How to Reach Clients With Fax Messages
Learn how to use fax messages to win clients and increase sales.
Are fax machines still useful for generating leads?
In a tool box of a modern sales manager – fax machines are becoming more and more substituted by computers with access to the e-mail and Internet. Let’s find out, if there is a way to use “Cold Faxes” as effective as we are using e-mails and phone calls.
First of all, let us determine what is there in a fax message which is unique and can’t be compensated by other means of communication. The main winning feature of a fax (in a meaning of a printed hard copy) – is that it gives the reader a better emotional impression. A printed fax message, as well as a letter delivered by post, or a brochure, is a material thing – something that can be touched. Therefore – a reader can not only see and read it, but also touch or even smell it. In other words – fax involves more human senses and thus can make an impression in several ways. E-mails in contrast – can only be perceived by eyes. Of course – it is possible to print them out, but the decision about printing it or not – is made by a recipient himself, and because of that – materialization of a message doesn’t have the same magic effect. With fax – it is all different: it actually gets printed because of the decision of a sender (in most cases). Of course, modern technology is about to take care about this process by converting received faxes into electronic formats. Once this happens – fax will loose most of advantages and become a simple big SMS or MMS. Until then, we have to take advantage of this unique invention which in fact boosted the commercial exchange once it was invented.
To make fax machine bring you new leads, there are some things to keep in mind. Most strategies here, are similar to sending regular mail or e-mail proposals. The key winning factor – is to make your fax message not look like a commercial proposal. To see what I mean, you can stop by your company’s reception desk and take a look how your office managers or switchboard operators deal with faxes. We have to face the truth – junk fax messages do exist and fax machine operators, who are responsible to make a decision about which messages to keep and which ones to get rid of, do a very good job filtering all incoming messages. A good way to become a "fax master" – is to analyze the trash can near you company’s fax machine, and see which messages got filtered out and which ones have made it to the "Received" folder. You’ll find, that most of them have many things in common.
That is why, when sending your next fax, make sure to go through the following check list:
- OFFICIAL LOOK: It should be on your company’s letter head
- RECIPIENT COMPANY INFO: It should have the name of the recipient company, and some basic information (address, fax number,…)
- PERSONALIZATION: It should be sent to a particular person (Attn.: Mr. … )
- DATE: It should have a date (today’s date, to indicate that you are not sending the same message everyday)
- REFERENCE: It should have a reference number (likeREF#322223). This is important because a reference number shows that you are saving this document in your company, and might refer to it in your further communication. And the operator thinks – well, I better keep this message, just in case.
- KEEP IT SHORT: If possoble, it should be one page (if a fax message is more then one page, the operator might decide not to waste paper on it)
- GRAB ATTENTION WITH A PICTURE: Using picture is of your product is a good way to grab attention. So – use 1-2 good quality pictures.
- TEST IT: Remember to test your fax template by sending it to your local fax in order to see how the recipient copy looks like.
- PHONE CALL: after sending a fax, always call the company, and ask if the have received it, make sure they have it in good quality and will forward it to appropriate person.
Following the above tips your you'll make the fax message look like a serious business document worth paying attention to.
So, as you see, using a fax machine is still a good way to enhance your communication techniques. Use it in combination with phone calls and e-mails in order to take advantage of all communication opportunities.