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Marijane Milton

Free Yourself From One-Sheet Hell


Lets face it. Many radio people tend to be, shall we say, auditory people. We often learn, absorb, appreciate, and judge material as we hear it, because we work in an auditory medium. Most people are visual. We can forget this. And, as radio becomes more and more visual, we can forget that our sales messaging must evolve right along with our on-air and online products.

Many clusters still have a wall or a filing cabinet somewhere displaying sales materials. One-sheets, coverage maps, personality profiles, sales initiatives, etc., that are client-facing (meaning you use them in the field with clients, whether in person, e-mailed, or, heaven help us, snail-mailed).

If youve moved into the present day and have relegated the wall or drawer to the ashbin of history and have moved all this material online in an intranet or share drive, well, yay!

But let me let you in on a little secret. Clients dont really care much about these things. No one wants attachments from people they may not know well cluttering up their in-box unless theyve specifically asked for them. Your clients are more sensitive to waste now than ever before; they may not appreciate glossy, colorful photos of your morning show team and may round-file them as soon as you depart.

That said, you or your NSM or your rep firm may be walking into the biggest ad agencies in the world, and your material needs to stand on its own merits right next to who was last in there, whether that was a small-town newspaper chain or ESPN. If youre putting together a proposal, you need to be sure your material, your messaging about your brand, and your company are represented professionally.

So heres what you should do:
If you have a lot of one-sheets for a lot of things that are rarely used, retire them. Archive them. Get them out of the way. The sales force will tell you what these are. Managers can tell because they can see whats not being used. Sales assistants usually know best of all.

Focus. Identify the critical few pieces you need that will present your cluster and brands to their best advantage. Make sure those are perfect. Error-free. Reflective of your brands and your professionalism.

Stay consistent. Often old material gets saved to a hard drive and used over and over. Make sure your sellers and your managers know what the most current material is and how to access it.

Make sure all sellers use the same consistent material in the field and all proposals have the same professional look and feel.

Clean out the closet. Intranets and share drives can become like a huge walk-in closet that goes years between cleanings. There are shoes in there that were worn once, uncomfortable what-was-I-thinking outfits, and too many versions of the same little black dress. Dont let that happen to you. People tend to save things under new names, repost, save duplicates, etc., and it can become a mess quickly without someone owning that project.

Provide training. Many salespeople are excellent proposal writers. Some, not so much. For some, a one-sheet and a ranker suffices (ouch). Dont skirt training on this issue. You check to be sure salespeople are presenting the brands with passion, conviction, and professionalism in a relatable, client-focused manner. Make sure the printed or e-mailed materials they are using to support presentations match this same level of professionalism.

Move it all online. Think about how you research products and services today. Clients like to be able to learn about you on their own, too. If your cluster does not have a website devoted to sales, address that. And Im not talking about an Advertise link buried on your website that has the sales managers e-mail and phone number. Im talking about a simple, elegant site that showcases your brands and what they do for clients and businesspeople in your community. This is not hard. It takes focus and ownership. Once its moved online, your salespeople can e-mail links not attachments that may worry clients about viruses and you can always keep it current and polished.

The best sales managers know that they must market their brands to the business community the same way the best program directors know how to reach out to and impact their listeners. Your salespeople are your ambassadors to your local businesspeople. Make sure they are armed with the material they need to shine.

Marijane Milton is international director of revenue innovation and training at MBMI.

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