Sales tips for the aspiring rock star!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

25 Creative Ways To Get In The Door!

This week is Recession Buster week on The Sales Playbook! You can expect a ton of ideas on how you can move beyond surviving and start thriving in these challenging times!

Today’s content is in the form of creative door openers. If all you are doing is “smiling and dialing”, think again sista, cause your prospects want creative solutions and therefore you must be (cue freaky organ music and evil laugh) Creative!

Here are 25 ways to creatively get in front of your prospects!

1) Get a giant cookie from your bakery and have them write “I want to take a bite out of your business”
2) Make a humorous Top 10 List as to why someone hasn’t returned your call or why they would want to do business with YOU!
3) Send a lottery ticket with a note that reads “Why gamble on (fill in what you do)” When you call to follow up have some fun and ask them if they won!
4) Get some sunglasses, a cd with some good rock songs and print up some All Access Passes they can use for a tour of your facility. Play on that theme with a message like: "I take pride in making my clients look like rock stars!"
5) has a superhero starter kit complete with mask, cape etc. .Consider sending that to a prospect as a follow up to the rock star approach.
6) Go to and order chocolate feet for $2.50 ea. Send them to your prospects with a note that reads “I’d like to get a foot in the door”
7) Try this two step approach: Leave a voicemail that you will be in the area on (date) and will stop by with some things of value and to say the worlds quickest hello. Take a gift bag and fill it with some literature, a pen with your logo, a pad, your business card etc. Drop by to see your prospect and present them with the goodie bag.
8) Purchase one of those prepaid cell phones. Send it to your prospect and tell them a time you will be calling on it.
9) Take that letter you were about to stuff into an envelope with your company name and logo and use a colored envelope, hand addressed instead. It will resemble personal correspondence and have a higher probability of getting opened,
10) Take a picture of you staring at the phone with a caption “Wondering if today is the day you will call me” Fed Ex it so it arrives separate from and doesn’t blend in with the other mail.
11) For a more personal touch when sending information, place post its with handwritten notes.
12) Next time you are rejected on the phone, but you at least had a friendly conversation, send a handwritten thank you.
13) Send greeting cards at off holidays (July 4th, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving etc).
14) Craig Wilson has a site that has cards for all occasions that can be customized and sent out for you.
15) Jenny Craft from Apple Graphics drops off carnations for all the moms she has as prospects the Friday before Mother’s Day.
16) We’re Puzzled! Print a piece of paper with the words, “We are puzzled as to why we have not heard from you.” Cut the paper into puzzle pieces, and mail it to your prospect.
17) Call the wrong extension and ask for your contact. Once they tell you that you have the wrong extension, ask to be transferred. Transferred calls look different on the caller ID than typical calls and you might just get through.
18) Send them a humorous letter with options as to why they haven’t gotten back to you. You can even create a while you were out message.
19) Leave the following vm off hours “(name) This is (your name) with (your co name) and no, your time stamp isn’t playing tricks on you. It really is (insert time here) Just wrapping up some things for one of my clients and it made me think of you. Let’s talk about how I can be working overtime for you and your co. My number is blah blah freakin blah” Note the "freakin" is critical!
20) For your local prospects: Send them a letter telling them you pass their facility every day and it drives you crazy that they aren’t your customer yet!
21) Have someone video you doing a quick 3 minute intro of who you are, and a kick ass elevator speech. Tell them a specific day and time you will call to set appt. Include popcorn and candy to make it festive.
22) T.G.I.F. Kit: Create a kit of fun things for your prospect. Perhaps some candy, funny sunglasses, a funny book or comedy cd, etc. Drop it off nice and early. Write your cell number on your card so hopefully you get the thank you call before you are out of the area.
23) Have some cheesy fun by picking up any or all of the following and tailoring a corny message: Payday candy bar, mints, Mounds, seeds, nuts etc. Example attach a note to a Mounds candy bar with a message centered around you saving them mounds of extra work etc.
24) Add this phrase to any of the above “(name) If you think I’m working hard to get your business, you are 100% right. Think about how hard I’ll work to keep your business!”
25) Ask yourself this question every day: “How will I be memorable today?”

What creative door openers are you using? Please share them on the comments section of this blog and lets see if we can leverage the power of our Sales Playbook community!


  1. Hi Paul

    Nice idea asking us to share our creativity.

    I do a variation of the lottery ticket suggestion and send a deck of playing cards, some poker chips and even a book on how to play poker. I put a note that they have better odds of winning with us!

    Larry (from BRL)

  2. Wow! What a great list! Thank you for sharing.
    Yes, I love using fun promo ideas so that people think of me differently, reply to my emails, and return my calls.
    A few fun ones:

    Delivering a pair of fun oversized running shoes with a fun note: "Have some big shoes to fill? Call.....for some big solutions".

    LinkedIn is a great way to get ideas on hard to reach customers/ prospects. I first connect with them on LinkedIn (high success rate on tbis!), I check their "Would like to Read Book List" and if they are a high value prospect, buy the book for them and deliver it with a fun note.

    I often use the goodie bag and note idea and have great success.

    I take advantage of all news stories, articles, and information I think my prospect might be interested in and send them the link or article.


