Those of you who have been receiving our ENS on Sales over the last 11 years know it’s time for my annual politically incorrect, “Merry Christmas” message. (Although, I’m increasingly convinced that “politically correct” is an oxymoron because I don’t know any politicians who are “correct.” They all seem to care more about getting elected than they do about doing what’s right.)
I used to agonize over whether I should say, “Merry Christmas” to people but I believe in recognizing the role that history and heritage plays in making people, nations, businesses and cultures what they are, and Christmas is a part of my heritage I’m not ready to deny.
I’m not offended when a friend wishes me Happy Hanukkah, and I feel honored when another friend, from another faith, invites me to her New Year’s celebration in November. There is no denying that Christianity played a role in making North America what it is today…..good or bad.
And I have never seen anyone, in any faith, object to getting a day off on December 25th, even though they know how the holiday originated, so Merry Christmas everyone!
Tis the season to rejoice and count our blessings.
As you celebrate over the holidays, I invite you to reflect upon how fortunate we are to be in this business.
Sure, emerging technologies and fragmented audiences have made our business more competitive, but we get paid for helping other people and it doesn’t get any better than that!
Whether we’re helping charitable organizations with a fund-raising campaign, or helping businesses to grow and provide more employment with our advertising campaigns, we’re helping, informing and entertaining people every day!
We have a purpose greater than a paycheck! We transform lives. We help needy children by promoting Christmas toy drives. We entertain people, adding laughter, music and insight to their otherwise boring lives. We keep people informed, make them think, and even let them know if they’ll need an overcoat on the way to work today.
We help businesses solve their problems and increase their sales.
Country singer Kenny Rogers once said “Find a way to get paid for doing something you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” I think that’s where all of us are in broadcasting.
So Merry ….Happy……Greetings……Seasons…… Wishes….. however you say it – I wish you all the best as we tackle the challenges of 2014 and beyond. Merry Christmas from all of us at ENS Media!
In “The Story of Civilization”, American philosopher and historian Will Durant 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.
Every 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 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.
As Radio Ink publisher, Eric Rhoads, reflected on Radio Ink’s civilization in this week’s Radio Ink Headlines, he wrote:
“While working on my budgets this week, it crossed my mind that I have not budgeted for growth. Yes, of course I budgeted for business growth — but what am I budgeting for the growth of my team members or myself?
Stagnation and the lack of fresh ideas not only kill our personal motivation, they negatively impact our organizations.
In my own organization, I’ve declared 2014 as a year for learning. I have budgeted to attend some events that will force me to learn and grow in new areas. Though it sounds extravagant, I have learned that dull leadership leads to dull companies. No matter how much I read, how much I study or watch, I’m most invigorated when I meet new people and learn about new concepts I need to understand.
It’s almost comical…. in a sad kind of way. Our industry is stagnant and predicting only about 1 percent growth in 2014. This is the same industry where, in many companies, people are not allowed to attend seminars or events. It’s kind of like cutting all promotion budgets and wondering why stations aren’t growing more in ratings and revenue.
Stimulation does not just happen. It comes from a deliberate attempt to learn. When you consider your 2014 plans, make it a point to plan for growth — personal growth and that of your team. The results will positively impact your business.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself. If you’re planning on growing next year, contact [email protected] to arrange an online demo of the proven programs we have to make sure your civilization grows from within to increase your sales against all odds.
Did you ever lie to a sales person? Think about your answer carefully.
Of course you did!
How about the last time a carpet cleaning salesperson phoned you at home? Didn’t you say something like, “Sorry, someone just cleaned my carpets last week.” It wasn’t true, but you politely dismissed the sales person’s pitch.
When an insurance agent cornered you, have you never said, “I just renewed my insurance last night, but you can call me next year”? Or, how about telling a salesperson on a car lot, ..Just looking”.
You lied! But that’s really not such a bad lie, if you understand the motivation. It’s called, “reciprocal empathy” or the fear of rejection.
Everyone fears rejection, and you, as a salesperson, understand rejection like no one else. You are basically a decent person, and because you have empathy, you do not want to outright “reject” the carpet cleaning solicitor or the insurance salesperson. Instead, you would rather tell little white lies to get rid of them, gently. When the clerk asks, “May I help you?” your immediate response is, “Just looking,” even though you went there to buy.
Your clients are no different. They lie to sales reps every day. I mean that in the nicest possible way. They don’t want you to feel rejected, so they have perfected the three biggest lies which always work. When I say, “work,” I mean these lies get rid of 90 percent of advertising salespeople without making them feel personally rejected.
The three biggest lies told to advertising salespeople are:
1. Business is too good. I couldn’t handle any more.
2. Business is too bad. I can’t afford to advertise.
3. My budget is all gone, or, my plan for the year is complete.
These “lies” are not a rejection of you or your company. They haven’t said “You’re too expensive” or, “You have the wrong audience”. Instead, they have internalized the rejection, putting the blame for not buying, on themselves. These lies work because you still feel good and you don’t have to defend yourself or your company.
I submit to you that these are ALWAYS lies, however. Everyone in business wants more business. And, if they believe you can help them get it, they will add to their capacity, change their media plans or even borrow more advertising dollars from their own mothers. Always.
In “Twelve Causes of Advertising Failure”, by Roy Williams, he identifies “over-confidence in qualitative targeting” as one of the primary causes of advertising that fails.
Nowhere is “qualitative targeting” more misguided than in business-to-business marketing. Many business-to-business marketers forget that business people are people too… they follow their favourite sports teams on the radio, they listen for weather reports, and they each have their own musical tastes.
The internet has totally changed where businesses are located. The old days of targeting “business zip codes” to reach businesses have long passed. Technology has made it possible to operate more businesses from home than ever before.
The “qualitative targeting” misnomer has also resulted in the misguided pursuit of “the decision makers”, creating marketing campaigns which bypass the decision “influencer”.
Consider a printing company trying to attract more business accounts, for example. They’ll often target the person who signs the cheques in an organization, but when that individual needs more business cards, more often than not, they’ll ask a receptionist or executive assistant to get three quotes.
It’s that executive assistant or receptionist who chooses which printers get to quote on the business cards.
Imagine the impact of a radio campaign that says “The next time the boss asks you to order a printing job, consider ABC printing….we’ll make you look like a hero.”
The best marketers use the element of surprise to create unpredictable campaigns. There is an element of surprise when a “non-traditional” business-to-business advertiser tells their story on-air.
The ENS Media Inc. advertising success formula is:
Share of voice = Share of mind = Share of market
A whisper can be the dominant share of voice, “outside of the box”, if everyone else is shouting in the box.
Some broadcast account executives have a misguided understanding of why they conduct CNA’s, Customer Needs Analysis.
The purpose of a CNA goes beyond simply discovering your prospects’ unique competitive advantage and uncovering their objections so you can overcome those objections in your presentation.
The deepest purpose of your CNA is to uncover your prospects’ beliefs….their deeply held emotional beliefs. And once you’ve accomplished this, your mission is not to try to change those beliefs, but rather to find a way to make your proposal align with and compliment those beliefs.
Far too many reps try to counter their prospects’ objections with logical arguments when in reality they need to dig deeper to unveil the belief at the root of that objection. Emotions are seldom trumped by logic.
In fact, most people will only seek or accept the logic or reasoning that justifies their previously-held beliefs.
Marketing masters have developed the art of demonstrating how their proposal meshes perfectly with their clients’ beliefs.
Contact [email protected] to inquire how our Becoming a Master Questioner© Sales Workshop can help your group get to the root of their prospects’ beliefs and build sustainable long-term partnerships