Self Storage University Podcast: Episode 97

What Happens When You Combine Direct Mail And Cold Calling

There are several ways to find a self-storage facility to buy. Two of the best are “cold-calling” and “direct mail” – but happens when you combine them together? In this Self-Storage University podcast we’re going to review the powerful force that can be created by combining the postal service and the telephone.

Episode 97: What Happens When You Combine Direct Mail And Cold Calling Transcript

Many self storage potential buyers utilize cold calling, and many also utilize direct mail in trying to find suitable properties. But have you ever wondered what would happen if you combined those two together? This is Frank Rolfe, the Self Storage University Podcast. We're gonna talk about the very powerful force that can be accomplished simply by combining direct mail and cold calling. Now kind of like epoxy, where you take two things that aren't too sticky and you combine them together and in five minutes or so it cures into what seems like concrete. There's some very powerful forces at play when you properly combine a direct mail campaign with cold calling. Probably a lot better chance of finding a property by combining them than by holding them out separately. So how does it work when you combine them? Well, the first thing you do is you send the direct mail piece out to the self storage facility owner saying you're interested in buying their property. Are they interested in selling? And if so, can they contact you?

Nothing changes there. You may already be doing that, so you just get those out, whether it's in a postcard or letter form. And then you wait about a week to see who calls in. And anyone who doesn't call in, you start calling them. But it's not the typical cold calling pitch, "Hey, I wanna to buy your self storage facility, are you interested? Instead, the lead-off is, "Hey, I sent you something in the mail concerning your self storage facility, and I'm following up on that". This allows you to get your foot in the door in a much better positioning than when you're simply cold calling about selling because it just seems so much more professional.

That's the entry that a self storage facility owner might get from a big company, like a big insurance company or somebody that maybe even they had contacted, where they get something in the mail and then they get the follow up call to say, "Did you get it? Do you have any questions? Did you read it? I'm here to answer questions. So you almost universally get that stronger reaction from the seller because they respect the fact that you just come off as more professional, as more part of a big company. It also makes it easier for you if you're not really into cold calling because you find it kind of scary. You've never really done any kind of telemarketing. Then it's a much softer landing when you're starting off with the, "Hey, did you get what I sent you? And what do you think?" Because it typically gets better received and it makes you just feel better. Like it's not one of those scroungy cold calls that you yourself get on any number of topics on your landline.

Now, there's also the aspect of what is called the Hollywood Rule of Seven. Now, what the heck is the Hollywood Rule of Seven? Well, during the Great Depression, motion picture studios were trying to figure out how to cut down Ad dollars. And they were wondering how many times they had to tell someone to go watch a movie before they would just go watch the movie and at what point it became overkill. And what they found is if they told someone to go see a movie, if they said, "Hey, you need to go see The Wizard of Oz", and they told them that seven times, then that was as many as they needed. The eighth time, the ninth time, the tenth time, that was all wasted. They didn't need that. And they found that the way you can tell them to go see The Wizard of Oz might be in many forms. It might be a poster at the theater. It might be a billboard somewhere. It might be word of mouth from a friend who saw it. And what happens is when you combine cold calling and direct mail, it gives you two different ways to implant in their mind the fact that you wanna buy their storage facility. That variation is called Build in marketing terms. And by build it means when you reach people in different ways all with a common purpose it tends to register and they remember it more. That's how that works.

You probably have seen an advertising commercial sometimes on TV, the same commercial twice in a row and you think, "Oh, that must be a mistake. A TV station, why would they ever run the same commercial twice?" Well, they do that deliberately. That's a marketing concept called Bunching. By bunching the ads, the same ad twice in a row, it makes you better remember it because it's something you're not used to seeing. It's kind of weird. And again, many buyers of self storage facilities rarely utilize both skills combined. So, if you're the first person who ever called somebody up and said, "Hey, I was just following up on the direct mail I sent you", then that would be allow you to get your foot in the door where others have been unable to get before. Now, why do more people not utilize the combination of direct mail and cold calling?

Well, I think in some cases people who like direct mail and hate cold calling, that's why they use that thing. And I think some people when it comes to cold calling, they like the attribute that is completely free, whereas cold calling costs money. I would urge you though to experiment and not see if it's worth the extra cost of doing the direct mail coupled with the cold calling. A typical direct mail piece has a 1% success ratio. If you send out 500, you'll normally get a call from five people. That's a 1% rate of return, which in the world of direct mail is considered an absolute smashing success. That's an A plus. I guarantee you, though, if you cold call the other 495 people, you're gonna get way more people interested. So by combining those two together, you're going to get a much higher rate of return on your energy. You're gonna get a lot more deals to look at. And one of those deals may be the winner that you've been seeking. This is Frank Rolfe, the Self Storage University podcast. Hope you enjoyed this. Talk to you again soon.