Promoting the Funky over the Phone

(Image by Jesterhood)

Just because B2B firms are about big business doesn’t mean there’s no room for funky ideas. Look at what this Japanese PR firm is offering for advertising.

 

But having a funky idea (or even because of it) can be a hard thing to pitch over the phone. How do you expect business owners to take you seriously? Will the gatekeepers even let you in?

 

This is where subtlety really goes well with the funk. Even less-than-crazy ideas are better received if you’re not just bursting right in on a prospect’s busy work day.

 

Here’s a step-by-step guide getting in and timing your funky pitch right:

 

Step 1: Find the need – Funky ideas lose their appeal when they don’t really fulfill a major need in a prospect’s business. Build up your contact list only with prospects whose needs you have identified from prior research.

 

Step 2: Have a memorable but not-so-obvious business name – What you do shouldn’t scream too loudly from the name you gave your business. That name is what you’ll be giving first to the gatekeeper prior to any pitching being done.  Names that sound obviously nuts have a higher chance of giving you away too early.

 

Step 3: Speak casually to gatekeepers – Try using general terms when speaking to gatekeepers. Your pitch is reserved only for the decision maker you have designated. Anyone else should be given the more condensed version.

 

Step 4: Be blunt and surprising – Once you do reach the prospect you’re looking for, that’s the time to say it up front. Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin, already offers some excellent tips on going beyond just your typical elevator pitch. This is where the funky part can really stand out and hold their attention for those critical seconds you need to show what you can do.

 

Step 5: Present materials showcasing previous work – Say you were also offering advertising on women’s thighs. How do you convince the prospect on the phone that you’re not a prankster? Point them to marketing materials that can deal with their disbelief. Use websites, videos, or emails with images of your past work whilst you’re talking.

 

Step 6: Let it sink in – This is where Step 1 really starts to help out. If your targeting is right, your prospect will definitely agree that your funky idea could be the solution they are looking for. Give them some space to imagine how your product or service could benefit them.

 

This applies whether your funky idea has to do with advertising, accounting, software, or any other B2B product constantly in demand. You don’t have to be too serious yourself for prospects to take it seriously. All you need is the right targeting, right timing, and watch as the prospect gives your offer some serious consideration.

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