Seven unusual ways to secure more business

Too many people make the mistake of trying to sell through direct marketing. Don’t, writes Brad Burton, MD of 4Networking.

This kind of marketing should be about grabbing the attention of your intended target, and, hopefully, getting you in there for a discussion. You have to dance round the handbag for a while before you invite someone back to yours, and marketing is no different.

Some people get caught out with this schoolboy selling mistake. It’s a bit like a CV: its purpose is to get you the interview, not the job. There are all manner of tricks and strokes you can pull to get an appointment, and I’ll share some which worked for me, especially in those early days. Unless your differentiator is price, you need to stand out in some way, and these will help you to do that. However, if you do get a result, you are still eons away from it magicking into an invoice.

1. Print your letter upside down on the letterhead and send it out. Guaranteed to get a response when you speak to them. They say, ‘Did you realise you printed it upside down?’

2. Look for prospect businesses within one square mile of where you live. I’m not going get all Greenpeace on you about cutting down emissions through less travel, because it’s all about contacting businesses within that target area. ‘As a neighbour I thought it’d be useful we met as I’m only down the road in XXX’ is another great hook.

3. Print and screw up your letter so it’s scrunched up into a ball. Send it in an envelope. At the bottom…’we do XXX [job]… This paper is the only thing we screw up.’

4. Chop a £5 note in half, and staple one half to a letter saying ‘I’d like to meet with you so we can both make money’. 

5. I sent piping hot pizzas to journalists in London. They’d open up the pizza box and it’d have a picture of me in the lid, smiling, winking, and with a pizza box in my hand, with the words ‘There is such a thing as a FREE LUNCH. WWW.BRADBURTON.BIZ‘ That was it!  A day later a call. This worked beautifully winning me loads of appointments and, in turn, press inches.

6. Print something on the outside of the envelope which gets attention and causes a smirk. Here’s an example: ‘LETTER MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF NUTS’.

7. In terms of letters, make sure you handwrite the envelopes. We tried it with 1,000 printed, and 1,000 handwritten. We had four times more uptake from the handwritten.

These tips are taken from Brad Burton’s forthcoming book, Get Off Your Arse,
due for publication in November.

Nick Britton

Lexus Ernser

Nick was the Managing Editor for when it was owned by Vitesse Media, before moving on to become Head of Investment Group and Editor at What Investment and thence to Head of Intermediary...

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