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(SALES) The Lost Art

12/19/12

What is the most high-leverage activity any radio salesperson can engage in? Of course its making presentations.

But Im sorry to say that making presentations appears to be a lost art. We see dozens of radio presentations every week and 90 percent of them just dont cut it. And the sad part is, with the technology we have today, most of the shortcomings we see could be easily solved!

Ive compiled a list of the top 10 shortfalls we see in most radio presentations.

1.) Outright errors. Can you say spell check and grammar check? We even see mistakes in the spelling of customers names. Last week I saw one to Henrys Hardware spelled Henrys without the possessive apostrophe.

2.) Negative empathy indexes. Empathy is defined as "the capacity to participate in the thoughts or feelings of another." With research and news about your prospect and their category available at the tips of your fingers online, there is no excuse for presentations that only talk about your radio station.

3.) One-dimensional presentations. We see presentations written in Word documents or PowerPoint only. Its showtime folks! Pull out the stops and use some video from YouTube, some graphics and artwork from clip art services, and some audio examples of the solutions you are proposing.

4.) No dialogue. For some unwritten reason, too many account executives think their presentations are all about talking or demonstrating. The best presentations open dialogue, get input, feedback, and agreement on every point along the way.

5.) Using "radiospeak." We use industry terms that can confuse the average business owner. For example, we use the word "frequency" even though it has three different meanings.your position on the dial, the number of times your average listener hears a commercial, and the number of times a commercial runs in a week. If you mean repetition, say repetition. And lose the other industry jargon as well. Your prospects dont call their prospects "listeners" or "audience."

6.) The ostrich sell. Most of our presentations stick our head in the sand as if radio is the only media on earth, and they focus on why your station is the best among many to clients who arent even sold on radio at all. So you persuade them that you are the best in something they dont see a need for. Hows that working for you?

7.) The double ostrich sell. Many presentations jump into how great the station is or how wonderful the campaign idea is before selling the prospect on the need to advertise at all.

8.) Unbelievable discounts. We see presentations that say: This campaign has a value of $150,000. Were offering it to you for only $30,000. Huh? How believable is that? If a used car dealer claimed theyd sell you a car valued at $150,000 for only $30,000, what would you perceive the actual value of that car to be?  

9.)  No proof. We surveyed 60 presentations at random and only one offered any proof or validation. That one presentation had a testimonial from a real advertiser about how well radio worked. Selling is all about trust, and presentations need to validate every claim you make.

10.) Tricky closing tactics. There is no room for tricky closing tactics in a professional marketing consultants presentation. The old alternate choice close, for example, where you offer a number of solutions in the hopes they buy just one, any one, diminishes your position as a credible consultant who is presenting the best possible solution.

11.) PowerPoint only. By nature, PowerPoint is designed to pinpoint the highlights of your story in point form only. PowerPoints have no value in your absence or as a leave-behind and certainly none if emailed or dropped off. You need to prepare a full written presentation clearly outlining all of your features and benefits to accompany every point-form presentation.

12.) Lazy attempt. There is no substitute for powerful face-to-face presentations. We know everyone is busy today, and there are geographical difficulties, but every conceivable attempt must be made to make your presentation face-to-face. Where every attempt has been made, at least arrange a live online meeting with an inexpensive service like GoToMeeting so you can have a two-way dialogue, answer any questions, and add your personality to the presentation.   

There is no higher leverage activity for a radio marketer than planning, preparing, and delivering a quality, customer-focused presentation. Yet so many treat writing their presentations as a necessary evil rather than the very heart of what we do for a living.

Wayne Ens is the president of ENS Media Inc. and producer of SoundADvice, the radio e-marketing system and advertiser seminar that is persuading local advertisers across North America to drop their print advertising in favor of a radio-Internet media mix. He can be reached at wayne@wensmedia.com 




(12/20/2012 1:15:31 AM)
NO client in today's super fast-paced, electronic world, wants to be forced to sit through a long, drawn-out "presentation"!... And clients DO NOT CARE about your "features and benefits" (again, old school)...ALL they care about, is specifically HOW are you going to help them increase their business? ROI ! That's it. And finally, do NOT tell a client about their industry, or how to run their business. That is condescending to them. Concentrate on HOW your product, helps their business.

- Bob

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