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AMERICA'S PLANNED PROMOTION EXPERTS
Should Direct Mail Be Disguised
As A First Class Personal Communication?
Should direct mail be disguised as a first class personal communication? Views differ on this. But Mullins points out that Nightingale-Conants extremely successful direct-mail pieces capture prospects with a great story, and then carry them along to an irresistible offer. People love good stories. Note how this powerful narrative pulls you in. Hard to resist checking it out, isn't it? The secret of learning to tell your story and communicate your Brand in a compelling way is to relate it to the consumer's own interest. Read in this article how one retailer in Colchester, Vermont took on a big box by telling his story and projecting his Brand.
Sitting in his sister-in-law's driveway, the broke, homeless man pounded his fists on the steering wheel, crying, sobbing. "Why can't anything go right for me? Why does everything I try go wrong? When did I become such a worthless loser? How am I going to get my wife and kids out of this basement and into a house?" Then it struck him like a tire iron to the face. He sat up, wiped his eyes, looking dumbstruck, saying to himself, "Holy cow. How could I have forgotten that? It worked for me before. I KNOW it will work again! How could I have been such a moron?
In only six months, that formerly desperate man had bought a $385,000 house with half down, and became a millionaire in less than a year. He also bought a vacation house, put away enough money for his kid's college education, easily stopped bad habits, and attained complete financial freedom ... all accomplished automatically, without effort or willpower! What was the obscure secret he remembered in that moment of clarity that allowed him to take complete control of his life?
Inside, we'll explain the whole story ...
grumble the store name, whatever it may be. Not only does Wendell often answer the phone, he loves to wait on customers. According to Britt Beemer of America's Research Group, people feel honored when the owner of a store waits on them. Wendell's associates are all salaried, so there is no friction when Wendell takes an UP Wendell will even make you a cup of fresh down-home coffee in the store's kitchen. Did I say store's kitchen? Yes. For more information on the power of the imagery of the home to American consumers, review the FURNITURE WORLD Magazine article, "The Code That Unlocks Customer's Hearts & Wallets" (Parts 1 &2) that is posted to the marketing management article archives on the www.furninfo.com website.
These are simple and inexpensive techniques that any furniture store can do in its own way. Let's look at Wendell's website, for example. It was set up by a member of Wendell's staff, Mike Prevuzmak. Nothing spectacular. But it is very customer-oriented and easy to use. And it has features none of the big boxes have. Instead of a self-congratulatory, boring paragraph "about us" (that no one ever reads) and a photo of the owner of the company, Wendell's website features several 30 second clips of Wendell, sitting relaxed in the showroom talking directly to the customer. This might sound a bit egoistic, but Wendell has a knack of framing his story almost completely around the customer's interest. It's all in the sincerity of delivery. Here is a sample script:
"Here at Wendell's Furniture we really, really value the customer. The sales help is phenomenal. They treat everybody the same, everyone gets taken care of. No one is on commission at Wendell's, talk to anybody in a blue shirt. Everybody takes care of you, everybody makes deals. We do not allow any customer to be unhappy. Here at Wendell's Furniture, we take care of you." (Super-imposed over the screen are the words: "Your total satisfaction is our main priority.")
Another good spot features Wendell walking casually in the showroom ... "High folks, it's Flexsteel authorized sale time. This is the big one." (Cut to Wendell on his knees by a sofa. He has a marking pen in his hand.) "This is the newest in Microfiber technology and only Flexsteel has it" (Wendell is touching the arm of the sofa as he says this.) (Cut to close up of Wendell's hand holding the marking pen. He marks several swipes
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