Of course, we have different target markets, but only slightly so; we neither of us is in the business of repaving driveways, and we are conscious of our time and money budgets.
But on balance we are closer than we seem to be:
My Marketing Strategy
Each morning The Prospector winnows through about 400 press releases and filters out half a dozen of interest to me; the process is automatic and takes about 3 minutes. I review the found press releases and copy the details of two or three of them into my contact database.
Days that Chris The Market is supposed to hit the phones, I start with the earliest (most urgent now) records in my contact database; these will be the ones I have just entered. I’ll call the President directly and invite her out for lunch. If there’s no answer I’ll not leave a voice-mail, but will roll the record over to tomorrow.
Once those calls are made I’m into records from previous attempts, and so I work through my “rolodex” trying to touch people once every two months.
I seem to average about 5 phone conversations each week, by the time I get through to the CEO. That’s about 20 per month.
When I score a lunch I drop $6 in transit fares and about $40 on the lunch, and burn up about four hours in the middle of my day (dress, get downtown with time to spare, lunch, come home).
Occasionally I hire a car for the day and make an out-of-transit area visit. The total cost then is about $80, which includes rental, gasoline, insurance. In off-peak seasons it comes to only $60, but say $80 for now.
I aim to be making one meeting per week, face-to-face, with people I’ve not met before, and the prospect is filtered by The Prospector, filtered by me over the phone (are they open to new ideas and a new approach, willing, interested?).
Out of each face-to-face meeting, some will ask to keep in touch by email, some will not. I’ll pass the names on to Chris The Sales, and it will be his job to build a relationship and probe for pain and problems.
His Marketing Strategy
He joins the Board Of Trade at $600 p.a. and pays about $60 per event to sit at a table with seven other entrepreneurs of executives. Over the meal he is exposed, and exposes himself, to 7 other business people.
Breakfast ended, a game like Musical Chairs starts, excepting that the attendees are shuffled in a programmed manner, so he sits at a second table with 7 more people, then another, then another.
The event therefore exposes him, both directions, to about 30 people.
Of these some are competitors in his field; he’ll politely not bother chatting with them nor they with him.
The event emails a photostat copy of all the business cards of attendees willing to be contacted, so all up he may find 20 people with whom he might explore for a relationship.
He does this once a month.
That works out at about one prospect per business day throughout the month.
Same as me.
At this Point we are in the Same Boat
We have harvested 20 prospects each month, and we move into the sales-conversion mode, or at least the relationship-building mode.
When you do the sums, his costs work out to about $25/week just to meet people, whereas mine work out to about $50 to meet people.
The difference (apart from our product/services/target market) is that when I meet someone face-to-face, it’s a one-hour full-attention meeting.
To get to that stage he is up for $25 per week and then springs for coffee or lunch on top of that.
As I see it there’s not a great deal of difference in the money spent.
I am spending time ONLY with CEOs with whom I feel there is a strong probability of a relationship.
He is spending less money to spend time with those may not be as likely to develop into a good relationship.
In both cases we have a pool of bodies – for me the press releases, for him the membership and guests of the Board Of Trade, most of whom won’t show up at these events.
He runs the risk of meeting the same people again and again after the first few months.
My harvest is always a new face (“Caldwell Partners (TSX: CWL) has appointed Stamford-based Partner Peter Reed to lead its Insurance Practice”). “Hi Peter, and congratulations on your appointment …”.
What do you think?