There are five branch offices within the Lineage group of office product dealerships. Of the five, Little Rock, AK stands out as an example by virtue of its recent sales growth in mailing systems and copier systems revenue.
The dealership is among the top five Hasler Inc. and Neopost U.S.A. mailing system resellers in its territory and it has made a significant mark for itself in document management systems, software, furniture, time clocks and more. And with more emphasis being placed on Managed Print Services, it's a sure fire bet that Lineage will expand the success it's had by using the marketing model that's been proven to work. The funny thing about marketing is it can work so long as you do what your audience tells you. The Little Rock branch of Lineage, can attest to this after experiencing an outstanding year selling Hasler systems while whittling away mind share from Pitney-Bowes. The key, says General Manager Dennis McCormick is the promo the branch uses on a monthly basis.
“Everything you hear about frequency gets proven when you later find out a prospect became a customer after they have heard from us several times,” says McCormick. “Time and time again, it demonstrates that your best field sales efforts and your most aggressive telemarketing are not the sole means for reaching and influencing new customers. You have to use other channels to reach the broadest range of prospects in your target area, and I can’t think of anything more cost efficient than these postcards we have been using each month.”
In a marketplace not yet fully connected to email marketing, the postcards McCormick and his team uses are the ideal method for spreading the word without spending an onerous amount of cash, McCormick says.
“Dollar for dollar, it’s in line with our own philosophy that you ought to get back at least $1 of value for every $1 spent.”
The postcards are part of the How to Get NEW Customers Program from Prosperity Plus Management Consulting, Inc. Conceived and designed directly from survey data, the four-color postcards let prospects know there are alternatives to long-time heavyweights in mailing systems; options they may have been blind to for far too long. Another creative concept promotes the idea that Lineage can help customers save money with newer multifunctional printers.
As a broad line reseller, Lineage has an extensive offering of solutions, so one conversation or lead can easily turn into an opportunity to pull through more sales from just one response.
“Some months we will mail out postcards dedicated to one type of system. Some times we’ll offer a discount promo of our own,” McCormick explains. “Prosperity Plus had already done the research to identify what would make prospects respond. So the creative concepts already available suited us either way, which means we were ready to launch the campaign without a long, drawn-out cycle of creative development and production budget.”
The Little Rock branch mails out 2,500 postcards each month to its Arkansas marketplace. The average cost per impression is just 50 cents a piece which translates into a very attractive ROI and a lower marketing expenditure with the program. Other firms that also use the email variations experience even greater monthly response rates and a much lower cost per impression. Either way, the overall reach extends far beyond traditional field sales activities.
“I can’t imagine trying to do what we’ve done from scratch,” McCormick says. “We do our fair share of cold calling and our reps are out there pulling on door handles, but to rely on that activity alone would be foolish. We certainly wouldn't have earned our place as a dealer of the year for Hasler in our area if we hadn’t produced the leads we did and leverage the frequency of promo.”
Lineage's experience exemplifies what many dealers realize after they have applied a concept well documented within the Hubbard Management System.
"One of the key marketing policies within this system lays it out very simply," says Jim Kahrs, President of Prosperity Plus. “Success is based on a combination of surveying potential prospects to find out what they will respond to, and then designing promo pieces that hit that button with a level of creativity and production value. You just don’t issue the same old self-serving promo, or expect your field sales reps to effectively influence new sales without having that piece of the puzzle in place.”