Monthly Archives: March 2010

Take Responsibility for Sales

Take Responsibility for Sales

           When sales organizations are not achieving their targets, they often point their fingers at individual sales people. The three most common criticisms these organizations default to are;
1.) Our people don’t prospect enough; not enough cold calls.
2.) They don’t know how to handle objections.
3.) They don’t know how to close.
          Of course they do need to do more prospecting, learn to handle objections and increase the number of ‘asks’ to increase their sales.
          The two most common solutions these organizations pursue to achieve these objectives are;
1.) More training for the sales people
2.) New sales compensation plans
          Seldom do these failing organizations take responsibility and take a close look at themselves.
          In addition to the two basic solutions prescribed here, the most successful organizations we see, ask themselves these important questions;
1.) What are we doing to warm up those cold calls for our account executives?
2.) What can our organization do to prevent objections rather than asking our sales people to ‘handle’ them?
3.) What can we do to reduce the need to exert closing pressure and encourage our prospects to enthusiastically buy?
          Our SoundADvice is helping stations answer all three questions;
1.) SoundADvice creates trust and credibility for account executives with new prospects every week warming up those cold calls.
2.) SoundADvice educates advertisers on how to get a higher return on their advertising investment, minimizing objections.
3.) SoundADvice invites advertisers who are ready to buy, to make an
appointment with your account executives FIRST.
          Are you ready to take responsibility for your organization’s sales? 
Click here to arrange a free online demo to discover what SoundADvice can do for your organization.     

How Much Service Do Key Accounts Deserve

How Much Service Do Key Accounts Deserve?

             One of the sales managers using our SoundADvice radio e-marketing system emailed this question recently;
            John just received another cancellation this week. He is a powerful closer but his eagerness to move on to the next sale limits the service he gives his clients.  He says he is trying to ramp up as many sales as possible to earn more income and doesn’t have time to service key accounts more. What do you recommend we do to limit those cancellations?
            My Reply
            First, don’t dampen John’s enthusiasm for new business….most of the sales managers I work with wish their senior reps would prospect more!
            But you are absolutely right…it’s difficult to find new business, and therefore imperative that we retain, renew and grow that business when we find it.     
            One thing you might try is having all of your account executives place a value on their time and then ask them to ensure that their key accounts get the time they deserve.
            Have John estimate what his time is worth based upon what he wants to earn next year, and the number of hours he plans to work. If he needs to earn $100,000 and is going to work 260 days a year at eight hours a day and his commission rate is 10%, his time is worth nearly $50 an hour.
If a key account is billing $50,000, at a 10% commission rate, John is earning $5,000 on that account. At $50 an hour, that account is entitled to a minimum of two hours of John’s time every week ($50 an hour X 2 hours a week = $100 a week X 50 weeks = $5,000 earned income). 
            At two hours a week, John earns his required hourly rate PLUS with that amount of strategic service and valid business contacts, the client will GROW, rather than cancel!
Those two hours a week might not all be face to face. In my book; 101 Ways to Get Luckier (in Ad Sales), we outline 20 different service tactics your account executives can use to keep key accounts happy and growing.
            You might also remind John that 80% of his income will be derived from 20% of his accounts and that those key accounts are critical to his success.
Hope this helps.
Do you have a marketing, advertising or sales question? Simply email [email protected] . We’ll keep your identity confidential and answer your questions. ENS Media Inc. specializes in helping media companies and advertisers forge stronger, more mutually beneficial relationships. 

