highly competitive markets (tested in different countries): from 0.15% of the free installed capacity, thus, 1.5 applications from 1000 apartments MONTHLY.
You can use branded floor plates, information boards, mirrors in elevators, nameplates on the doors for the same purpose. The more often you flash positively and without vandalism in front of potential subscribers, the better. In addition, this method (A4 posters) is the cheapest.
The second way is street events in places of flow or congestion of potential subscribers.
The candy floss machine works well (we distribute candy floss to everyone or to our subscribers / those who left a request for connection). It is better to use this method in places of potential subscribers’ flow (near the metro, passage yards, near shopping centres, etc., you can arrange a yard holiday on multi-story buildings on weekends, therefore, generating a flow to the right place).
- Cheap, tasty, makes your company associated with a holiday and happiness.
- It forms a natural queue, which allows managers to sell services easily, as people are waiting in line anyway and they are ready to talk.
- After receiving something from you right now, they are more friendly towards you and are ready for small compromises in the future.
- Agreement with the administration or owner of the territory where you will be holding the event is required in some countries.
You can give out anything you like; branded balloons have also proven themselves well.
The minimum efficiency of this method (even in highly competitive markets): 1 application from 15 contacts.
The third way is to attract subscribers through partners, dealers.
As a rule, these are either partners who have high traffic, for example, grocery stores in your area, hairdressing salons, post offices, places to receive purchases from online stores, etc .; or partners who share the same potential market with you, for example, computer masters, computer hardware stores, realtors, etc.
The effectiveness of this method is highly dependable on the penetration zone of your services and the activity / interest of the partner in promoting your services. The best way is to pay for each attracted subscriber or make a general loyalty / discount program. Usually, the work is done through the distribution of leaflets / booklets, in some cases, through direct sales by the partner or his employees with the filling of an application on the spot. In the case of indirect sales, we recommend making a separate phone or another marker (just asking the client is not suitable) immediately to control incoming orders from the sales channel of each partner.
The fourth and the most difficult in organization and management way is the door-to-door, there are two types of it:
2. Coming, making a brief presentation of the company’s services, giving a booklet / leaflet and leaving. The main task of the manager / deliveryman is to interest (with help of a short script) in the further studying of promotional material that was handed over personally, as it will stimulate the subscriber to investigate and make a call. Minimum efficiency: one application from 400 submitted leaflets / booklets. Cycle of door-to-door: once in a quarter.
- It is relatively easy and quick to find and train staff, since even teenagers and senior citizens are suitable for this role.
- The amount of necessary information (script) for work is small, as a rule, not more than 2/3 of an A4 sheet. It does not require in-depth study / knowledge of a product.
- The staff turnover does not cause significant damage, the staff is easily trained and replaced.
- Possibility to use it as an intermediate stage for further staff training into full-fledged sales managers (door-to-door, outbound telemarketing).
- Stimulates the flow of subscribers to advertising channels well.
- Low efficiency of developing the territory relatively to classic door-to-door sales.
- A complex control system, often employees do not bypass the required number of apartments and throw away or hide excess of leaflets; do not pronounce the necessary script.
2. Direct sales — working with a client face to face: you came, knocked, he opened – you sold.
The door-to-door study / sale of each client in the desired territory / penetration zone is a full-fledged sale with all the consequences, the client’s elaboration until filling up the application on the spot. The organization of process differs significantly in large and small operators. The main selling tool is the skills of the sales staff. Minimum efficiency: one application from 15-20 contacts / dialogs. Cycle of bypass – once in a quarter.
- The most effective way to develop the territory in terms of penetration rate, speed and quality.
- One of the best methods of working with competitors.
- Allows to reach the most difficult subscribers / customers, inaccessible to other sales channels, customers who do not want to change anything.
- Easily predicted and managed in terms of efficiency in short periods of time (1-2 days) — if the sales channel is organized properly.
- Stimulates the flow of subscribers to advertising channels well.
- The most difficult method in terms of the organization. It has a long training period for employees: 5-7 days, plus an internship for 5-7 days. Requires a good knowledge of the product, script and sales tools.
- Difficulty in finding employees caused by the method of work (door-to-door) and usually piece-plus-bonus payment system.
- It requires well-established interaction between all the services of the company, this channel is very sensitive to any failures with orders, since employees work on the deal and in case of loss of customers due to the failure of other services, we get a large turnover of sales personnel or a sharp drop in efficiency.
- As a rule, it is the most expensive attraction channel.
In the next part of this article we will analyze the main ways and channels of attraction of customers, in case that you have a database of contacts of potential customers and will consider where you can get it.