Yearly Archives: 2023

Still Wasting Words

I wrote on this topic nearly 4 years ago, and believe this or not, not everyone in the radio world read it, and if they did, they didn’t heed the message. Shame on us!

Therefore, allow me to stand on my soapbox for a minute and speak once again to something I am very passionate about, or should I say, very passionate against!

I’m referring to using phone numbers in radio ads. Regardless of what size market we drive through, while listening to the radio we still hear the dreaded seven-digit, or worse yet, ten-digit phone numbers. Yes, it’s still happening! 

Is it happening on your stations?

The ONLY thing that could possibly be an even bigger waste of breath is when we do the unthinkable and repeat the ten-digit phone number.

In recent weeks while driving to see clients, I went through small, medium, and even two major markets. I would guess that approximately 25-30% of the ads I heard included unmemorable seven and ten-digit phone numbers. Why? 

I realize that the business owner is usually the one that says, “I need my phone number in the ad; that’s how people reach out to me”. As media reps, it’s our job to explain to them how our medium is used and instead show them a better way to use those seven, ten, or twenty words. 

The listeners of your stations do not stand by with a pen in hand, waiting to write down a phone number from an ad they previously heard that may or may not air again in the next commercial break. It’s simply NOT how people listen to the radio. It’s not how people watch TV either. Do you have a pen and paper handy while watching TV?

If the message is strong enough and creates enough desire, the interested consumer will find them. Nine times out of ten they will google the business name or speak into their phone and simply say, “Call Joe’s Pizza”, “Central HVAC”, or “Sioux Auto Sales”.

There are only 5 scenarios when we should use phone numbers in radio or TV ads:

  1.  When the number is very easy to recall – For example (prefix) – 1-2-3-4 or (prefix) – 20-20 (I’m still skeptical)
  2. It’s said in a unique way that makes it very easy to recall – For example “541- twoooo – sixxxx….seven – eight”! (Still skeptical!!)
  3. A vanity number – For example 541–BEDS, or 1-800 – GOT JUNK
  4. Direct Response ads – The rule of thumb is to repeat the number 4-6 times.
  5. When a business doesn’t have a website or social page. (Shame on them)

Let’s make the world a better place and eliminate phone numbers in radio ads!

O.K., I am now off my soapbox! Thank you for allowing me to vent!

A Good Spring Cleaning

While March 20th was officially the first day of spring, in some parts of the country, it really doesn’t feel like spring until much later. That’s especially true this year for those of us in the north. It’s late April and we’re still not sure spring has sprung!

When you think of spring cleaning, you think of washing the windows, thatching the lawn, and picking up the sticks and leaves. Some go much deeper and include washing and cleaning the garage floors, vacuuming, dusting, and washing vents, baseboards, windowsills, blinds, light fixtures, and shades. They call that deep spring cleaning!

There are many reasons why we should do a spring cleanup both inside and out. Without going into specifics, spring cleanup prepares us for the next few months. Not only is your home clean, inside and out, but it’s also healthier and you and your lawn are better prepared for new growth.

That relates to you and your home. But what about your business?

In sales, it seems that more often than not we simply go about our days and only think about cleaning our office area and evaluating how we go about our profession at the very end or beginning of each year.

Springtime is a great time to stop, pause, and think about how your 2023 has started off, and it’s a great time to make necessary adjustments and get ready for growth.

Start by looking at your workspace; is it clean and fresh? Does it provide a positive, light, and creative space or is it drab, dark, cluttered, and uninspiring? Do the same thing with your clothing. Do you need to throw out some of the old and get a new clean, fresh, and professional look? Is your vehicle clean, inside and out? Remember, you are being judged by everyone around you. Your co-workers, your leaders, and your clients and prospects!

Next, does your workspace need a spring cleaning? Even if you are one of those people that believes you function better in clutter, the truth is, when we spruce up and organize our space, we feel better about ourselves, and we can’t help but function much better! This includes your desktop and your files, paper and digital. I have never once cleaned or spruced up anything, car, wardrobe, or workspace, and said to myself, “Man I wished I hadn’t done that. I was more productive when it was dirty and unorganized”. I doubt you have either!

Lastly, do a quick check to make sure all your tools are prepared and in place for the coming months. Are you prepared to keep everything in tip-top shape so that you can look, feel, and function at a maximum level so you can be as productive as possible?

A good spring cleaning is good for the Mind, Body, and Soul, in Life, and in Business!

Separating YOU From THEM!

While reading a story on customer satisfaction with products, it dawned on me that the reasons people stay loyal to certain products or brands are the same reasons that business owners stay loyal to their media reps and stations.

A story published in quoted several surveys, all related to “Why we Buy: Consumer Behavior and Loyalty in the Age of Infinite Options”. One survey by Criteo stated the obvious, and that was that quality products or services at a good price are still the biggest drivers of brand loyalty.

More importantly, the article went on to quote a survey conducted by Epsilon that said, “Eighty percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences”. In our line of work as marketing reps, this is where we start to separate the GREAT reps from the good reps. What type of personalized experience(s) do you offer to your clients and prospects that make you stand out from the crowd? 

Yet, in another survey by Morning Consult, it said 88% of respondents agreed that well-priced products with matching quality are important. More significantly, 92% said reliability and durability were key in creating brand loyalty. Are you reliable and durable for your clients? Are you there when they need you, and are you continually bringing them ideas to help them grow their business? 

