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Austerity, high unemployment, pay cuts, pension funds evaporating, how times change.  It was only a few short years ago that any idea, no matter how simple, you would be greeted with enthusiasm and more often funding. Everyone was looking to invest their easily earned wealth in exciting projects and business opportunities.

Finding a Market for Your Products Using a Call Center.  Have you considered trying the Contacted, Contact Center Suite to find a market for your product?

Promote Your Contact Center

Let’s start with the most obvious customer acquisition and promotional strategy for a Contact Center – canvassing local businesses by telephone.

Canvassing local businesses

You are launching a Contact Center with a ready-made Contact Center Suite, a CRM system, a Script Merge function and an Auto-Dialer. These are the prime tools- of-trade for your new business. Using these tools your- self is how you should start promoting your business and finding new customers for your Contact Center.

The easiest way to get started is to write your own Call Script tailored to the type of business you want to approach.

You can write your Scripts yourself or hire someone to write them for you, although I highly recommend that you try to write them yourself. The experience is invaluable. A simple, to the point Script, explains how you can help them in finding new customers and how you would go about it.

The Script removes any fear or hesitancy you might have about calling people. You practice vocalizing the Script which helps you to speak and pronounce words clearly, sound con dent, keep in control and guide the conversation towards your end goal.

Start by entering your prospective customer’s details into your Contact Center Suite CRM, and include as much detail as possible, like contact name, location, type of business, and contact number and then you can start call- ing using your Auto-Dialer. You can quickly tag and record businesses which are not interested at this time, and schedule follow-up calls or meetings with those that are interested in your proposal. Use the important Call Dispositions when calling.

Your conversation may well reveal other Contact Center services you can provide to the prospective customer. Be sure to mention that you also reside in their local area.  The essential thing is to get started. You will find it easy to speak with local business owners once they know that you are also part of their local community.  Start to build business relationships. If you are doing your job properly people will open up to you and in many cases become quite “chatty.” Attempt to build a relationship rather than push a sale down their throat.

Advertising your business

Your advertising strategy entirely depends on your target audience. It also depends on your advertising budget.  Local businesses that operate in the community where you live are the easiest to reach.  National or international businesses present a slightly bigger challenge.

Pizza Contacted

Whichever way you decide to advertise; you MUST ensure that your advert is correctly targeted.

Local print advertising. I recommend that you initially target businesses in your local community. Print advertising in a local daily newspaper could be effective; and depending on where you live, quite inexpensive.

National print advertising. The advertising rates in a nationally distributed publication would be substantially higher than a locally distributed magazine. For this reason, I recommend that you seek out locally distributed magazines as an alternative. Most professions and business categories have one or more nationally distributed magazines you can consider. But, if you promote your services to lawn mowing or garden maintenance services, it had better be a gardening magazine.

Mail distribution. This type of promotion can be inexpensive and very effective. Prepare a brief letter on your branded stationary, or a CD with a video presentation, which clearly explains how you can help owners grow their business. Collect mail addresses from company websites, business directories, or “by foot,” and send an advertisement to them. When your feel certain that your mail has arrived, you MUST follow up with a live telephone call.

Here’s a favorite trick of mine. Mail a letter or CD by registered mail to the business owner.  Personalizing with the proprietor’s name usually ensures your mailing gets past the “gatekeeper,” past the nearby rubbish bin, and into the hands of the real decision maker.

Email promotion

Businesses that have a website, often include their email address on a “Contact” page.  If not, you may find a contact form which, for your intent, serves the same purpose. You can use your pre-designed mail distribution template for this purpose.

What you have to accept, though, is that promotional emails have an opening rate of approximately 30% or sometimes much less.  You have two alternatives to improve on this.  If you receive no response, use your Contact Center Suite CRM to send a reminder email a few days later, or you follow up with a phone call.

Online advertising

Online advertising is a multi-billion dollar industry by itself. It can be successful, but the essential part is to target your ad to the right audience. An untargeted ad will never be seen or read.In my opinion, direct response advertising is not as effective as it used to be. People who go online, no longer want to be “sold to” and you need to be subtle to achieve success with this media. Do not send people directly to a sales page. Instead, offer them something for free and carefully collect their email address and telephone numbers so you can make contact by phone, mail, or email later.

In my opinion, direct response advertising is not as effective as it used to be.  People who go online, no longer want to be “sold to” and you need to be subtle to achieve success with this media.  Do not send people directly to a sales page.  Instead, offer them something for free and carefully collect their email address and telephone numbers so you can make contact by phone, mail, or email later.

Online advertising is a tough and very competitive game.  The Google Adwords platform is often used as a primary online advertising platform.  Because of high advertising rates, Facebook has displaced it from this position.  The market offers an extensive range of advertising platforms. You can find them by searching for “media buy” or “advert buys” on the Internet.

Facebook sells advertising space and is by far the advertising platform that offers the most sophisticated targeting options. The targeting options are so detailed that you could even target your nearest neighbor, provided you know their demographic details.  In the social media arena, Twitter and LinkedIn offer online advertising.  Twitter is known to offer a high success rate in finding new business leads. LinkedIn is particularly suited to B2B promotion and advertising.

Once you have launched your Contact Center, you need to determine what services you can offer to prospective customers. The basics of this process were explained in the Chapter, “Marketing Strategies.”

When you first start, you will find it far easier to speak with local business people or shop owners you may already know, if only casually. Once your business has gained experience, you can expand into regional, national, and even international markets.

It’s time for you to take control of your destiny, time for you to stand up and stop feeling sorry for yourself.  Time for you to start planning for your future, and time for you to start planning for that holiday in the sunshine again.

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