Monthly Archives: December 2008

There are No Surprises

There Are No Surprises

Are you hearing the dreaded “c” words; ‘cancellations’ and ‘cutbacks’?
If you are surprised by a cutback or a cancellation, I’m sorry, but you have NOT been doing your job!
Account executives who truly know and super-serve their accounts are NEVER surprised buy cancellations and cutbacks. Their intimate knowledge of their accounts actually gives them warning signs before the client even considers cutting back.
I recently had an account executive call me to ask how to handle a ‘surprise cancellation’ for a chain of restaurants. 
My first question was, “Are their stores corporately owned or are they franchises?”
The account executive didn’t know! (I happened to know they were franchises)
But the question revealed that the A/E didn’t know who the corporation’s most important customers were. Their most important customers are NOT the people eating in the restaurants. Their most important customers are the ones who send them checks every month….their franchisees. Unhappy franchisees don’t make good customers and will demand cutbacks, cancellations and changes from head office.
This was a classic case of not knowing the customer, not serving the customer, and not earning their business.   I have seldom seen a professional account executive who is surprised by the ‘c’ word if they have been super-serving their clients.
In fact, most are able to prevent the ‘c’ word.
Here is the ENS Media Inc. two step approach to preventing the ‘c’ word.
Step One:   Answer these four questions every month;
1.) What wasthe last valid business contact I had with the client?
2.) When?
3.) What is the next valid business contact I’m preparing for?
4.) When?
A valid business contact is defined as a contact which benefits the client in some measurable way. It may be providing them with valuable market trend data for their business category, a great new idea or a lead for a new sale. But it MUST benefit the client, and validate you as a valuable sustaining resource.
If your answer to questions 2 or 4 are ‘longer than 30 days’, be prepared to hear the ‘c’ word, and don’t act surprised…’ve got it coming.
Step Two: Learn who the Three D’sare and answer our four questions for all three:
A.) The Real Decision Maker. There is only one real decision maker. They sign the checks and are the only ones who can increase the total ad budget.
B.) The ‘Decision Allocator’. Theymight be some middle managers or agency buyers or planners.
C.) The Decision Influencers. Every decision maker has advisors and key influencers in their decision making process. It may be franchisees, sales managers, sometimes even spouses. But you need to know who they are, and you need to have a plan to get them on your side.
Some of your clients may be considering cutbacks or cancellations right now. Use this two-step ENS Media formula to ensure it is your competition, not you, who gets the dreaded ‘c’ phone call.
PS: If the franchisees in your market don’t even know they are on the air with you, they sure aren’t going to come to your defense at cutback time. And don’t think they noticed the ad schedule head office sent them amongst all of the other memos and emails they received from head office.  
PPS: The ENS Media Inc. Guided Discovery Selling training package includes 22 different valid business contact tactics. Email Wayne.

Off the Street


Formula One racers often make two to three pit stops of up to ten seconds each to fit fresh tires, make minor performance adjustments, refuel or make emergency repairs.
In total they can ‘waste’ up to thirty seconds ‘off the street’ in the pits, even though races are often won or lost  by a mere fraction of a second.
Occasionally I have managers tell me they can’t invest in training, new revenue initiatives, or take time for coaching because their team ‘can’t afford that much time off the street’.
In virtually every field, from football to motor racing, and from law to medicine, the top practitioners make regular ‘pit stops’ for training, for coaching, to tweak their performance or to refuel and re-energize.
If taking your team off the street for a few hours of training or coaching does not improve their performance and revenues, you have the wrong trainers, coaches and new revenue initiatives.
Time and money invested in the pits is designed to help winners win and should never cause you to lose the race.
P.S. Some sales people will complain to management that they can’t afford the time off the street to refresh their tires, improve their performance or learn new revenue development systems. These people are generally only ‘in’ the race, and are not serious about doing whatever it takes to win the race.

Could Radio Use a Little German Engineering?

