Your best prospects are people who have specifically requested information from you about your products and services, and/or people who have already placed an order with you.
You can think of each prospective customer as a little seedling that you want to nurture with care and attention so that they will grow into a customer who will spend money with you. You want to exceed their expectations, engage their interest, and build their loyalty – and perhaps even a sense of obligation to you.
How do you do that?
One very effective way involves sending them a package of materials and goodies that is unexpected and that is so impressive it takes their breath away. In the industry it’s referred to as the “Shock and Awe” Package.
The Whole Package
Everyone can benefit from using a Shock and Awe package. I don’t care what business you’re in. You can sell:
- Home study courses
- Vitamins and supplements
- Gym memberships
- Home contractor services
- Dental or medical services and treatments
- Carpet cleaning
- Accounting services
- Etc. . . .
And I don’t care what kind of relationship you have with your prospects:
- First-time buyers
- Old buyers you haven’t heard from in a while
- New inquires
- Good customers
- Etc. . . .
Just as long as you want to build existing relationships and/or get new or more business from your prospects, you can consider “wooing” them with a Shock and Awe package.
What Goes In?
The contents of your Shock and Awe package will of course vary with the nature of your business. It will also vary based on whether it is for lead generation or it is part of a new customer welcome package. Are you trying to sell the person something? You will need sales material. Is it a new customer package? You might need to provide orientation materials of some kind.
Whatever you put in your package, it should be branded with your name and logo. You want the recipient to think of you every time he or she uses your mug, looks at your imprinted calendar, or reads through the materials you sent.
Include as many items, and as wide a variety of items as possible. The idea is to make going through the package seem like opening a present. It’s better to break up the material into lots of different smaller pieces (booklets, CDs, tables, checklists). You want it to be fun to go through and look like there’s a lot going on there.
While you want most of the items to be business oriented, it’s also a good idea to add in a few little surprises – extra goodies that are more for fun (like a mug, a flashlight, a keychain, a tape measure).
As an example of a Shock and Awe package that might go to prospects, a home contractor who does major renovations on homes might include items like this:
- Photos of before and after shots of recent jobs
- DVD with video testimonials from happy clients
- Booklet on renovations that bring the most return on investment
- Booklets on new options in windows, kitchen designs, bathroom designs, etc.
- Tape measure, calculator, and job estimation sheets
- Samples of tile, countertop material, carpet, etc.
- All packed in a re-usable tool box
As an example of a Shock and Awe package that might serve as a welcome package to new course members, a seller of home study courses might include items like this:
- The educational materials broken into manuals, CDs, DVDs, etc.
- A notepad to take notes while watching the DVDs
- A coaster to hold a cup of coffee while watching the DVDs
- Other relevant goodies (for example, include a calculator with courses on investing, or a pedometer with a diet/exercise program)
As you have probably figured out by now, many of the gifts are actually cleverly designed promotional materials.
Isn’t This Expensive?
Yes, these packages definitely can be expensive. But they also can be one of the best ways to spend your marketing dollar.
Remember, the factor that makes this method work so well is that you’re giving your expensive packages to a highly self-selected group of people who are interested in remodeling their homes and have already singled you out as a possible contractor. You’ve got the fish on the hook. Now you’re just going the extra mile to reel him in!
You have to do the math on your own situation to see what is worthwhile for you. Let’s say you’re the home contractor we looked at above. Your average job brings in $20,000. You receive 20 inquiries a month from interested parties, of which four on average result in actual jobs.
You decide to try sending a Shock and Awe package to everyone who inquires about your services, at a cost of $30 each. The packages cost you $600 a month. But, your monthly conversion rate jumps from four jobs to six. For an outlay of $600, you make an additional $40,000. That seems like a pretty good return on investment.
Only testing will determine if your Shock and Awe package is worth the expense to you. Try it out and keep records on how your response is affected by using this approach. And experiment with different packages, and different costs.
Rules for a Super-Successful Shock and Awe Package
An effective Shock and Awe package will make you stand out from your competition. You want to make certain that your name is associated with good feelings, including a touch of excitement. Your prospects should feel that if you are willing to go to so much extra trouble here, you are sure to offer products and services that will continue to please them.
Follow these rules to have a Shock and Awe package that gets results:
- Make it fun, memorable, and unexpected. If possible, include multimedia elements (printed pieces, CDs and/or DVDs, “goodies,” etc.)
- Include these specific parts in your package:
- A cover letter with directions for going through the package
- The “educational” materials
- A special offer (Always strike while the iron is hot. Now that your prospect is feeling so good about you, you want to present an irresistible offer for buying today, making an appointment, or whatever your call-to-action is.) Make it very obvious how they are to get back to you.
- Something that’s just a gift
- Have a follow-up plan in place to drive home the effect. Don’t just send your prospects a $30 package, and then trust that they’ll get back to you when they’re ready. Call to make sure they received the package and ask if there’s anything you can do to help them make a decision. And maybe follow up a second time – or a third time, or even more. After all the effort you’ve gone to, it might take just one more phone call to clinch the deal.
Also, consider this: You can completely tailor your Shock and Awe package to your business and budget. Don’t think you have to put together a $30 package if you don’t want to or if that is out of line with the cost of your product. And if you don’t want to add any extra gift goodies, that’s okay too. The point is to do something surprising – and even delightful, but always keep it appropriate for your business and make sure it’s cost-effective.
That’s the essence of what the Shock and Awe package is all about. I hope your mind is already swimming with ideas – or at least excited over the possibilities.
Excellent article. How about sending S & A packages to cold prospects that you want to work with, but have no idea who you are?