Here’s the scenario. You have an appointment that you set up a week ago and it’s a healthy distance away from your office. Do you call them to confirm the appointment prior to leaving or do you not call and take a chance?
Knowing how busy business owners and managers can be, there is no question that if you choose to call to confirm there is a decent chance that they will reschedule. That’s the chance you take.
An aggressive sales trainer would tell you to take the chance, show up and work your way in. Their logic is that it’s much harder to tell someone “no” in person than it is over the phone and you may not get another chance.
The professional media rep that not only respects the time of others, but their own, would call to confirm. Especially in this circumstance where travel time is an issue, we suggest that when you initially set the appointment inform them that you will call the morning of or the day before to confirm.
There are five primary reasons why confirming appointments make sense:
1) Time management – Don’t waste your time.
2) It helps establish you as a professional.
3) It shows that you respect their time.
4) It helps prepare the client and puts them in the right frame of mind, ready for your appointment.
5) If in fact they do cancel, they will be more obligated to reschedule.
Professional media sales are built on long term relationships and being respectful of your client’s time is a good way to ensure they will say “yes” to future appointments.
This little point may seem obvious, but I can assure you it happens on a regular basis. Before it happens to you or one of your reps, do the right thing and make the call to confirm the appointment.
“Procrastination on your part doesn’t necessarily constitute
an emergency on my part”
This quote hangs on the walls at many repair and service centers and it would be very appropriate hanging in most radio station Production Departments.
Every radio station has deadlines or cut-offs for turning in production. The question is, are the deadlines being enforced?
Pushing deadlines on a regular basis or ignoring them altogether can have serious effects on an operation. Tempers flare! When the deadline is breached, who’s to blame and how do you fix it?
Regardless of whether it was the media rep or the business owner, the onus falls on the media rep. When the business owner procrastinates, it then becomes the media rep’s job to either make sure the client is timelier, or it’s their job to inform them that they cannot get the ads on as planned. If it’s poor planning on the media rep, then shame on them! Worse yet, if it’s a manager or owner, double shame on them!!! You MUST lead by example!
As a manager, when someone abuses the policy, the fix is easy. Simply tell the rep that their client will not be getting on the air as planned. One time will do the trick.
To ensure it doesn’t become a problem with new clients and new media reps, train them in advance. Missing or abusing production deadlines are self-created when we don’t educate the client about the necessity of our deadlines. Having this conversation with the client at the time of the sale will go a long way.
Having a written production deadline policy that is firm and fair and is adhered to is a must. Not only will it produce better internal relationships, which in turn produces better campaigns and better results, but it will also create happier weeknights, weekends, and holidays for everyone… especially our Production Departments!