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American Direct Marketing Services Blog

The Daily Dozen: A Sales Prospecting Strategy (Part 1 of 3)

by Scott Casson | Jan 11, 2013

Implementing a prospecting / sales campaign can be a little overwhelming.  A lot of my clients are in business for themselves, are start ups or have gotten to the point that they need assistance in finding more clients.  Many don’t know how to start a campaign or how to quantify what a successful campaign is.  Additional questions will come up like “Where do I obtain a qualified sales lead list?” or “What do I do with a list once when I get it?”  Furthermore, many believe they don’t have enough time in the day to prospect let alone execute and track a sales prospecting strategy. 

Let’s get one thing straight….sales are the reason a business stays in business.  Without sales, nothing happens.  So in essence, sales are arguably the most important factor towards building a successful company.  Our job at American Direct Marketing Services is to help our clients find more clients.  So it’s important for me to be able to recommend a sales prospecting strategy that’s effective, doesn’t take too much time to implement on a daily basis and over time pays dividends by generating consistent sales and long term customer retention thus maximizing the client’s lifetime value. 

Whether you’re a start up or a 50 year old company, clients will come and go.  But it’s equally important to always prospect for new business while at the same time retaining your current client base.   However I repeatedly get questions from my clients as to how they can successfully prospect for new business with all the other time constraints their job demands such as managing their current clientele or, if you’re a business owner, running the actual company (which is a full time job in itself). 

I didn’t develop the following strategy but it has certainly stuck in my mind ever since it was first presented to me.  It’s called The Daily Dozen.

The name says it all:  Send 12 Direct Mail letters to 12 prospects every business day 5 days a week.  After the 2-3 day delivery time for your letter to reach the prospect, the next step is to do a follow up phone call and pitch your objective (secure an appointment, schedule a time for an online product demo, provide a proposal, etc.)  That’s it.  Now you have 60 new prospects per week to work with and roughly 260 prospects a month.  Imagine that…you just went from 0 to 60 in one week!  And by the end of the month you have a solid sales prospecting campaign foundation to work from.

The direct mail letter has a specific intent:  To get the prospect to take your call when you follow up.  The letter initially warms up the prospect, or in other words, makes the person somewhat aware of who you are, the nature of your business and why you’re calling.  It’s also a tool for the salesperson to be far more effective on that first follow up call. 

Listen, cold calling can be monotonous and grinding.  And when you call someone out of the blue to pitch them, it’s challenging to say whatever you need efficiently and effectively.   Sending an initial letter before a follow up phone call opens the door for communication with the prospect and “warms them up” leading to higher response rate and in turn a higher conversion rate.

Below is a picture of the compounding effects of The Daily Dozen strategy over time.  I've also included it as an Excel presentation in link below. 

Daily Dozen_Cumulative Effect

As as you can see, after just a week and a half you will have already touched 120 people with a letter as well as made 96 calls to those new prospects.  My MO is to inundate you with QUALIFIED individuals who have the interest, capability and capacity to buy your product or service.  Not to mass generate a sea of unqualified candidates forcing you to waste time and weed out the undesirables, tire kickers or time wasters.  I want you to have so many new clients that you’ll either need to refocus your efforts on them….or get help with all the new business you’re generating.

So how do we get started?  Well, let’s cover the basics. The Daily Dozen has 3 very important key elements:  1) The Direct Mail letter; 2) A prospect list or contact list (the list needs to have the name of the key contact, the company name (for B2B), physical address, a phone number and if possible an email address of that key contact);  3) A script (the telemarketing script is the basic structure of what will be said when you or the sales team calls the prospect); and finally *3.1) Backend Marketing/Advertising /Additional Collateral Material.  This would be the sales material you send to the prospective client about your firm’s products and/or services.  (Collateral material can include a direct mail letter or dedicated HTML email or a proposal you send to the client to take action and buy. It can also be the website to which you direct a prospective buyer.)


Never used Direct Mail to prospect before?  Yes…it is considered old school. However, in this digital age direct mail is a highly effective contrarian marketing strategy that stands out and is still proven to get predictable results (in this case a strong response rate).  Why?  Because no one takes the time to do it anymore.  But what if I told you that even in 2012 direct mail gets a 4.4% response rate compared to email's average response rate of 0.12%.1   BTW, the response rate on a direct mail campaign can double, triple, even quadruple when it’s coupled with a follow up phone call. 

Think of it this way.  What do you do when a hand addressed letter in an envelope reaches your hands at the office or at home?  You open it…especially if it looks like an invitation or something that’s too important to ignore and just throw in the trash.  EVERYONE likes to be invited to a party and NO ONE wants the embarrassment of not responding to a friend or family member if they send something as important as a wedding invitation. Furthermore, no high level executive is going to ignore something that reaches their desk that could be detrimental to the company.  So a compelling direct mail piece with a follow up phone call is a far more effective way to get in front of a decision maker than just blindly emailing prospects and hoping for the best. 

A good first step towards designing your direct mail letter is to know who your potential customers are and tailor your Direct Mail piece so that it’s appropriate for that target audience. Let’s say you’re a Financial Advisor and you want to set up appointments with high net worth individuals for wealth management purposes.   I would recommend sending a short letter on fine, executive style stationary, with your original signature at the bottom within a HAND WRITTEN addressed, stamped (not metered) envelope that looks more like an invitation.  FYI…..DO NOT put your company name in the return address.  Remember, you want to make it look formal but not business-esque.  The actual copy of the Direct Mail letter introduces you and your services and then politely asks the prospect to take your call when you call them. 

Here’s an example: 

But a Direct Mail letter that resembles an invitation might not be the right fit for someone who is prospecting to home builders or within the construction industry.  In that case, I’d recommend sending an 8 ½ x 11 sized letter with your signature at the bottom inside a 9 x 12 HAND WRITTEN addressed, stamped white envelope.  Again, don’t put your company name in the return address.  This will give the direct mail piece a little more of an appropriate feel, will still look important and can accomplish the same results.  

Here’s an example of that particular envelope and letter:

Stay tuned….my next blog post will cover choosing the right mailing list.

1) [Source: Direct Marketing News]

      All ADMS lists are guaranteed to be of the highest quality in the industry. Lists are updated quarterly, NCOA'd twice a year and certified to be 93% accurate.