Think AwayFind is just about improving productivity? Think again.
One AwayFind client, Metzger Associates, actually uses AwayFind as a tool to generate new business, and even grow existing accounts…some by five figures! And in this interview he explains how you can do the same.
Metzger Associates is known throughout Colorado, where they call home, and nationally as a pioneer (no Colorado pun intended) in the PR and marketing world for leveraging emerging and leading-edge technologies to the benefit of their clients.
I recently interviewed Doyle Albee, President of Metzger. What he has to say—and even what he doesn’t want to say—can help you drive your business in a surprising new way. One that you can take to the bank!
Brian: Tell me a little bit about Metzger Associates.
Doyle: Metzger Associates is a PR-driven marketing firm. Since we are responsive to both client and reporter/editor deadlines, being able to separate emails that are important from emails that are time-critical — meaning if we miss them, a client may miss an opportunity for coverage — is very important.
Brian: How much email do you get every day?
Doyle: A quick (and probably non-scientific!) survey of the office says the average Metzger employee gets between 75 and 100 emails that require some level of action each day. If every email takes just two minutes to handle, that’s more than three hours each day just on email. What if one requires an answer to a reporter or blogger in just a few minutes to get coverage for a client? It’s important that we separate the “have to do” emails from the “have to do right now” emails, and that’s where AwayFind really helps us out.
Brian: How long have you been using AwayFind and when did you decide to make it mandatory for everyone in your organization?
Doyle: I’ve been using AwayFind for more than a year. When we revamped our website earlier this year, we also did some work on our email signatures, and I made AwayFind mandatory for the staff. After all, when the president is the guinea pig, it’s pretty hard to argue! We now tell both reporters as well as clients that if you really need a member of the Metzger staff right away, there’s no need to run down every contact number in your rolodex. Click the “find me now” link in any Metzger email signature, and you’re automatically put in touch with that staff member in every way possible… all with one click.
Brian: What’s the biggest value AwayFind adds to your company?
Doyle: We tell prospects about our system. I often use the old joke about “60 Minutes” being in your lobby. No problem! You can click on the “find me now” link, and no matter which screen your account lead is in front of, you’ll get an immediate response. That can be a pretty compelling differentiation point.
Brian: Have you told anyone about AwayFind, and if so, what did you tell them?
Doyle: I’ll tell you who I don’t tell: my competition! The most important people I tell are clients and prospects. They love the ease of finding me. Best of all, I find people really respect the way we use the system. That is, when a client uses AwayFind, it’s IMPORTANT. In all the time I’ve used the system, I’ve never had anyone “cry wolf.”
Brian: Tell me about your experiences with the contact form?
Doyle: I like that the Contact From gives my clients the room they need to tell me WHAT they need, so I can call back prepared. A generic “call me now” ping leaves me in the dark and actually slows down the process. I also really like that a traditional captcha isn’t required. Not only can those be difficult (and a client in crisis is not interested in difficult!), it allows me to further brand my firm. I ask my clients to type in the name of my company, reminding them who’s providing them with this interesting and leading-edge service.
Brian: Do you have any “AwayFind stories”?
Doyle: Let me share two. I had a client who suddenly found themselves with the opportunity to provide my company with a substantial budget increase for the coming quarter, but needed to get paperwork from me in less than an hour. Without AwayFind, I may have lost a five-figure budget increase due simply to some accounting closures going on at this large company. I was actually in a meeting, but seeing the AwayFind note, I left, signed the contract and returned it via fax, and secured the deal.
In another instance, a reporter at a national publication was running deadline and was looking for a quote from one of our clients. She sent the question to me via AwayFind, I called the client, secured the quote and returned it to the reporter within five minutes. The result was coverage in a major article — and one very happy client.
Brian: You indicated that you use AwayFind as a value-add in your client acquisition process. Could you elaborate on that?
Doyle: Absolutely. Because PR is an immediate world, prospect often ask “how easy is it to reach you?” I ask them to open any email from me and click in my signature on “find me now.” It takes them to my AwayFind page. I ask them to fill out the from, and a few seconds later, I show them my iPhone. I love the fact that many of the companies I pitch against answer that same question with “oh, we’re there for you anytime!” Nice words, but an AwayFind demo is dramatically more effective.
Brian: Anything else you’d like to add?
Doyle: Honestly, I’m a little puzzled about any professional that learns about this service and doesn’t incorporate it. Whether you use it to cut down on email in general, or to separate the important from the critical like we do, it’s incredibly useful.