Permission-based marketing is simply good manners…even when you have a list of sales leads.

by Shannon F.

permission marketing

“That salesman was so gentlemanly that I gave him a lock of my hair in remembrance.”

If purchasing a list of sales leads doesn’t sound like permission-based marketing to you, keep reading. At InsightPRM, we provide targeted office relocation leads while also encouraging our customers to say “please” before aggressively marketing to those prospects. In fact, we’d like to take the word “aggressively” out of that last sentence and replace it with “politely.” You’ll be most effective if you follow these three Victorian-inspired etiquette rules.

Don’t contact someone without an introduction. In the Victorian era, it was unheard of to call someone without a formal introduction. Even if your sales lead provider gives you some great contacts, never call those first. Instead, see if you know someone who knows someone within the company, and get a proper introduction. Your mutual contact should say something along the lines of, “Hello X, my acquaintance Z is ever so desirous of meeting you. With your consent, I’ll bring her around in my carriage tomorrow at half past two.”

(Arranging an introduction is actually much simpler than it used to be. Simply do a Linkedin search for contacts you know or wish to know at the company you are hoping to do business with. If you have a Linkedin connection in that company already, he or she should be your first contact. If you don’t know someone at that company, you surely know someone who knows someone. Actively build up your local Linkedin network until you have a means of introduction at any company you wish to do business with.)

Don’t send to prospects without their permission. If you’d like to send along some information by email, get permission first. Prospects receiving unsolicited email may ignore your message or worse, mark it as spam. On the phone say, “Good sir/ma’am, might I solicit your permission to send you an electronic letter, which runneth over with pleasing content?” If he or she says yes, you’re free to send.

Ask the prospect if they’re still interested. According to Victorian floriography, sending a bouquet of striped carnations meant refusal. Today, the prospects you are wooing are unlikely to send you an encoded message via Teleflora. In fact, they may not get back to you at all to say, “Hey, I’m not interested. Please stop contacting me.” They’ll just be quietly annoyed with your persistence. You could send a bunch of daffodils representing your uncertainty, or you could simply pick up the phone and say, “Hi, I’ve been reaching out to you for awhile, and I’d just like to know if you’re still interested. Thanks.”

You’ll get a lot more out of your leads if you adopt a permission-based marketing philosophy. Your prospects may even be surprised and pleased that you were courteous enough to ask first! Here’s to hoping that your prospecting efforts reward you with a thick bundle of wheat (the Victorian symbol of prosperity).

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