While movers are always trying to find ways to cut costs, this might be a good time to hire a telemarketer to jump-start your office moving marketing strategy.

Why hire a telemarketer? Instead of waiting for the economy or the market to turn around, redirect your resources toward growing office-moving services and mining for prospects.

Jump-start your office moving marketing strategy by assuming that every large company in your market is always moving. When not growing and expanding, Fortune 500 companies shrink and consolidate and are, therefore, constantly in need of office moving services. Before laying off staff in all departments, remember you must find out who is moving before you can offer them your service. Next you will discover they already have a mover they frequently call on.

Why would a company with an existing relationship with an office mover dump your competitor to hire you? Don’t believe the old cigarette commercial that boasted, I’d rather fight than switch!

If you can render a better service, they’ll switch but you must be prepared to clearly demonstrate superiority.

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What causes companies to change movers?

Poor service and rude, disrespectful behavior.

I present the evidence not to bash our industry but to share with you what customers told me about my competition for 24 years.

Before hiring us, companies complained of their mover being late or not showing up at all and then offering a fantastic alibi such as their truck engine blew up. Other common complaints included cursing, being noisy, loud, and disagreeable.

Instead of working with a customer asking for something extra, crew chiefs at companies losing business to us responded with Nobody told us we had to do that.

Some customers fired their former mover for being slow, not knowing what was expected, and standing around on the clock. Others gave my moving company a chance because their previous mover needed constant handholding.

We picked up business because other movers submitted inaccurate bills. Still others lost to us because they damaged computers, furniture, and real property, or denied or failed to respond to damage claims. We picked up business for every reason except cost.

Apparently, price was never an issue.

Obviously, all movers aren’t poor performers but the guilty produce enough customers for you to go after.

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Here’s where a telemarketer comes in.

Launch your attack by cold calling the 50 largest companies in your market and ask for the person who handles furniture moving. If you reach an impasse, call back and ask for the executive secretary to the president (or regional manager), typically a person skilled in getting things done.

Instead of annoying your prospect by not being available to receive a returned call, keep phoning at random times until you reach your target. Persistence is the key. Most facility managers don’t have time to play phone tag.

When you reach your prospect, remember to smile when introducing yourself and your company. Then say:

Unlike our competition, we don’t send literature indiscriminately. The purpose for my call is to get your permission to send you information about

and finish the sentence with whatever makes your company unique.

At Peachtree Movers it was our “boxless” move. May I please send it to you? They will agree just to get off the phone, but before you hang up, get the correct spelling of their name, title, and exact address.

Be careful what you send. Besides a brief cover letter, mail only information focusing on your company’s office moving prowess. Magazine or newspaper articles about your company’s office moving service boosts credibility more than a brochure.

At Peachtree Movers we sent a copy of a published article about how to have a successful office move and included information about our “boxless” moves.

Don’t use the birdshot approach. It reinforces the perception that all movers are alike. Our industry is notorious for throwing everything at prospects from brochures about interstate household goods to packets about crating, storage, and international shipping.

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A week after the prospect has received your mailing.

Make a follow-up call and reintroduce yourself and your unique service. Ask if they received your mailing and point out how your service can solve a specific problem that your competitors cannot.

At Peachtree Movers, we would say:

We’re the only moving company in Atlanta that can move the contents in your furniture instead of the contents and your furniture.

If they didn’t receive your mailing, send it again. Your goal is to arrange a meeting with the prospect to pitch the benefits of your company.

Lead in to requesting an appointment by asking the prospect if they are satisfied with their present mover?” If the answer is no, ask what they don’t like.

Anticipate responses from the reasons mentioned earlier, and seize the opportunity to ask for a meeting to demonstrate your competitive strengths.

If your prospect is satisfied with their current service, praise their loyalty, but ask for the opportunity to introduce your services should the other mover not be available for future needs. Make the appointment to sell your benefits.

Prepare in advance for the face-to-face meeting.

Make your presentation brief and enthusiastic and rehearse it before you go. Take props such as a sample of bubble wrap, a doorjamb protector, or pictures showing your company’s unique benefits. (At Peachtree Movers, we took a Space Gobbler™, a set of Mat-A-Doors®, and a Comp-U-Wrap.) Taking van line brochures will diminish the value of the presentation by reinforcing the perception that all movers are alike.

 

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No matter how well the meeting goes, don’t stay longer than 15 minutes. Better to leave the prospect yearning for more.

Dress like an attorney. Life is unfair, but we are judged by how we look. After greeting the prospect, don’t talk trivia (as most of us in sales were trained to do) get to the point.

Ask questions and listen, listen, listen. At Peachtree Movers, we asked how their vendor moved desks, file cabinets, and computers. Never criticize the prospect’s present mover because you will probably be talking to the person who hired them.

At Peachtree Movers, we’d stand up, take control, be excited, and say:

We have a special way for protecting your elevator entrance and main building entrance doors from being damaged. Check out our elevator padding

We would install a set of Mat-A-Doors® on the elevator entrance and on his reception room double doors. We would point out,

By protecting the doors and your elevator, we’re also protecting your furniture. What do you think the other movers use when they tear up the building? That’s right, your furniture. If a mover accidently hits your door with your large executive desk while pushing it through the doorway, it’s going to damage your desk as well as scratch the door. It’s a two-way street. By using our patented Mat-A-Doors®, we protect the building and your furniture.

We’d then hand the prospect a Comp-U-Wraps and demonstrate a Space Gobbler.

Twelve minutes into your presentation, hit the prospect with your close. At Peachtree Movers we’d say:

I’d like to demonstrate our service. May we handle your next small move?

The prospect rarely agreed on the spot, but promised to think about it. After that, we called once a month like clock-work. Eventually, our competitor messed up and the prospect would throw us a bone by awarding us a small move. We always sent our best crew, rendered superb service, and in time, became their primary mover.

A slow period in your business is a good time to look for a new direction that will improve sales.

Hiring a telemarketer to promote your office moving service might be just the thing to sustain your business until the household goods business improves.

Ed Katz can be contacted at www.officemoves.com , edkatz@officemoves.com and 404.358.2172.