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Jeff Schmidt

Be A Business Advantage For Your Local Advertisers


Good Morning, Mr. Hausauer. My name is Jeff Schmidt and Im calling from Magic 104, WMGV radio in Oshkosh. We have developed a six-minute video that we are sharing with area businesses. The video provides great information about how to improve the marketing of your business no matter what kind of marketing you do. Whether you choose to do business with us or not, the video will provide you with valuable information that you can use immediately. Mr. Hausauer, I promise to not ask for your business unless I can first come up with a plan for improving it. Would Thursday at 9 or Friday at 11 work best for you?

Twenty-seven years ago, I considered that a great prospect call to a local car dealer.

Things have changed.

In my sales career we have come through three eras of selling.

1. Persuasion. This was the era of the three-martini lunch, the feature-benefit analysis, and the feel, felt, found exercise. If youre not familiar with any of those things, consider yourself lucky.
2. Consultant Sell. This is when we had to ask questions to determine needs.
3. Source of Business Advantage. Today, you not only have to come up with the right questions, you have to bring to your prospects information of value without ever having met them before.

Today your prospects have Twitter feeds, Facebook walls, LinkedIn updates, Pin-terest pins, and the list goes on and on. Your prospects are inundated with infor-mation. They have more than enough places to spend marketing dollars. They are tired of people calling to Learn about your business. They dont need more in-formation or more conversation; they need help.

I walked into a jewelry client once as we were ending the era of consultant sell. I told him I was there to learn more about his business so I could determine if I could help. He slid open the drawer, pulled out a form with my competitors logo on it and said, Here, Im tired of answering these questions. The rep from the other station gave me a copy of the answers in case any more of your kind showed up. Brilliant idea on the part of the other rep.

Here are seven more things you can do to become a source of business advantage for your prospects:

1. Read industry trade publications. (Automotive News, Restaurant News, Fu-neral Directors Weekly, etc.) These are a valuable source of the problems AND solutions specific to your clients industry.
2. LinkedIn Groups. Identify the groups related to your clients industry and read the discussions.
3. Handle the creative. If you control the content of the ads, you control the account.
4. Sign up for Google Alerts for your clients specific business and for their category of business.
5. Look for related industry trends and information. What does a car dealer need to know about banking? A restaurant about farming? etc.
6. Research and provide information on topics of interest to them. (Social media, etc)
7. Read books, attend seminars and webinars. Learn about broad business concepts and new trends.

What do all seven have in common? The sincere desire to learn about your cli-ents business and business in general so that you can be a valuable resource.

Mr. Hausauer became George to me that day, and we connected. He admitted that he knew very little about marketing and advertising. I admitted that I knew very little about the automotive business. On that first prospect call George and I came to an agreement. I would teach him marketing/advertising/branding and he would teach me the car business.

Over the next 25 years George invested over $2 million with me. He was able to take small dealerships and build them into new multi-million dollar facilities. I helped him with compensation systems for his staff, conducted sales training for his staff, and even helped him negotiate his personal contract with his boss.

I was a source of business advantage for George. What George bought from me was advertising. What George got from me was a partnership that we both val-ued. A partnership that started very successful careers for both of us.

What can you do today to make yourself a source of business advantage to your clients and prospects?

If youre looking for some tools on how to become a source of business advantage, Chris Lytle and I have partnered with Radio Ink for the Radio Sales Success Expander webinar series. Click here to find out more and sign up to participate live or on demand.

Jeff Schmidt is EVP and Partner with Chris Lytle at Sparque, Inc. You can reach Jeff at,

Twitter: @JeffreyASchmidt

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