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Wayne Ens

The Pitfalls of New and Free

"New" and "free." Marketing practitioners have long known about the power of these two words. Buyers have always been attracted to that which is new, and can't resist offers that include something free. The problem with these two words as marketing tools is that neither is sustainable.

Approaching The Illusive "Decision-Maker"

Have you noticed that making cold calls, dropping in unexpectedly, sending e-mail, snail mail, and voice mail messages just doesn't work the way it used to? Technology permits salespeople and vendors from around the world to use those same tactics you use to try to get an appointment with the decision-maker, and those decision-makers have become immune to those approaches.

KISS Them With Radio

You have no doubt heard about the KISS acronym: Keep It Simple Stupid. Simple sells! Digital is anything but simple, and I believe we're missing the boat by not presenting radio as the simple turnkey media alternative. I read this morning that thousands are leaving Facebook every day to migrate to the latest shiny new thing, Instagram.

You Don't Need More Training

A Part of what we do at ENS Media is sales training. So, you might be puzzled when I say, "You probably don't need more sales training." Training is just one of the tools in every sales manager's toolkit to increase sales, but like many of your tools, if they arent working it's more likely because they arent used properly, not because the tools you have are no good.

Death Of The Sales Rep

If you have the word "agent" or "representative" in your job title, you could be on the verge of extinction. Remember the days before Expedia and Travelocity? You had to call a travel agent to make your plans and book your vacations. The Internet has changed the way people buy. Programmatic buying, and being able to book advertising on a wide range of new media via the Internet, are leading many advertisers away from investing their valuable time talking to sales representatives.

How To Make Your Network Work

You've probably noticed it's becoming increasingly difficult to capture appointments with cold calls or by phone, email, or snail mail. In the good old days, the average locally owned business was only approached by about 16 local suppliers trying to dip into their marketing budgets each week; media sales people, sign companies, printers and so on.

Selling Radio's Role In SEO

What makes marketing exciting is that as soon as you find a strategy that works, it quits working. Why? If you've created a campaign that works, your competitors quickly catch on and copy or upstage you, making your once-unique strategy commonplace. Take the example of furniture stores...

The Radio Versus Digital Myth

We're hearing a lot about digital cutting into radio advertising budgets...but does that need to be the case? According to a survey by technology research firm Gartner, sixty-eight percent of senior marketing executives said their company had a separate digital marketing budget. According to the survey, marketing executives are three times more likely to lead strategic growth initiatives in 2016 than they were in 2012.

Hey! It's Not About You!

We recently began a consulting project to develop a more productive selling culture for a radio station group. Of course, to begin the project, we had to analyse their current sales culture, starting with reviewing a sampling of their current sales presentations.

Magic Formulas

Everyone seems to want the magic formula that goes into the secret sauce called success. Your advertisers want tried and proven formulas and rules to help minimise the risks when they invest in advertising, and they want it in a language thats easy to understand. Albert Einstein said, Genius is making the complicated look simple. In an ever-changing media world with new platforms and buzz-words being introduced almost daily, simple formulas can make your points powerfully, and make you look like a marketing genius.

Maybe Radio Does Have A Sales Problem

In a recent Radio Ink article, Editor Ed Ryan wrote With 242 million people listening, and radio revenue only growing slightly, maybe our problem is a sales problem. But that's an entirely different article. This is that article. With that simple statement, Mr Ryan has hit the nail on the head! (Einstein said Genius is making the complicated look simple).

Is Radio A Zero-Sum Game?

Radio is not a zero-sum game. In game theory and economic theory, zero-sum describes a situation in which a participant's gain or loss is exactly balanced by the losses or gains of the other participants. If the total gains of the participants are added up, and the total losses are subtracted, they will sum to zero. Its time our industry recognized that radio is an infinite game.

