How many times have you heard from a client, ?Our only problem is sales opportunities. If we had more sales opportunities, we?d make more sales.? It makes sense, doesn?t it? So you sold them a schedule and significantly increased their sales opportunities. But their sales did not increase proportionally. That?s when they said, ?You brought us the wrong customer.?
I?ve always been puzzled by the fact that businesspeople think of advertising, sales training, and customer service as three separate departments within a company.
Have you ever developed an impression of a company through its advertising and then gotten a totally different impression of that company when you met with them? The external personality of a company is created through advertising. The internal personality of your company is created by management.
When a company delegates the creation of advertising to an outside group but gives that group no input into sales training or customer service, they create a company with a split personality, every time.
Are your advertisers using the words and phrases created by your ad writers and popularized in their radio ads? Or are they starting an altogether new and different conversation with your listeners, full of new and different words and phrases?
If it?s the latter, that?s a really bad idea.
If they continue the conversation that was begun in their ads, they?ll see their close rates rise significantly. Each of us has a natural connection with three of every 10 people we meet. Another three aren?t going to like you regardless of what you do or say. The remaining four people can possibly be sold, but only if the salesperson does and says the right things.
Does it surprise you that when all categories of selling are combined, the national average close rate is about 20 percent?
Let?s say your client?s staff is well above average, with a close rate of 30 percent. This means they?re selling three out of 10 opportunities. That?s 50 percent more than the two out of 10 everyone else is selling.
Even so, what if they could sell just one of the four remaining ?sellable? customers?
Their sales would immediately increase by 33 percent.
What if they could sell two of those four?
Their sales would increase by 67 percent.
What if, through clear focus and genuine inspiration, they could sell three of those four? Congratulations. You will have helped them double their sales volume with no change in pricing, no change in inventory, and no change in overhead. You did it merely by getting their staff to speak the same language currently being spoken in their ads. And consider this: You doubled their sales volume before you even increased their sales opportunities. Give them more sales opportunities, along with an elevated close rate, and they?ll think you walk on water.
The corporate wall between ad writing and sales training has troubled me for 30 years, but I?ve not spoken publicly about the problem until now.
Shall I confess?
I didn?t mention it because I didn?t want to be asked to fix it. Fixing it, you see, would involve talking to the employees of all the companies for whom I write ads. And frankly, nothing on earth could be as excruciating for me as having to smile and listen to well-meaning people tell me what they think I should do differently.
Truth be told, I?m not really a people person. Few writers are.
Ray Seggern of KROX-FM has put together a marvelous workshop to help businesses repair the split in their corporate personality. According to Seggern:
1. Story is what you say (external message created through advertising).
2. Culture is who you are (internal reality created by sales training).
3. Experience is what you deliver (what happens to your customers when they choose to trust you).
If any of these three is out of alignment, there will be predictable side effects.
When story and experience don?t align, a company gets bad reviews. But when advertising aligns with the customer?s experience, the company has authenticity.
When culture and experience don?t align, your client has a cancer in the building. But when corporate culture aligns with the customer?s experience, your client?s employees will have high morale.
When culture and story don?t align, your client will have a close rate that?s unimpressive. But if you help them get their sales training aligned with your advertising, they?ll need a wheelbarrow to carry their money.
And you?ll need a wheelbarrow to carry yours.
2015 is going to be a very good year for business.
Roy H. Williams is president of Wizard of Ads Inc. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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