Finally, and here is where we really separate the GREAT from good, and good from average…The same survey from Morning Consult stated that the primary reason for abandoning a brand was that the quality had gone down. Never take your clients for granted. Always be doing things (personalized experiences) that make them appreciate you more and more every month and year.

Here’s the big question. As a media rep, what are you doing that separates you from your competitors?

ENS Media’s SoundADvice program can be the very thing that will start separating YOU from THEM!

Here’s what one satisfied sales manager has to say about SoundADvice:

“More Training? All well and good but how ‘bout actually changing the landscape to make it easier for your well-trained sellers to succeed?

We’ve found SoundADvice is far and away the easiest, turn-key way to position yourself and your team as the local “go-to” experts. It’s true. When it comes to marketing ourselves, we don’t practice what we preach AND we’ve got the stations!

I know you’re busy and more time-poor than ever. All the more reason to use SoundADvice. They do the heavy lifting. You reap the referrals.”                                           

Click here for more SoundADvice testimonials.

To find out how easy and affordable SoundADvice is and how effective it can be to help you keep and build better relationships with your prospects and clients, click here to arrange a call with Rick.

Train For Success

Henry Ford is quoted as saying, “The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay!” 

What is the value of training your sales team? Is it a waste of time or is it time well spent? Study, after study, after study continues to show that most company meetings are unproductive and a waste of time… Harvard Business Review, 71% of senior managers said meetings are unproductive and inefficient; Inc. Magazine, 90 percent of employees feel meetings are “costly” and “unproductive; and the list goes on and on.

Let’s be honest. It’s rare when someone says they enjoy and look forward to regular sales or training meetings, including the person responsible for putting the meetings together. Creating good, productive training sessions, especially on a regular basis, is not easy.

There are a few key elements to conducting more productive meetings so that your employees get more out of them, and also to help you make them more enjoyable.

One of the most important rules to follow regardless of whether it’s in person or via video is to lighten up. Make them fun, informative, and entertaining! The main reason meetings are so unpopular is that they are no fun, they’re boring, redundant and unfortunately, most reps will say, they are a waste of time.

The irony is that properly planned and focused training meetings can be one of the most productive, unifying, and motivating uses of everyone’s time in your organization.

Your people are one of the most valuable marketing assets you have, yet many businesses treat employee meetings with these resources as necessary evils rather than opportunities to enhance productivity.

Properly planned training will achieve four major objectives for you:

1.) Communication

Planning to always communicate something new, or re-profiling old subjects to make them appear new at every meeting, dramatically reduces staff boredom and encourages enthusiastic attendance.

2.) Knowledge

Your best people are hungry for knowledge and your investment in their education makes their jobs more rewarding. Better-trained people generate more sales and contribute to higher customer satisfaction levels. 

3.) Motivation

Your regular employee meeting is also the ideal place to consistently reinforce and promote your company’s vision or mission.

4.) Entertainment…. yes, that’s right. Entertainment!

Entertainment, or a “Fun Factor”, is the secret ingredient to making sure the attendees are engaged.

Planning and executing effective training/sales meetings is a very difficult task to do on a regular ongoing basis. If your meetings are productive and effective, congratulations! If not and you would like some free tips, ENS Media has a list of “Do’s and Don’ts of Employee Meetings” which offers tips to help make your meetings more productive and entertaining.

The litmus test is to ask your staff how they feel about sales meetings. If they say you have too many or they are too long, they are in the 70 to 90% that think meetings are “usually a waste of time”!

If you would like to see our 9 Do’s and Don’ts for Productive Employee Meetings, click here to let us know and we will send it to you.

Train them and create a culture where they never want to leave.

Better Training = Better Sales!

Patience Pays

When selling a new prospect advertising on your station, how long should it take to make the sale?

The correct answer is… as long as it takes, to do it right! Too fast or too slow can both have adverse effects. But in most cases, moving too fast can have greater long-term adverse effects than moving too slow. Patience, more often than not, is a virtue!

Keep in mind that media sales are different from automotive, furniture, or insurance sales. Advertising sales are business-to-business sales; if we lose the sale to a competitor or don’t make the sale today, there will nearly always be another opportunity in the near future. The automotive, furniture, insurance, and other like categories are business-to-consumer sales and the urgency is much greater. They understand that if they don’t get the sale today, the prospect may well be out of the market tomorrow. However, even with that said, the best salespeople, regardless of what they are selling, nearly always have patience.

In media sales, two factors determine how long you should take:

1)   The value of the client. Is it a long-term client or a short-term client? The more potential value the client has, the more patience you should have. Don’t rush in with ideas and plans that aren’t well-thought-out. Make sure you play your cards correctly. 

2)   How much time does the client/prospect need to trust you? Building “trust” takes time, and if they trust you at the point when they say yes to your plan, the chances are much greater that they will give your plan the time it needs to work. 

Even if they don’t trust you, they may buy from you once or twice, but without trust, the chances of them becoming long-term clients are very slim.

In our experience, a majority of the medium to large long-term contracts our team wrote took at least 3 months to close, and some took 6 months or more. The key is, once they bought into the ideas and plans that we had taken our time to create for them, they were committed and stayed with the program. 

18th-century Swiss philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau said it best, “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet”. It takes time to reap the rewards. 

When you find a potential client that has value, be patient with them. Take the time to come up with great ideas. Ask deeper questions. Show a keener interest in their business and use that time to build trust and rapport. Once they say yes, you’ll have them for a lifetime.

Patience is a virtue and patience pays!