Fire Yourself

Fire Yourself and Start Over

           I happened to be at a client’s station the other day when a listener came in to pick up a prize they had won. One of the station’s staff asked if the winner wanted a tour of the station.
          I couldn’t believe the response. You would think they were just offered an all expense paid tour of Europe! “Really?!” she said excitedly, “I’ve never been in a radio station before!”
          At that moment I quietly admitted to myself that I had become so close to the forest that I wasn’t in awe of the trees anymore.
          Do you remember how you felt when you scored your first radio job? Your friends couldn’t believe you were in ‘show biz. You were in the mass electronic communications business, playing music, getting back stage passes, hearing the news before anyone else and it was FUN!
          And what about the first broadcast order you filled out? Was it more exciting than the daily paper you push today?
          Maybe it’s time to fire yourself and start your career again with that same enthusiasm.
          Sure you’ve got budget pressures (you used to call them “challenges”) and your clients are cutting back or demanding competitive proposals and costs. But there’s a lot of sizzle to the sell of radio that many of us have forgotten.
          Are you using the emotional power of music or the compelling sound of the human voice in spec spots to put the excitement and sizzle into your presentations?
          Have you offered the services of your personalities to M.C. events at your client’s club? Is your station aloof or do you offer your audience station tours like the station I was at?
          Do you offer your clients opportunities to sponsor exciting on-air contests?
          While you might think all of the buzz today is around new media, there’s still a lot to be said for local people being able to call their favorite station and talk to a real live person.
          Your music inspires them and your information, contests and humor still evoke conversations around the water cooler. Radio advertising is just as effective today as the day you started in the biz. The only difference is, you now have more competitors vying for your sponsorsattention. To win, your presentations need to be more professional and more exciting.
          Your clients have a lot of media choices today. And you have to deliver the competitivelypriced steak they want, to get the sale. But if you’ll fire yourself and start your ‘new’ career with the enthusiasm you had at your first job, the sizzle you add to your steak will be the tiebreaker to help clients choose you over a competitor.

P.S. While you’re having fun again, I’m betting you’ll also make more calls!!       


How to By-pass the Gatekeeper

          We have all seen them. Those steadfast front office gatekeepers who are trained to ‘protect’ the decision maker from you.
          You have three strategic alternatives to getting past these sales preventers;
1.) Go around them.
2.) Wait until they die or leave the company.
3.) Win them over.
          In reality, option three, winning them over, is your only viable option.      The process of winning over the gatekeeper begins with respect. They are doing their job. Heck, some of them might be the spouse or son or daughter of the owner!
          Your job is to sell the gatekeeper first.
The process begins by showing respect for their position and determining what is in it for them to introduce you to the decision maker.
          Perhaps it’s job security as a result of the increased business your advertising will attract. Perhaps it’s discussing an ad idea they told you about and giving them credit for that idea when you meet the decision maker. It may be simply doing a favor for their friend who referred you to them.
          It’s your job as a professional communicator to uncover what’s in it from the gatekeeper’s perspective to give you the key to the decision maker’s office. The respect you show the gatekeeper when you open dialogue to uncover their needs, pays off in more ways than one.
          Very often it is that very gatekeeper who is assigned to conduct a customer survey or is asked their opinion of which media is driving customers to the business. Somehow, I don’t think the media rep who trampled over the gatekeeper will get the same fair shake as you when the gatekeeper conducts their customer survey.

Busy in Not a Good Word

Busy Is Not A Good Word

           Paul Orfalea, founder of the Kinko’s chain of copy stores, said, "Busy is not a good word. It’s not a good excuse. Come on, it’s common sense. Get it done; delegate it.”
          Mr. Orfalea, nicknamed "Kinko" because of his curly red hair, has seen the chain he founded grow to over 1,100 locations worldwide. He says,“I never aimed for busy-ness at Kinko’s. The workers in the front lines are my customers. I need to keep them happy. And the best way to take care of your customers is to take care of your front line workers. I always believe that a manager’s first responsibility is to their workers."
          I often meet multi-tasking managers who confuse ‘busy’ with ‘productive’ and blame their frantic activity level for not being able to manage their most important customers…their staffs!
          The reality is, we have the tools today to allow us to multi-task without becoming so busy that we fail to motivate our people.
          Managers who once had secretaries typing and mailing their correspondence, and who had to search through cumbersome rolodexes to find contact information can now multi-task without missing a beat thanks to email, computers, the internet, hand-held mobile devices and more.
          The Kinko’s founder wasquick to grasp the difference between working hard and working smart. He knew that efficiency and doing things right was often not as important as effectiveness – doing the right things.
          A harried ‘busy’ manager can end up ‘working’ 12 hours a day, destroying their life’s balance and rendering them less effective in business.
          Entrepreneurial and managerial productivity today is not measured in hours or tasks, but in results. And it is the motivated staff that actually produces those end results.
          Two old clichés can help you stay focused on your staff to be more productive;
1.) You can be as successful as you want to be if you are willing to let others take the credit.
2.) You can get whatever you want if you simply help enough others get what they want.