Could Radio Use a Little German Engineering?
  Quick, which company do you think benefits from the image of ‘German engineering’ ?
          a)  BMW?
          b)  Mercedes Benz?
          c)  Volkswagen?
          e)  Porsche?
           f)   Audi?
          The answer is ‘g’…all of the above.
          While other car companies bash it out to see who can offer the biggest ‘employee discount pricing’ and furniture retailers fight to see who can wait the longest to get paid with ‘don’t pay until you die’ events, German manufacturers benefit tremendously from promoting their category, German engineering.
          Are you still battling your ‘competitors’ in radio for diminishing market share, or are you ready to promote the radio category to the benefit of all radio broadcasters?
          A few weeks ago my friend, Eric Rhoades, publisher of Radio Ink, wrote an open letter to all radio broadcasters, which said, among other things;
          “I’m going to ask you to do something that may make you uncomfortable.
          Sadly, only 2 percent of you will take my suggestion, and the other 98 percent will find fault with it.  The good news is that the 2 percent will gain favor with advertisers.
          Is there a way to get advertisers to spend money in radio during these lean times?  Maybe.  The indirect nature of this strategy may make you uncomfortable, but I ask you to keep an open mind, because it is a huge opportunity for radio.
1. Phone the market manager of every radio station in your town and invite them to a meeting ASAP.  All radio stations in town will be given an opportunity to participate in a local advertiser event, which you will create together.
2. All stations must agree to participate equally, even though some may have more stations and some will want more credit.  Stations must put aside all competition and not try to gain special advantage in this event.
3. Invite every business in town to a four-hour conference packed with sessions, experts, and advice on boosting business in lean times.  Advertise it on the air.  Mail out invitations.  Hold the event at a local hotel ballroom with an impressive array of food and drink following the sessions.  It will NOT be about radio advertising or individual stations.  Do not send the signal that this is designed to get them to advertise. Radio in your town will get credit for putting this event on, and you will reap the rewards for your goodwill.
4. Open the event with something like this: "During times like these, we need to work together.  All of the local radio stations organized this conference to see what we could do to help local businesses.  You have our guarantee that today we will not try to sell you on radio.  We will make no pitches, and our people have been instructed not to talk about radio unless you have a specific question.  Today it’s about you, not about us.  Please consider this our gift to you, because we know if your business suffers, our business suffers, and our local economy suffers. "
No-Pitch Guarantee:  We guarantee that we will not pitch you to advertise on radio, and no one will approach you about radio advertising at this session. There is no obligation.
Why You Should Do This?
It’s the right thing to do.  If radio as an industry is known for helping local businesses without asking anything in return, we will improve our image in the eyes of retailers.
No one gives anything for free.  People who attend will expect to be pitched and will be amazed that you actually hold to your word.  Radio will look like it is actually trying to do something for the community, because it is.  With no obligation and no pitch, radio will be elevated in the eyes of all in attendance.  Others will follow, but will be late. Radio needs to be first.
Why You Should Not Do This Alone?
Lift the tide for all of radio.  Every station will benefit, and you’ll have 10 times more retailers present than if you held a single-station event.  If all the stations in town promote this on the air, businesses will come out of the woodwork. This is about growing radio.  If radio gets credit for helping local retailers, the laws of reciprocity will kick in and they will help radio.Eric Rhoads, Publisher, RADIO INK
This is only part of Eric’s letter. I can forward it in its entirety upon request.
          I’ve always known Eric as an innovative and sincere promoter of our industry and I applaud his letter, his integrity and his foresight. 
          ENS Media Inc. has two distinct client seminars you can choose from if you decide to promote the radio category in your market.
          Both sessions guarantee;  “All attendees will get a minimum of three good ideas to grow their business even if they never use radio.”   Each session also begins with a candid disclosure, “Advertising cannot make a bad business a good business.  If you are not getting repeat or referral business there is something inherently wrong with your business that advertising probably cannot cure.”
          While our client sessions do not sell radio specifically, one local ad agency executive who attended our session recently said, “That was the most cleverly-disguised radio pitch I have ever seen.”
          Are you ready to make radio the ‘German Engineering’ of the media world? Contact
[email protected]

Being the Best That You Can Be

Being the Best That You Can Be

I can’t read statistics without smiling.
I once scanned the websites of four different health-related charities like the Cancer Society and the Diabetes Association.  Each claimed the disease they were trying to cure was the number one cause of death.  When I added up the percentages of their claims, these four diseases alone caused more than 600% of deaths.  (I guess no one falls victim to accidents, natural causes or the other ailments I didn’t scan) 
The point is, everyone has research which ‘proves’ they are number one at something.
I recently read statistics from the Ad Specialty Institute (the promotional product people’s equivalent to our RAB or TVB) that claimed, among other things:
– Promotional products generate a cost-per-thousand impression of $0.004   compared to $0.033 for magazines and $0.019 for TV
– 84% of consumers remember advertisers based upon a free ad specialty product they received.
– 62% of those surveyed have done business with an advertiser after receiving a promotional product.
The study contained many more ‘statistics’ about the power of promotional products, but I think you get the point.
According to a study conducted by my company, ENS Media Inc., the average independent business owner is approached by 16 vendors like you, every week claiming to be the most cost-effective way to increase their sales.
Sales people in fields from promotional products to newspaper, customer relations management software to coupon envelopes, from signage companies to yellow pages, and from billboards to sales trainers are showing your prospects statistics which ‘prove’ their products are the best choice to increase sales.
To varying degrees, each alternative your clients have to choose from, really could be their best choice.  But they can’t afford to buy all 16 every week!
SO, here is the question. Which companies win amidst all of these claims and statistics?
The answer is unequivocally, the companies with most convincing sales people!’
The media companies which employ the most credible, consistent and convincing sales practices are those which take the confusion out of media buying and make the advertisers’ decisions easy.
Are your salespeople the most credible, consistent and convincing in your market? Could they be even better?
P.S. If your answer is ‘no’ or ‘I’m not sure’ let’s talk about how we might be able to help. There is always room for improvement.  

Countdown to Prosperity

Countdown to Prosperity

            Since the end of World War II 1945, we’ve experienced 10 economic cycles.
            During that period the average decline lasted 10 months, and the average recovery lasted 57 months.

And according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, each period of prosperity has been more prosperous than its predecessor.
Have you started your countdown to success? Are you preparing for the record breaking recovery we’re about to experience?
The way I read those statistics, and history does repeat itself, we’re less than a year away from nearly five years of the most prosperous period in North American history!
Laughter is The Best Medicine. A friend sent me this ad recently;
For sale, One John Deere tractor.  Missing a seat and steering wheel, ideal for anyone who’s lost their ass and doesn’t know which way to turn.
If you have any jokes or one-liners about this economy, please send them along to [email protected]
Laughter really is better than panic.