Monthly Archives: March 2020

Keep it Normal… as Possible

I think we can all agree that the past two weeks have been as far from “business as usual” as we have quite possibly ever seen. Words most used to describe our current state are uncharted, nightmare, challenged, uncertainty, new normal, and others.

As I think back to the days of uncertainty when I managed a team of sellers, one of the things I learned from my mentor(s) was to keep things as normal as possible, lead with a positive attitude, and above all, don’t panic. This applies to both sellers and managers. If we are honest, sometimes this is hard to do when cancellations are coming in, we’re swimming in uncharted waters, the team is scared, and uncertainty rules the day. I think this quote applies in a time like we are experiencing now:

“Being positive in a negative situation is not being naive.   It’s Leadership!” 

As a manager, one of the key things that you can do now is to continue to train and motivate your teams. Whether you are continuing to work from your office, or you have sellers working from home, it’s imperative that we keep their days as normal as possible and focus on work rather than all the distractions and reasons not to work! Technology allows us to do this (Google Hangout, Zoom, GoToMeeting, YouTube videos, etc.). You might consider starting every morning with a short meeting. They can be brief with an agenda that looks something like this:

1)   Good Morning with a positive quote or message

2)   Good news from yesterday (positive comments about clients)

3)   Challenges that the team has faced

4)   Share positive ideas (package or campaign ideas – how to answer objections)

5)   Motivational or training videos

Working from home and keeping focused is much more difficult than it is at the office. Making internal excuses to not work becomes natural. As a manager, now more than ever, it’s YOUR job to keep the team on task and to hold them accountable. Leaders Lead! As a media rep, it’s your job to stay focused and continue to do all the things that great media reps do to help your clients prevail. IDEAS will still rule the day!

“We generate fears while we sit. We overcome them with action!”  – Dr. Henry Link

Stay Safe – Stay Healthy – Stay Strong!

What You Do and Say Now Will Determine the Future

As the “R” word looms, we enter one of the most unknown and unprecedented times our business economy has ever witnessed.

The forced closings of schools, restaurants, bars, self-regulated closings of many retail businesses, the reduced capacity and limits to gatherings, millions working from home, will all have a trickle-down and trickle-across effect on nearly every person and every business in every category.

As advertising professionals, how you handle the coming days and weeks will greatly determine how your clients and prospects will look at you, what they will think of you and if or not they will do business with you once we come out on the other side of this storm.

Will you continue to prospect and be professional while doing so? Now is not the time to stop prospecting; Build for the future.

Will you show and display sincere patience and understanding of their situations? Business owners are scared and not sure what they are going to do in all aspects of their business, not just advertising. Listen to them, talk with them, make sure they understand you are there to help in any way you can.

Will you simply ask for their business, or ask deeper questions? Help uncover what they can do to maintain business. Help them find niche areas to promote and advertise.

Will you offer canned packages, or well-thought ideas? Be different than those just “selling”! It MUST be about them. Sell with purpose, now more than ever!

Will you serve your clients like never before? Update their ad copy, conduct brainstorm sessions, help create sales initiatives.

Will you remain professional when they say they need to cancel?

Will you work with them when they say they can’t pay their invoice in full right now? Remember, you are not just competing for collections with other media, but with every vendor they do business with. Hardball collection tactics will not win or earn you any business in the future.

Everything you do and say in the coming days and weeks will determine the future. Proceed with professionalism, patience, and compassion!

Ultimately, will your stations be the ones that support the business community?

We have written a new 60-second “Buy Local” promo that encourages everyone in your cities and communities to support your local businesses during these tenuous times. Showing your support during these difficult times can and will pay huge rewards later!

If you would like a FREE copy of this “Buy Local” promo, email [email protected].

(Note: This will not be available to markets where ENS Media has current clients.)

Best Day of My Life, So Far!

How are you today?

This is maybe the most common greeting used when meeting someone. How you respond can set the tone to the remainder of that conversation, and, your day.

I’m certain I stole this line from someone many years ago, but when people ask me how I’m doing, my go-to response is “Best day of my life, so far”. I typically get an odd look and a smile with a response of, “Really?”

Life can be hard, and if you have a job with goals to meet, bills to pay, children to care for, and are trying to balance life and career, at times it can drag you down. That’s understandable. But, to get the most out of each day, I encourage you to start your day with something positive and continue your day with positive thoughts and comments.

Try starting your day with this… Look in the mirror and say to yourself, “I am a GREAT person and today is going to be a GREAT day”. It’s a bit silly, and you’ll feel a little awkward watching yourself say this, but it sets the tone for the rest of your day. I’m a huge believer in affirmations and positive thinking. Find an affirmation that fits you and read it every morning. It will take less than 2 to 3 minutes to complete, and it will be the best 3 minutes you spend all day.

Is it true? Is every day the best day of my life, so far? No! I’m human and some days are tougher than others. Some days I fake it. But, putting a smile on my face and saying positive things makes it better than if I had not.

Whether you’re in a leadership role or you are selling, remaining positive and cheerful is your obligation to those you are leading and to your clients. Nobody wants to be around an unhappy person.

Start every day off by saying, “I’m a GREAT person and today is going to be a GREAT day”, and then go out and have… “The Best Day of Your Life, So Far”.

Purge the List

Over the years I have seen and heard of many different account list rules, systems, and procedures such as, how many accounts a rep can have on their list, how often must they call on them, or how do you claim, trade or give up accounts. Today, I want to discuss one specific area of managing account lists, that being the purging of the lists.

Through experience, I’ve learned that once an account is on someone’s list, it’s very hard to get them to relinquish or give up the account, even if they are not calling on them. Several reasons a rep may not be calling on an account may be:

  1. The rep simply has too many accounts already on their list and doesn’t have time to call on all of them.

  2. Conflict in personality; they don’t like the person they are calling on.

  3. They have a competitor on the air and feel uncomfortable working with another business in the same category. (I know some groups like the idea of having “category experts” that call on several businesses in the same category. That topic is for another day.)

  4. They tried several times and have been rejected but hold on to the account “just in case they call in”!

Regardless of our reasons for not calling on accounts, there is a point and time when an account needs to be given up or moved. Whether they will admit it or not, the number one reason reps hesitate to give up accounts is that they fear another rep may actually be able to sell them and therefore, they’ll look bad. To a degree, there might be a little truth in that but, it shouldn’t matter. The goal is to get all potential clients on the air!

Managers, it’s your job to make sure that each and every account that has potential is being called on. Taking accounts from one rep and giving to another is never an enjoyable task, but it’s one that must be done, but handled with care and professionalism.

I suggest that a minimum of one time a year you have each rep purge their list. Ask them to provide ten accounts that have “potential” but they are not adequately calling on. This is not a time to question why they are not calling on them. The goal is to get everyone comfortable in purging their list on a regular basis and becoming comfortable in turning over accounts they are not calling on.

By not doing so, you’re leaving money on the table and giving opportunity to your competitors. By doing so, it’ll create a whole new opportunity for each and every rep.

Purge the List!