Monthly Archives: June 2009

Candor as a Relationship Builder

© by Wayne Ens


          Many sales people are afraid to use candor as a relationship builder with their customers and prospects.

          They have been trained to ‘sell themselves first’.
          In this effort to sell themselves first, they have placed being ‘liked’ ahead of being respected as a marketing partner.  In their quest to be liked, these glad-handers often fear opening the challenging and meaningful dialogue necessary to understand their customer’s goals.
          These friendly sales types will often take every answer they get in a Customer Needs Analysis (CNA) at face value.  If a prospect claims they ‘give better service’ than their competitors, for example, these sales people will smile and say something like, “that’s nice”.
          True advisors have mastered the art of playing devil’s advocate during the CNA process on their way to building stronger client relationships and more relevant ad campaigns.
Professionals will explain to their prospects why they play the role of a skeptical customer.  And, when the client suggests they, “give better service,” the professional will say something like, “I’m playing a skeptical customer.  Prove to me that you give better service.”
          In our Guided Discovery © Selling System, we train media sales professionals to enter into their CNA’s with phrases like, “Before I can sell our audience on why they should do business with you, you have to sell me on why they should do business with you.”
          This candid and frank approach may seem confrontational, but handled correctly, will be the building block for much stronger customer relationships than the old ‘smile and pretend to agree’ approach to CNA’s.  






Practice What We Preach

© by Wayne Ens


          It’s hard to sell when your knees are knocking!
          Your sales people hear the headlines about our economy, and the woes of traditional media, and they are worried about their jobs.
          In some markets they’ve seen management appear to share their desperation by cutting rates up to 20% in a misguided attempt to secure an order.
          Yet those same managers don’t appear to have the confidence to invest 20% in their people, training, tools or incentives to secure more business.
          You have probably cut all of the expenses you can cut. Isn’t it time you started exploring the other side of the profit equation…..revenue generation?
          Investing in sales tools, training people and incentives to capture more revenue can result in a higher return on your investment in this economy than ever before.  Your returns will include;
·        Improved staff morale – Investing in your people can pay huge dividends and sends a signal you are planning for them to be around for a long time.
·        Leading by example – Persuading clients to invest in marketing can be difficult when we don’t practice what we preach.
·        Higher closing ratios – The right investment in skills development and marketing tools will invariably improve productivity.
·        Larger average orders – Better trained and armed sales people create an air of confidence which is transferred to advertisers and creates stronger customer relationships.
·        Attract better talent – There is some great talent that has been bought out. With that money in their jeans, they don’t need huge guarantees and more feet on the street always equals more sales.
          Your clients and prospects have made all of the cuts in expenses they can make. They are now starting to turn their focus toward what we sell….increased sales.   
          Never in recent memory, has increasing sales been so vitally important to your clients. Yet less than 15% of the businesses in your market advertise on local stations, in part because we don’t have the confidence, the tools or the skills to persuade them we can increase their sales.
P.S. This memo may seem a little self-serving in that ENS Media Inc. specializes in helping stations increase their sales with sales best practices, revenue development tools and sales training.
          According to our research, 82% of the businesses in your market can’t recall seeing a rep from your station. We don’t see how reducing your marketing and sales efforts are going to solve that problem.

          We’re here to help. Contact [email protected]





Packaging Your Brand

© by Wayne Ens


          You’re fighting for your life, and you see two surgeons who each offer you totally different solutions.
          The first one shows up at your door unannounced, in a Hawaiian shirt and ill-fitting track pants.  He hands you a generic brochure about your illness along with his biography as he leaves to see the next patient.
          The other surgeon makes an appointment, meets you dressed in a crisp white lab coat, and shows you computer scans of your problem on the latest hightech equipment.  He gives you a comprehensive written outline of the procedure he proposes to save your life and discusses any questions or concerns you might have.
          Which solution would you have the most confidence in?
          When you’re fighting for your life, the answer is clear, even though the guy in the Hawaiian shirt might have had a better solution.
          Many businesses today are fighting for their lives too.  Their marketing decisions are crucial to their survival.  They’ve cut all of the expenses they can cut, and now they are desperate to increase their sales.
          The image you project can make all the difference in whether the worried decisionmaker chooses your solution or your competitors.  It’s all about your brand.
          We know that you create a hard to change impression in the first three seconds a prospect sees you; BEFORE you open your mouth or present your solutions. Does your brand create confidence in your solution?
          Do you make appointments like a professional, or drop in like a peddler?
          We sell our ability to make businesses successful. Does your packaging, from your car to your clothes, make you look successful and instill confidence with would-be investors?
          If your competitors show up in a golf shirt, you need to wear a sports jacket.  If they show up in a sports jacket, you need to wear a suit. And if your competitors are wearing customtailored three piece suits, buy a tux!!
          The image you portray can give a worried advertiser the confidence to buy your solution even though it may not be better than the competitions.
          And last but not least, does your presentation talk about solving your clients problems, or about how great your station is?
          You are expected to be a branding expert…the best way to start is by looking after your own brand. 
P.S. A funny thing happens when you sculpt a better brand for yourself. You not only look more professional, you feel and act more professional!  







