Yearly Archives: 2007

Top Of Mind Awareness is NOT Enough

          I hate to burst your bubble, but your clients and prospects do not want top of mind awareness, they do not want a better image, they do not want more traffic….and here’s what might be a real shocker, they do not even want more sales……..

          Your clients know they cannot send their kids to college with ‘awareness’, they can not pay their mortgage with ‘traffic’ and the can not build their retirement plans based upon ‘sales’.  They can only achieve their goals with PROFITS.

          It’s strange that we seem to understand the difference between selling features versus selling benefits, but yet somehow over the years we’ve come to think that features like awareness and traffic are benefits. Frankly, they are the features which can deliver the benefit, that benefit being profit.

          Many media are frightened to take responsibility for profits, and claim their only job is to deliver traffic. Clients have grown weary of that message. They want media partners who are courageous enough to discuss increasing profits.

          Morris Saffer built a hugely successful retail advertising agency on the premise “It does not take a genius to increase sales. Just drop your prices in half and they’ll beat a path to your door. The genius,” said Morris, “is in increasing your sales at a profit!”

          Here’s the good news. The features which we deliver, like awareness, image, traffic and branding can achieve the profit benefit.

          Many of our passive media competitors, like coupon envelopes, can only deliver sales with discounts or inventory clearances at a huge cost to the bottom line.

          Do you have the guts to sell the profit benefit?  More importantly, has your sales staff been trained to dodge responsibility for profits? Do they default to selling features like awareness or branding?

Or have they been trained to partner in profits?

 NOTE: Selling to the profit motive is one of the key differences of the ENS Media Inc. training and consulting program. If your stations want to experience  percentage sales increases consistently double and triple the industry average, let’s talk!  (All ENS Media radio clients have increases in excess of 20% this year.)

The Story of Civilization

           Mel Gibson’s new movie, Apocalypto, begins with a quote from Will Durant, the American philosopher and historian who wrote, “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.”
          Think of all the civilizations from the Roman Empire to Hitler’s Germany, and you’ll understand what he meant.
          I think that each business, including broadcasting, is in itself a civilization.
          If your infra-structure, staff morale, training, mission statement, vision and all of the other components which comprise your ‘civilization’ or culture are strong and in tact, no external competitor or market condition can destroy you.
          Stations which blame their competitors for their low rates or that blame their market or any other external conditions for their shortfalls should look inwardly rather than pointing outwardly.
          The other advantage of focusing on strengthening your civilization is that you control it. You have no control over what the marketplace or your competitors throw at you.
          You do, however, control your own beliefs, convictions, systems and culture.
          Those other civilizations can not bring about your demise if you do not destroy yourself from within.

What a Way to Make a Living!

         Have you ever noticed how negatives seem to jump right out at you and smack you in the forehead, while positives can go unnoticed or be taken for granted?
          Your sales team hears the negatives everyday. “No one listens to your station”, “Your prices are too high”,  “I don’t like your creative”,  “My budget is gone ….” They get beat up on the street daily.
          At your next sales meeting, try opening a discussion about, “What I like most about my career” (say ‘career’, not ‘job’).
          You’ll get an amazing array of answers from, “I get to be creative”, to “Helping businesses succeed” to “It’s challenging” to “ I learn something new every day” or “I get to manage my own time and accounts.”
            This exercise will achieve three important objectives for you;
1.) It will remind each account executive about the positives in their daily lives.
2.) Some of their peers will present positives which others never thought of.
3.) You will gain valuable insights into each individuals’ personal motivation to help you in your coaching sessions. 

P.S. You might have to seed the discussion well with something you appreciate about your career or company.

Alternate Choice Closes


“To close the tough sale today you must establish yourself, not the buyer, as the expert” 

-James Schlinkert, CEO Olivetti Corporation-

Old school training courses often extolled the virtues of various closes, and suggested the A.B.C’s of closing were ‘Always Be Closing.’

Today’s intelligent buyer does not want to be sold or closed, they want to buy. And most want to buy from someone they trust to make the best possible recommendations for them.

One of the preferred closes was the alternate choice close. Basically, you assumed you had the sale, and asked the buyer to choose from one of two or more alternative proposals.

The problem with this approach was two-fold:

  1. It makes the buyer, not the seller, the expert. Roy Williams points out most business owners are “uniquely unqualified” to handle their own advertising.
  2. It creates the impression you don’t care what they buy, you only care about making the sale.

Professionals, like lawyers, doctors or accountants, consider alternatives for you, but maintain their credibility by recommending which alternative they consider to be the best for you.

If you do not have complete confidence the buyer will appreciate the benefits in your proposal, you may take alternative proposals as a back up. But you should always clearly state which proposal you believe will work best for the client to maintain your position as a consultant rather than risk being positioned as a peddler who just wants the sale.  

Clients will always respect sales people who have the courage and conviction to make strong recommendations.

Needs Vs Wants

           My wife, Angela, taught me one of the most valuable sales lessons I’ve ever learned, that being the difference between selling to a need, versus selling to a want.
            When she sold Fords and GM’s, she sold to a need. Families needed a van to take the kids to school or a car to replace their dying relic in order to get to work. These were largely transactional buyers looking for basic transportation needs to be filled at the lowest possible cost. They did not look forward to spending money on another vehicle.
            When she began to work at BMW, she quickly discovered nobody needs a BMW. At BMW, the customers bought what they wanted rather than being sold what they needed.  There was a huge difference in the customer relationship at BMW.  Customers were actually excited about buying their new BMW while the needs buyers were skeptical and nervous.
            While the Ford and GM buyer shopped all over town and had no loyalty, the BMW buyers became life long friends who still send Angela cards and letters today even though she’s out of the business and works with me.
            Do your sales people know how to build relationships to the next level, going beyond selling solutions to needs?
            Traditional needs analysis and solutions selling are great door opening strategies. But the cost of the cure can not exceed the price of the pain in needs selling.
            To build more profitable customer relationships you need to get beyond appealing to needs and become a partner in filling the wants of your key accounts.
            Needs are largely short term band-aid… “I must sell four cars today.”  Wants are longer term and visionary in scope… “I want to be the largest dealer in the county within five years.”
            When you become the conduit to filling the vision instead of the need, you are on your way to partnering in a more profitable customer relationship.
            If you are interested in having our Beyond Selling Solutions workshop at your next sales conference, click here.