Have you ever noticed that once you donate to a charity you’ll get lots of telemarketing calls from other ones guide-dog-puppytoo?

We’d probably get at least one or two calls a week.  And while it sometimes does get a bit much, as marketers there’s lots we can learn from them.

A couple of weeks ago, I heard Barbara answer the phone.  Just listening to snippets of her conversation I figured it must be a charity. 

Then she bursts out laughing and says, “Okay, how much and send it over”.

Naturally I’m more than a bit curious – well wouldn’t you be?

“That was the Guide Dogs.  They reminded us that just under three years ago we’d bought a first aid kit from them and the ointments were due to expire.  And for only $21 for 30 items we could replace the contents of the kit”.  So she bought it.

Very clever marketing! 

Let’s look at what they did…

First of all we’ve bought stuff from them before.  So we’re a customer.  They sold us something that has a shelf life – which means they can contact us to restock the item. 

Now lots of businesses have products that have self lives.  But they don’t keep track of their customers, don’t contact them to suggest restocking and don’t have a “hook” – where you feel good about making the purchase as you’re helping support those cute Guide Dogs.

And the Guide Dogs aren’t the only ones who do this.  About a year ago we bought a teddy bear from Care Flight – he came dressed like an Aussie Bushman – complete with Akubra.  Recently we got another call asking if we’d like the latest item (I think it was a fireman bear) as we’d bought the other one.

This time I didn’t succumb – I couldn’t “bear it” J

But the lessons are clear.  The charities are past masters at using human emotions to get us to fork out money.  They play on our sense of guilt, love, pride, and there are people so many more unfortunate people that you can help etc.

And above all they keep track of their customers – what we bought, when we bought it, how much we spent, how often we spent etc.

They ask us for permission to call back.  They then do so.  It’s a numbers game.  Sometimes they get lucky and we buy.

But above all, they take action. 

What’s it like in your business?  Do you just wait for the phone to ring or do you get out there and actively market yourself, consistently.


 P.S.  If you don’t have some form of keeping track of your customers, their history, when you last contacted them, when you need to next contact them etc., you need to invest in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.  If you’re confused as to what this is, or entails, drop me a note and we can go through it.

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