We recently began a consulting project to develop a more productive selling culture for a radio station group. Of course, to begin the project, we had to analyse their current sales culture, starting with reviewing a sampling of their current sales presentations.
Here is an overview of one of their typical presentations, and what a skeptical prospect is thinking (in brackets):
Page 1 - Station History (I care why? I only care about here and now and what you can do for me.)
Page 2 - Our Target Audience (Is that who you reach, or is that just your target?)
Page 3 - The Artists We Play (So what?)
Page 4 - The Songs We Play (I've never heard of these./I don?t care for any of these.)
Page 5 - Grammy Award Winners We Play (What does that mean to me?)
Now, picture yourself as a busy local business owner who wants to advertise to increase sales. Are you asleep or annoyed yet? But wait, there?s more!
Page 6 - Our On-Air Personalities (Who cares? Doesn't every station have personalities?)
Page 7 - Our Promotions and Special Programming (I'd rather talk about my promotions than yours.)
Page 8 - We?re Number One (Wow, it must be a four-way tie because the last three stations I talked to were also number one.)
Page 9 - Our Audience Profile (Can you tell me if they buy what I sell?)
If you?re an advertiser, hang in there. There might be something of importance to you soon.
Page 10 - More Audience Profile (Wake me when you're finished.)
Page 11 - Our Coverage Map (Blah, blah, blah)
Page 12 - What Does This Mean To You? (Wait, I think you might have my attention. Finally, after eleven agonising pitches all about you, there's something in all of this for me?)
Take a look at your next presentation. Is it all about you, or is it about what you can do for your advertiser? And ask yourself these questions:
- Does my opening point quickly capture my prospect?s interest? Is it about them or me and my stations?
- Has my presentation outlined my understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing this client?
- Have I addressed why my prospect should advertise?
- Does my presentation clearly overview the advertiser?s objectives, and how we can help them reach those objectives?
- Are the strategies I?m proposing clearly specific to this prospect?s situation, or are they the same generic strategies I presented to the last 10 prospects I met?
- Does my presentation clearly identify how this prospect will receive and measure an R.O.I. (return on investment)?
- Does this presentation clearly identify radio?s strategic role in the prospect?s overall media mix?
- Have I made a convincing case for our stations?
- Did my presentation outline my qualifications and the qualifications of our creative and support staff to create campaigns that work?
- Have I presented the big idea that will set me apart from those other ?number one? stations?
- Are my next steps clear and turnkey? Can the advertiser simply say, ?Yes? and know I?ll give her the right schedule and creative?
Your last step is to count all of the bullet-points, pages, slides, or paragraphs that talk about how great your station is. Then count the number of times you talk about the advertiser and what you can do for them.
Your goal is to talk about the advertiser at least twice as much as you talk about your station.
Many people are uncomfortable with change. But as we transition this radio group from their station-focused culture to an advertiser-focused culture, we can virtually guarantee their local-direct sales will accelerate.
Wayne Ens is president of ENS Media Inc and conducts local market surveys and educational advertiser seminars to increase local radio revenues. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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