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How many sales do you make on a fact-finding call? "Say what? Sales, you say?

Yes, sales! What kind of sales? Well start with a reminder from a previous blog

Sale #1  Convince advertisers you're there to help them grow their business by demonstrating youve done your homework

"Mr. Garcia, my name is Dave Gifford, Im a Retail Brand Manager at Results Radio. I dont know if you recognize me or not, but yesterdayafter checking out Costcos websiteI  made the Grand Tour up and down every aisle of your storeand whereas we both know you cant match Costco price-for-priceyou have a tremendous local branding opportunity when it comes towellhere, take a look at this(Handing Mr. Garcia the following 5 x 7 list)

1.  Fully staffed Service Department!                     1-866-861-0450
2.  Parts stock: Extensive!                                     None
3.  Apple Sony Dell hp Customized!           Acer? Alienware? Levena? Dell?  hp? 

4.  Outstanding expandability!                              Poor
5.  Extensive accessories!                                    Very limited
6.  All Major Credit Cards including Amex!         Amex only
7.  90 days same as cash!                                    No way
8.  Lease with option to buy!                               No way
9.  Recognized community involvement                None!
10. Local business local people support               National Chain Box Store
VALUE!                                                             PRICE ONLY!

Mr. Garcia, this is what I do. I help local, independent retailers increase their store traffic, turn over their inventories faster, and increase their cash flowand last night I  came up with a Media-Mix marketing plannot just radiothat will help you, one, ensure continued loyalty to your store after Costco arrives, and two, drive more store traffic to your store at the same time. All I need to prove how it will work for you is sixty minutes of your time sometime next week. What works best for you, Monday at nine or, uhTuesday afternoons at two, any preference?

Important Note: If you came into my store, and youre opening line isor any number of variations thereof: The reason I wanted to meet you is to learn something about your business my response would be

I dont mean to be rude, but I didnt get up this morning to provide you an education about my business. Tell you what. Let me give you a sales tip. Learn about my business first, the way you should. There are tons of sources* available including Googling the computer industry, and then call me. When you do call, remind me of our conversation, and I promise to talk with you then, fair enough? (Under the circumstances, that is about as diplomatic as I can be.)

* Radio Advertising Bureau. 800 232-3131;; Instant Background: Computers.
Sale #2  That you are an expert on advertising, among most advertising people in your market, someone who knows what you're talking about andin earning their respect and trusta media sales representative to be taken seriously. Note: You are not in the radio business, you're in the advertising business! Which is why your sales training curriculum should include a major in the basic tenets and principles of advertising. If you do, you will then be able to make 

Sale #3  That you offer advertisers a "unique expertise" unavailable from every media salesperson calling on them.

Sale #4  That you ask intelligent, relevant, insightful, analytical questions, and are quick to recognize what is particularly significant to their business.

Sale #5  That you gain crucial agreements that help you in the Test Closing (if necessary!) of your follow-up presentation.

Sale #6  That any company which fails to expand its customer base, cannot survive. And the only way advertisers can increase their share of market is to take market share away from competitors. Business goes where it's invited! Period.

Sale #7  That today advertisers need only two things to succeed in business: new business and repeat business because they can't have one without the other. That they get new  business by advertising for it, and they get repeat business by advertising for it consistently. Fail to advertise for new customers consistently, and their repeat business will dry up.

Sale #8  That you correctly identified their real #1 sales problemthat the fundamental flaw in their advertising is that they are not reaching enough people, enough of the right peoplewith the right messageenough times, at the right times!

Sale #9  That there is a consequence for not solving their #1 sales problem: their best accounts will become their competitors best prospects!

Sale #10  That they're spending too much money on newspaper or Yellow Pages or TV advertising, or whatever they're spending too much money on. Especially, given the fact that most locally produced TV commercials look like they were produced in your neighbors garage, the vast majority can't afford to advertise on TV effectively.

Sale #11 Reality: Radio gets only 5 percent of advertisings total spend, and selling your Station-Mix only (spot and/or interactive and/or below-the-line) has not increased radios market share one iota! Not that is isnt important to your revenue, but if radio fails to go after the 95 percent of ad moneys radio is missing, there will be fewer radio ad dollars to go after. Consequently, radios  #1 source of 2013 GROWTH money has to come from, 1) Getting radio and your stations included on as many Media-Mix schedules as possible, and, 2) Selling Customized Media-Mix Marketing Campaigns to non-radio advertisers! Thats it!

Advice:  To grow your revenues exponentially, get into the Advertising Business, and major in selling Customized Media-Mix Marketing Campaigns to non-radio advertisers.

Your Sell:  With the proliferation of new media since 2000, no single ad medium is a one-size-fits-all solution for advertisers, thereby explaining why Media-Mix (integrated advertising) is todays marketing strategy of choice. Media-Mix advertising helps provide a size-fits-all solution for advertisers, thereby explaining why Media-Mix (integrated advertising) is todays marketing strategy of choice. But whereas Media-Mix advertising helps advertisers reach more potential customers through the addition of more and different ad mediums, adding more ad mediums increases the cost of advertising. Warning: overspending in Reach ad mediums at the expense of driving their ad messages home re-peat-edly (Frequency!), represents the biggest mistake in advertising today. Consequently, as advertisings #1 Frequency ad medium, radio is the perfect Media-Mix-Medium!

Sale #12  That you uncover and overcome their major objections.

Sale #13  That their advertising is only as good as 1) Their credibility with consumers, 2) Thepersuasiveness of their  sales messages and offers, 3) The creative execution of their sales messages and offers, 4) The consumer's receptivity to their sales messages and offers, and 5) The number of times their  sales messages (commercials) run. Having made that point

Sale #14  In the discussion that followed you identified their needs, their concerns, their aspirations, and their fears. Note: Find out their greatest fears about the future of their business, and you can sell them. Fear of loss is a far stronger emotion than the desire for gain.Giff

Sale #15  That changes in the marketplace require changes in their advertising.

Sale #16  That they are not the "Coke Is It!" for what they sell. Because of same

Sale #17  They need to re-position themselves by marketing their company or store or service as if it were a "brand."

Sale #18  That you will come up with a choice of unique positioning statements to select from, each conceived and written to drive home a unique message consumers will quickly recognize, relate to, and respond to.

Sale #19  That, if the opportunity presents itself (appropriate to the circumstances), you should be prepared to sell them something that, over time,  will 1) Increase their traffic, 2) Expand their customer base, and 3) Elevate their company net worth. If not, you will need to make

Sale #20  Sell them on a follow-up meeting for the purpose of presenting a Customized Media-Mix Marketing Campaign strategically designed to solve the major sales problems you identified during the fact-finding call.

Lesson: All fact-finding calls are "sales" calls!

Dave Gifford has been helping salespeople and sales managers improve their skills for decades. Send a message to Giff here:

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