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Monday, December 15, 2014

(SALES) Fix it. Before It's Too Late


With very few exceptions, clients really can?t tell precisely what results your station delivered. Sure, if the client gave you and only you a unique deal to air, and he sold hundreds of them, he?d have reliable data. Otherwise, they really don?t know where their business came from.

Sometimes the newspaper gets credit if the advertiser sees a customer come in to buy carrying a copy of the paper. Sometimes their friends say they ?saw them on TV.? The TV commercial may not have sent in any new customers, but the advertiser, mistakenly, gives the TV some credit. It?s the same reason radio stations ask a client to voice his own spot. We know his friends will tell him they heard it and he equates that to producing results for his business.

The most likely scenario is one in which the client gets his invoice and just before he strokes his check to your station, he asks himself: ?Did I ?feel? anything from STAR 94?? He truly goes by his ?feelings? on whether to re-sign with you for another schedule.

Many reps today are afraid of clients ? and afraid that if they stop in during mid-schedule to ask how business is, the client will magically remember he?s running with you, realize that business is not what he wanted it to be, and cancel the rest of the schedule then and there. Big mistake to be one of these reps.

You want to talk to your clients a minimum of once per week to ask how business is going. If he says ?not that great,? tell him you?re going to re-do his ads, take a different approach, and find the right combination for him.

Most reps won?t do this. So when your client does begin writing checks and wonders if he ?felt? anything from your station, he?ll have to say ?yes,? even though he can?t exactly put his finger on what it was. But it was you staying in front of him throughout the schedule, being concerned about what your ads were delivering -- that made the difference?even if he didn?t have the best month in years. He?ll blame that on the other media reps, the ones he never saw.

BOTTOM LINE: Rapport is not about data. It?s about feelings. You don?t want it to end when you walk out your client?s front door after getting his signature on your contract. He needs to ?feel? your attention, your concern for his success, your willingness to go the extra mile to deliver that success throughout your schedule.

Stay in touch regularly ? let him know you?re anxious to keep working to find the formula that works for him. Keep him FEELING your care, your concern, your interest ? in HIS success.

Gary Ratcliff is the owner of High Impact Communications, Inc. and a broadcast sales author.
Visit his LinkedIn page HERE.

(12/12/2014 12:41:01 PM)
You can "feel" all you want. If it happens in the cash register, its working, it not, then look out, no matter how anyone feels. I care only that the objectives I set for my client's budget are on track. "Would it be ok with you, Mr. Client, if you felt lousy about me or anything else and your business grew?" Feelings are not, despite how you may "feel" about it, a real issue. Growth is.
(12/11/2014 9:46:25 PM)
Thanks Barry and Ronald!

Happy Holidays!!!!

(12/10/2014 1:08:24 PM)
I agree with the importance of staying on top of the sales situation. However, it is even more important to run a "pre-emptive strike" with the client. Pre-qualify their expectations and guide them how to properly measure results. See the chapter on measurement in my book, 10 Ways to Screw Up an Ad Campaign.
(12/10/2014 11:22:05 AM)
Serious points from a serious contributor.

Unlike Gary, it is quite amazing how many reps AND advertisers refuse to talk about "feelings. Many won't acknowledge "feelings" as an element of human experience. And still others will claim that "feelings" don't even come close to constituting "evidence" and therefore have no bearing in considering other factors.

Yet, it is FEELINGS that an ad must influence - in an audience. And it is the FEELINGS of an advertiser that must also be influenced.

Thus, the call for an ad to generate emotions in a listener. Otherwise it (a spot) is just a content download.

I think Gary might agree how this situation is rife with irony.

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