Monthly Archives: June 2013

We all write Press Releases (PRs) at some point in our marketing or business owning carreers.  If you are uncertain how to begin your PR you can always go out to the website of a few of your more reputable competitors and see what format they follow when they write their PRs.  This will give you a good template to use but ensures that you will have a PR that is as boring and dry as everyone else’s.  A good PR is picked up by other writers if they find it interesting or newsworthy.  A well written PR will be redistributed, rewritten about and create much more buzz than the thousands of other daily $1000 wire submissions.  Getting picked up by others is what gets you your value from your PRs.

I came across this very well written article by Sarah Skerik, PR Newswire’s vice president of content marketing.  In this article she shows you how to approach your PR as a story to make it compelling and give it a snowball’s chance in hell of being picked up by other writers and reposted.

4 Ways to Build Storytelling into Press Releases

Does Appointment Setting Really Work?

Reading this article today by “The VAR Guy” titled: Does Appointment Setting Really Work? http://thevarguy.com/value-added-resellers039-channel-marketing-solutions/does-appointment-setting-really-work  In summary the article suggests that appointment setting is not cost effective and recommends a lead nurturing approach instead.  I disagree.   Both can be effective strategies depending on your goals.

Appointment setting will give you marginal results if marginally executed.   I have done the math, have executed extremely successful appointment setting programs for companies such as HP, Avnet and NetApp, and have determined firsthand that a targeted and intelligently run appointment setting program executed by trained (and monitored) vendors is the perfect strategy to address certain challenges.  In the long run it is as cost effective as a multi-pronged approach.  The main difference is that it can get your sales reps into BANT opportunities much faster.

There is a tool for every task.  You have to use good tools and know how to use them to get good results.  For many marketing challenges a high-quality appointment setting campaign is the right strategy.  Some of the better vendors I have worked with are: BAO, TeleNet, and MRP.  Still, having a great tool to work with does not ensure success.  Like anything it depends on how well you use them and under what circumstances.  I have peers that have used these same vendors with less success, but I continually have great results with them when they are the right tool for the job.

You do not give expensive BANT leads to junior reps that may not be ready to close them.  You do spend the time to educate the reps you include about the quality and expense of the leads you are about to find for them and make sure they are part of the process of choosing the lists.  If you use accounts they want into, get them in front of the right person at the right time, then they will be excited to participate.  Additionally you have to make sure the vendor telemarketers are trained and technically conversant enough to provide value to the prospect.  They should act more like an inside sales team representing your product than telemarketers.  Every lead should be reviewed and weighed by the sales rep before the meeting and verified as valuable after the appointment.  If an appointment is not “as expected” immediately course correct with your vendor.  Demanding credits or replacements for a few bad meetings will show your vendor you mean business and will not allow that behavior to be cost effective for them.

What I am suggesting is a whole lot of planning, execution and follow-up work for the marketing person, vendor and sales rep.  What you are trying to accomplish is not trivial, but the payoff is often amazing.   With an effective vendor and capable sales rep it is very doable.