Current Issue:

Current Issue

On The Cover:
Cumulus Chairman Jeff Marcus

Click here to subscribe to Radio Ink.

Radio Ink Writers

Wayne Ens

Why Cookie-Cutter Solutions Dont Work


Every time we facilitate our sales workshop on how to craft customer-focused presentations that sell, we receive emails and phone calls from account executives looking for cookie-cutter short cuts. They ask us to forward presentation samples for them to copy.

I refuse to do so.

In the past, we did forward presentation samples but they inevitably became fill-in-the-blanks "templates" instead of samples.  And one-size-fits-all templates are the antithesis of professional customer-focused presentations.

Think about it. When you receive a letter or an email, you know instinctively if it was written specifically for you, or if it is simply a fill-in-the-blanks, one-size-fits-all generic communication.

I do understand why we get requests for samples or templates. They are short cuts and eliminate the most time-consuming aspect of presentation writingthinking.

And there is some merit to taking short cuts or not creating relevant customer-focused presentations for small, low-potential clients. They might not be worth the effort.

But what if youre wrong? What if your prospect has more potential than you estimated and would have invested considerably more with you had you taken the time to create a custom customer-focused presentation?

Here are a few reasons why we recommend creating your best presentations from scratch, rather than simply removing client As name from an old presentation and replacing it with prospect Bs name.

1.) There really is no one-size-fits-all presentation. Every client deserves a schedule and a creative strategy specifically designed to achieve their goals and objectives.

2.) When you put on your ad managers hat and build a presentation that is specifically tailored to your prospects situation and needs, youll be mentally rehearsing your verbal discussion as you carefully craft each segment.

3.) Advertisers recognise generic one-size-fits-all proposals versus presentations custom-designed specifically for them. Customer-focused presentations trigger psychological reciprocity; that deep-rooted subconscious need to do something for those who do something for us.

4.) Custom presentations distinguish you as a professional among a sea of media competitors who use the cookie-cutter approach. You know when your lawyer, accountant, investment counsellor, or other professionals prepare solutions specifically for you versus presenting generic fill-in-the-blank solutions. Your clients recognize the difference as well.

5.) Taking short cuts, often produces catastrophic errors. In your haste to use a sample presentation for another client, you often find the presentation says something you hadnt meant to say; or youll even miss one of the prior advertisers mentions and have it appear in your hastily edited version.

6.) Every client has different objections. Well thought out custom presentations anticipate and diffuse each prospects specific objections rather than simply using generic information like Radio reaches 93 percent of the market every week  
Of course, there is room to template the format of every customer-focused presentation to ensure you cover every important selling point. Every presentation needs to address:

 A custom, well-researched situation or competitive analysis.

 An outline of the specific objectives or what this presentation will do for the prospect.

 A proposed marketing strategy to differentiate each prospect from their competition.

 A "why advertise" custom tailored to the clients situation. A "why radio" segment validating radios strategic fit in the new media landscape.

 Why your station specifically deserves a role in the advertisers media plans.

 A scheduling strategy clearly outlining how your proposed schedule is designed to achieve the advertisers objectives.

 A creative strategy outlining how your campaign will communicate the advertisers points of difference clearly and convincingly.

 A conclusion that summarises how your campaign will achieve the advertisers objectives and how they will measure their R.O.I. (return on investment).

In this age of instant gratification and short cuts, its common to look for the easy road to success. But like I say in my book, How to Get Luckier in Advertising Sales, there is no denying that the harder we work, the luckier we get.

Wayne Ens is president of ENS Media and can be reached at 705-484-9993 or