Number One

© by Wayne Ens


           When we take on a new media client, we generally begin the project with a Market Audit, which includes an Advertiser Perception Study to determine how advertisers perceive the various media in that market.
          One of our survey questions is, “What is the number one benefit you expect from your advertising?”  Nearly 80% of businesses we survey advertise to “increase sales”.
          Part of our Market Audit process also includes sending mystery shoppers into the market to request proposals from every media in the market. And here is one of the most startling revelations…..while nearly 80% of advertisers identify increasing sales as their primary reason for advertising, less than 10% of the media proposals we audit, address how that proposal is going to increase sales!
          Most proposals only address why a particular media is number one and why their audience is number one.  They talk about themselves, rather than demonstrating what they can do for the advertiser.
          A few do discuss building traffic, or image, or awareness, but seldom do they address an advertiser’s number one concern….increasing sales.
          And while advertising does do much more than just increase sales, you owe it to your stations and to your clients to address your prospects’ number one concern in every proposal.
          In my early days in print, I was trained not take responsibility for increasing sales. In fact, we had such little faith in our ability to increase sales we were taught to only take credit for traffic, and that it was the client’s job to sell.
          This lack of confidence in our ability to increase sales resulted in us recommending radio as a ‘back-up’ media so that we wouldn’t have to take all the blame for failure, and we created ads that drew throngs of unqualified traffic for our advertisers.
          When I thought my clients only expected traffic, I once sold a huge promotion to a men’s wear store with a draw for a trip to Disney World. We did generate huge traffic at the store to fill out the Disney ballots, but no one bought a suit. ….they were all there for the trip.
          Later when I went to a radio station in that market, we developed a promotion for a draw for a complete year’s wardrobe at that store.  We drew far less traffic, but sold more suits because everyone who entered wanted a suit.
          Of course, the radio promotion had the added benefit of creating more awareness about the advertiser’s merchandise rather than promoting how wonderful Disney World was.
          Do you have enough confidence in what you are proposing to partner in your client’s sales success? Take a look at every presentation and proposal you make this week and see if they talk about you, or do they address what you can do for the advertiser?
P.S. Our Guided Discovery Selling trains your sales people to produce customer-focused presentations. Contact Wayne if you are interested in learning more.





Broadcasting’s Tipping Point

© by Wayne Ens


          Imagine you own a moving and storage company.  Choose one of the following two strategies to grow your business;

1.) Be listed in the Yellow Pages with all of my competitors and hope those who come to the Yellow Pages choose my ad over my competitors,
2.) Run an intrusive media campaign to pre-empt my prospects searching the Yellow Pages directory of my competitors and create an awareness and preference for my business.
I think we know which strategy you would choose, and wecertainly know which one would be most effective.
Years ago, when we were fat and lazy, we were content to let the directory of ineffective marketers, the Yellow Pages, eat our lunch!  The Yellow Pages took more revenue out of our local markets than all broadcasters combined….but we didn’t care because we had huge profit margins.
Now we’re at a tipping point.  Consumers are abandoning searching the Yellow Pages in favor of searching the internet if they can’t think of a business in a given category, like a moving and storage company.
So allow me to ask the question again You own a moving and storage company, which of the following strategies are you going to base your growth upon in the new economy?
1.) Pay Search Engine Optimizers to increase my odds of being among the top ten listings with my top competitors.
2.) Use intrusive media to drive prospects directly to my website rather than have them conduct a search which will reveal my competitors.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are at a tipping point in broadcasting.  We can:
a.) Learn how to sell the value of top of mind awareness, and driving customers directly to marketers’ websites, or,
b.) Let the search engine people take the billions of dollars Yellow Pages have been taking out of our local markets when consumers search for businesses they’ve never heard of.
         There are numerous advantages to strategy ‘a’, not the least of which is, it works better. Just as importantly, advertisers follow each other like sheep….get one on board with you and their competitors will follow.
          Most local businesses found themselves in the directory of ineffective marketers because, “that is where my competitors are”…..the exact reason they should NOT be there!   
Maybe now that we have more competition and we’re not so fat, we won’t make the same mistake with our search engine competitors that we did when the Yellow Pages snuck up on us!
Smart marketers will drive people directly to their websites rather than count on the luck of the draw when prospects Google a page listingtheir top competitors.
P.S. If your account executives don’t know how to persuade local marketers to use the power of intrusive media, over the Yellow Pages or Google/Yahoo, contact [email protected].  We can help!