3 Don’ts of Direct Marketing

Ask any customer what their pet peeve is, and they’ll tell you that it’s direct marketing. It’s not that they don’t want to learn about new products and services; it’s just that they don’t like the in-your-face attitude and approach most marketers adopt. The problem with marketing today is that it has become an intrusive affair – those of us who are selling seem to think that unless we thrust ourselves into potential customers’ lives by hook or by crook, we’re not good marketers. However, the key to good marketing is to know what to say, when to say it, how to say it, and to whom to say it. Time, place and situation are very important if you want to convert your pitches into actual sales. So here goes, three things that you must not do when you’re a direct marketer:

  • Never try to sell to angry customers: I’m usually very patient with marketers and try to hear them out; however, it’s hard to stay calm and collected when the person on the other end of the line tries to sell me something when I’m already angry with their company. If customers have an existing grouse against your organization, they can never be persuaded to buy from you again unless you resolve their initial problem. And if you keep trying to push your sales pitch, you’re only going to be at the receiving end of some choice epithets. So lesson number one – leave angry customers alone, at least until their problems have been resolved to satisfaction.
  • Never attempt to persuade customers during cold calls: Not many people are tolerant of cold calls, and even if they’re only follow-ups to emails and newsletters that they’ve signed up for, they’re not going to give you the time of day. Any cold caller with a little common sense knows that if they don’t have the customer hooked on their opening line, the call is not worth it. People hang up on you because they’re busy or because they are not interested. So don’t waste your time calling back immediately and pestering them to listen to you. You’re only going to get their hackles up even further, and antagonizing potential customers is never a good sign for future business.
  • Never fall back on your promises: And finally, never ever fail to deliver on your promises because customers tend to remember your failure and use this to move over to the competition. You may think you’re being very clever in using fine print or pre-conditions to get out of delivering what your marketing material has promised, but the joke could very well be on you when your customers talk to others about your deceitful practices – you’re going to lose something much more valuable than your customers themselves – their trust.

So be aware of your customers’ moods and needs, and act accordingly to achieve success in your direct marketing campaigns.