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Selling The Sold


In our industry there has forever been a great emphasis on new business and new business development. A very wise CEO, whom I love and respect dearly, once told me, Whenever I went to the bank to make a deposit, no one ever asked me if this was new money or old money. In our industry, the emphasis on new money is there to combat the attrition of current billing. I get that. But, if you were able to look back at your selling career and get an accurate percentage of your revenue growth from current clients, the number would likely shock you.

This is a topic worthy of us addressing. Well call it "selling the sold." There are two ways we get increased business from current clients, they tell us they need more advertising or we sell them something new that increases their expenditure. I recently wrote an article for Radio Ink entitled, Just Stop By. The purpose was to encourage you to just stop by your clients location whenever you have a spare minute and youre near them. You learn a great deal when you stop by unexpected. I remember once I had a client that owned a great restaurant. One day I just stopped by. First the client said, Rob, you were just here two days ago. I dont need anything. Then, the client said, Wait a minute. You may have good timing stopping by today. Did you see the construction going on out back? I replied, No, I came in the front. Whats up? He said, Im building on a second kitchen. There are two new white vans out there, too. Why a second kitchen and new vans, I asked. Were getting in the catering business, he answered. Thirty days later my restaurant account doubled their budget with me as we began airing our new catering campaign. This was a current client increasing their business with me because of their growth and success.

Now lets examine the second way we get more business from current clients. This is when you generate the opportunity. Lets say you make an appointment with a current client and it goes like this I wanted to stop by today and show you an opportunity we have. The radio station is going to be sending out a large direct-mail piece to some 50,000 households. Six advertisers will have the opportunity for redemption coupons in the mailer. It would require us to increase our budget (X amount) over the next three months. We may or may not choose to participate, but my job is to make sure youre aware of this and always keep you informed of whats going on at the station. Now, your client may or may not participate, but you must make sure theyre aware.

Imagine walking into your client one day, (just stopping by), and them saying, Why didnt you tell me about that bug direct-mail piece you guys are doing? Your competitor stopped by assuming I was buying it. I told them I was unaware of the opportunity. They were quick to wonder why you hadnt informed me. Im wondering, too." If you ever hear words like this from your client, your heart would sink to your shorts! Every day, sellers are saying no FOR their clients and thats not their job! Your job is to inform them of everything; everything, every day, all the time. Theyre big boys and girls and they know the balance of their check book. You do not.

Selling the sold comes from two directions and its crucial to your business and your career. Im sure you get it.

Rob Adair is the President of Pinnacle Solving. His company provides revenue growth solutions, branding and differentiation strategies to radio and other industries. Adair is a former radio industry COO and Sr. VP overseeing 25+ stations and multiple major markets. He can be reached at 405-641-0458 or by e-mail

(4/9/2013 10:08:20 AM)
LOVE this! This is how you take your list to the next level while being a sustaining resource for your clients. If you want to be a big biller, work smarter, not harder! Love your perspective here and I share it.

- Erica Pefferman

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