Farquharson/Tedesco on Business Development: Make 'Wicked Easy' Sales CallsMarch 2013 By Bill Farquharson, T.J. Tedesco
You are mad at Dunkin' Donuts (think "wicked light Starbucks"). Standing and waiting for your morning coffee, you notice a point-of-purchase tent piece proclaiming that you can get a free cup of coffee by signing up for their online loyalty program. You like free, so you make a mental note of the URL, grab your Java and head out. When you return to your computer, you take a few moments to sign up. The e-mail confirmation indicates that you will receive a coupon in the mail. Cool!
A week goes by. Then another. Then a third. Each time you walk into Dunkies, you remember that you are owed a free cup of coffee, and you wonder why you bothered giving them your personal information. Every e-mail you receive from them pushes that anger level up just a tad more. Your choices are: Switch to decaf and get help for your anger issues, or stick with the hard stuff and find a new place to get your morning boost.
Three and a half weeks later, a postcard arrives with word that a 16-ounce cup of piping hot, teeth-staining liquid awaits you. Free is free, so you will definitely take them up on it. Still, the damage is done. For John Q. Public, the story ends there. For John Q. Print Sales Rep, the story is just beginning. Inadvertently, an opportunity has arisen. Seizing both your free coffee and the moment, you act...
Do you think the Head of Marketing (the genius behind this loyalty campaign) knows that it took between three and four weeks for a simple postcard to arrive? Probably not. Do you think he or she might be interested to know the ramifications of such a glacier-paced delivery to a lightning-quick promise? Probably so.
"The purpose of my call is to talk to you about improving the Loyalty Program your company has initiated. I recently signed up, myself, and was surprised at the delay in getting my promised cup of free coffee. It bothered me that I have given up my personal info and did not receive my reward in a timely manner. I believe I can improve on this process and wanted to talk with you about some ideas that I have." That would be a pretty easy sales call to make, don't you think?