Pay for High Quality Prospect Lists or go for 'Cheap as Chips?

15-Sep-2011 12:48:24

There will always be some business folk for whom the lowest price and nothing more is their sole criteria when purchasing business services.

It's a strategy that is deeply flawed when applied without exception.

The business website, created on the smallest of budgets by a novice for the lowest price turns out to have an extremely short shelf life as the business gallops on notching up an impressive reputation not reflected in their online presence and web visitors are turned off by the ‘anything but user-friendly’ experience. The bargain basement office furniture turns out to be a false economy after a few months of wear and tear. The free business cards that advertise on the reverse they are free send out a message that this business is not that bothered about investing in its image and reputation. The 500 promotional pens ordered on the Internet at a price so low we could barely believe our eyes become a nightmare when half of them arrive broken.

Bringing this blog topic right into the heart of our universe, that list of prospects bought for buttons from a list broker selling ‘rock bottom price prospect lists’ appears to be a fantastic deal until the bounce backs and ‘gone away’ start to flood through, outstripping the positive responses by a mile. Worse still, when a telephone call is made to prospects to build on the first stage of the campaign it becomes clear that many are subscribers to the Telephone Preference Schemes. Within seconds that cold call becomes even colder.

To quote Marc Bolland the Chief Executive of M&S "If you want to buy once you have to buy well."

If we go under the radar what we find is that most businesses are after exceptional value as opposed to cheap as chips. They want the satisfying feeling that comes from knowing that the services being purchased are precisely what they need and more; that the price or fees being quoted are fair and competitive.

In the current economic climate where businesses are working even harder to ensure their marketing delivers results on a shoestring this pursuit of value - getting exactly what we need entails building relationships with suppliers that are willing to take the time to understand our needs; to deliver services that meet them in spades. Reassuringly in many instances this does not mean paying over the odds. The price being quoted for what we really need is often not such a huge leap away from the lowest price. For example, we were recently approached by a marketer with a bad experience from a bargain basement list. Most of the prospects on the list had incorrect details and so her campaigns were unsuccessful. We were able to supply a superb quality, clean and targeted prospect list well within her budget.

Tell us - what do you think about this? Do you have a multifaceted strategy when it comes to buying services or products for your business? Are you an advocate of cheap as chips – no exceptions?

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Topics: Direct Mail