  3. Miriam and Larry:

    Thank you for contributing those fantastic ideas.

    Keep 'em coming group. Let's see how many ideas we can generate!


  4. Hi Paul:

    I think some of these ideas could be utilized by job seekers looking to stand out!

    Toni Despancia

  5. How about send a note with a string with a tag attached that reads, "Call (insert name) back" inside and a note with detailed instructions:

    In case you forgot to return my call, please tie string around index finger. :)

  6. Wow, Uncle Paul, your tip #25 closely resembles my million dollar question I ask of people, "Who were you today?" Great minds think alike. Thank you for continuing to bless your young Jedi's with your're brilliant!

    Peace out.

  7. I like most of these.
    #7...not sure they will see " value" in your logo stuff
    #19...will offend some people with that word...but I have done it without that word and had great results too

  8. Great List Paul!

    Another thought for the list is...

    E-mail function in LinkedIn = A Large Open Ratio of your e-mail.

    I read an interesting nugget recently that said Social Media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter had something like an 80% open rate.

    Meaning, when someone recieves a LinkedIn, Twitter, or FB e-mail...those e-mails are getting opened and read 80% of the time.

    Interesting nugget about getting your foot in the door!

    Troy Davis

  9. Paul,
    I am often calling on senior execs who seem to respond to relevant articles or business books with a quick note sharing why I sent the particular article or book as it relates to their business needs. I have a very high hit rate of getting a meeting with them or someone they appoint to take the meeting when I take the time to do this.
    Thanks for a fun list.

  10. Great ideas, thanks so much for sharing.

  11. Great ideas - thanks for sharing

  12. Nice list. Thanks. Here is one to try. Send an introduction letter. Follow up with phone calls. If nothing, send the same letter but this time crumple it up first, smooth it back out and re-mail with a posted. "I found this in the trash and just wanted to offer you a second chance."

  13. 2 comments, if I may
    (1) Most effective similar approach to date has been to network and find prospect's particular or unusual interests. Say he's a Cubs fan. Purchase a piece of Cub's memorobilia on eBay, or a history book about the Cubs. If the relationship grows - get something autographed to them.
    (2) I once challenged my sales team to 'break out of the box' and come up with off the wall ways to break through to previously unreachable prospects. I had the prospects re-distributed so that no sales person was forced to continue skating uphill. I gave few limitations. Many of the innovative intros resembled your list, but we learned some can be painful. One aggressive rep bought a pair of gag eyeglasses from a novelty store and sent them out with a message about helping them 'see' the good deal before him. I did not get to see this teaser before it went out. I had just sent flowers and a get well note to that Sr. Merchandiser earlier that day when I learned about his eye surgery.

  14. Great post, another to this about is sending a pair of movie tickets to a private showing of a new movie. When the attendees have all arrived, do a quick intro and presentation for your product or service and then roll the fim.

    You can also include popcorn or drinks with your business card attached as a peel off game piece. Put a special mark on the back of one of the cards and offer a prize at the end of the movie.

  15. Lots of great ideas. Thank you all for contributing!

    Keep them coming!

  16. These are great Paul :-)

  17. Paul,

    Thanks for your kinds ideas and helping others.

    I thought is funny and great ideas. I will pass it along!

    Keep up all your great works!

    Julie Chan

  18. If you have been dealing with the same prospect for quite some time and seems like they keep blowing you off even though they say they are interested send them a letter. Include in this letter a little plastic fence and on the letter have a caption saying "Are you ready to get off the fence yet?"

  19. Paul
    Great ideas, great format and great fun! I have just sent a link to my favorite clients. Thanks for making me look good on a slow Friday. In my sales training seminars I suggest that the attendees go to a $1.00 store and go straight to the toy or party section. Next, look at every item and see if one jumps out as relating to one of your key selling propositions. For example, last week I sent out several giant plastic sisiors with a note that read. “Are you tired of cutting prices to close deals? “
    Then buy as many as your budget allows, drop them into a big envelop with a quick letter and you have a very inexpensive direct mail piece that clients start to look forward to receiving.
    Keep up the great work

    Bill Todd
    Co-author of Speaking of Success

  20. Paul, Love your list of ideas and i'm going to steal a bunch, Also, with your permission, I'd like to post this in the marketing tips sections or

    And, i'd like to add that last month I mailed 100 letters to "C" level prospects on my Dream 100 list. In the letter I included a bunch of shredded money with the message "Are you shredding your marketing budget into the trash?"

    Got one of the best responses ever.

    Keep the great ideas coming...

    Sandy Barris
    Fast Marketing


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Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics (CGX) one of North America’s leading general commercial printing companies. Paul has over 25 years of sales and sales leadership experience. He has trained, mentored and coached over 3,000 sales and sales leadership professionals. An accomplished public speaker, Paul has delivered numerous key note addresses. He has authored numerous training manuals, articles, blog posts and is currently working on his first book for release in 2011. Feel free to email Paul This has been a paid announcement by the friends of Paul Castain!

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Paul Castain's Sales Play Book is blog dedicated to strengthening our sales game, supporting rock star development and developing jedi like skills. All that is required is a willingness to learn and a sick sense of humor!

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