Getting enough good qualified appointments set up to grow business rapidly continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing managed services providers.
One of the oldest selling techniques, door-to-door marketing, has been mothballed as a result of all the 'No Soliciting' signs that have popped up all over town.
Most companies also continue to put up a brick wall to cold calls either on the phone or in person.
Could Ambush Marketing be a good alternative to generate more IT sales leads?
Recently I was performing on-site sales training is the Seattle Area when a blizzard hit and snowed in the computer consultant that I was going to accompany on sales calls. I decided to go ahead and deliver the presentations on behalf of our client, with their blessing.
Unfortunately all the appointments we had set up for the day closed their offices due to the inclement weather. At the first location I noticed that there were several professional office buildings nearby and decided to go on the hunt.
Essentially ambush marketing is no different from door-to-door selling except for two important differences.
The first key difference is that a savvy ambush marketing professional will always use the law of reciprocity by giving something in order to get something in return.
Most companies really don't object to having an unannounced visitor to their offices as long as the wheels of industry are greased and they don't take a lot of time.
In my experience with ambush marketing in Seattle I was able to spot a few offices that appeared to be open. At one office I caught an executive that had braved the weather to come in and finish up a project.
When I approached him I immediately explained that I had been stood up on a sales call next door and then held out a nice Starbucks card. He reached out and grabbed it from my hand thereby giving me a proverbial green light for a brief sales question and answer session.
It turned out that they had a need in the area of disaster recovery and he proceeded to show me his server room where I could see they didn't have a very sophisticated DR system. Therefore I briefly explained our clients Data Backup Solutions and suggested a possible meeting where he could go over the pricing and benefits.
When I returned to our offices the following week I gave that lead to one of the reps in our IT call center who was successfully able to set up an appointment with the lead that we got through this marketing technique.
The next time you get stood up on an appointment near an office building, why not consider popping in to a few of the offices and attempting your own ambush marketing campaign?
Just remember to give something to get something and don't try to do a complete presentation but rather just perform a brief question and answer session so you can set up a future meeting.
John Black is the Marketing Director at MSP Telemarketing and has over 10 years experience marketing on behalf of managed services providers.His experience ranges from writing articles, blogging, telemarketing, sales coaching and speaking at events.