The Death Of The Station Manager

As I travel across North America and visit countless radio stations, Ive come to understand that the stock market has killed station managers, and that not having fulltime station managers is slowly but surely dragging down our entire industry. Albert Einstein said, A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Business success guru Peter Drucker is often quoted as saying, If you cant measure it, you cant manage it. The number crunchers love to flaunt that quote, without capturing a deeper understanding of Druckers teachings.

Your Prospect says NoNow What? Pt. 1

A Radio Ink reader asked me to create a blog about what radio account executives should do after a client says no. After putting all of your effort and creativity into a presentation, you would probably rather endure a root canal than hear your prospect say, We like your presentation, but Understanding why a prospect says no is one of the most valuable steps towards yes in your entire sales process. We have a proven system of 10 things you can do after your client says no, not counting taking hostages until they say yes.

Your Prospect Says NoNow What? Pt. 2

In my last blog I said you would probably rather endure a root canal than hear your prospect say, We like your presentation but However, understanding why a prospect says no is one of the most valuable steps towards yes in your entire sales process. In this blog, well explore the first five of 10 things you can do after your client says no, not counting taking hostages until they say yes.

Your Prospect Says NoNow What? Pt. 3

In my last two blogs we explored why no is a necessary step towards yes in your selling process, and we discussed the first five of our 10 things to do after no. Lets explore the remainder of those 10 steps in todays blog. Step 6: This is the one most often underplayed: Say thanks in a big way. Thanks for the appointment, thanks for giving me new insights into your business or your goals, thanks for considering us, etc.

The New Directories Of Ineffective Marketers

They say history repeats itself, and Im sad to say it appears to be true when it comes to marketing local radio effectively. In the pre-Internet world, radio seemed to be content letting yellow directories capture more local advertising revenue than radio. Today, the Internet has replaced those old directories of ineffective marketers and were letting tons of local ad dollars flock to each shiny new medium that appears on the newest digital platforms.

Starting Over

Do you remember how you felt when you scored your first radio job? Your friends couldnt believe you were in show biz. You were in the mass communications business, working with well-known personalities, getting backstage passes, creating ideas for clients, and learning something new every day. It was fun and you got paid for it!

Creative Shortfalls

Recently, there has been a lot of discussion in Radio Ink about the powerful role of great creative in increasing sales, and of poor creative sabotaging sales. And rightly so. At ENS Media, our Three Rs formula positions creative as the ultimate multiplier of advertising success: Reach X Repetition X Relevance = R.O.I. (Return on Investment) But here is the thing. It is ludicrous to think creative types can write relevant creative from their view in the isolation of their office.

Are You Preparing For Growth?

Most stations arent prepared to capture the growth caused by the pent up demand created by a long hard winter. Are you planning to grow substantially? The problem with planning is its often based upon forecasts, which in turn are based upon statistics. Statistics, however, are only a rear-view mirror picture which has been impaired by a long hard winter. The forecasts which spring from that rear-view can actually become self-fulfilling prophecies.

Go Native On Radio

Im really tired of us radio types letting the digital folks redefine the advertising landscape to suit their terms and platforms. I know its a little like swimming upstream to put the shiny new media in their place, and they certainly do have a place, but theyre not the be all and end all. One example is our online and digital friends hype around the power of much-touted native advertising.

Facebook Fraud

Figures dont lie, but liars sure can figure. Throughout history, each new medium has sold unsuspecting local advertisers as they went through their liars sure can figure phase. Social media is in that phase right now. Check out this video on Facebook fraud...

The Secret Shopper Advantage

Its getting harder and harder to get appointments with your prospects. Theyre being approached by more salespeople trying to dip into their marketing budgets than ever before. Social media consultants, SEO consultants, Web designers, CRM (customer relations management) software folks, and many more are approaching your clients and prospects every day.

No Laughing Matter

There is nothing that can break the ice and open a relationship faster than making someone laugh. The toughest, most sceptical buyer will let down their guard if you can simply make them laugh. Everyone from effective public speakers to commercial copywriters have learned to harness the power of humor to generate positive responses from their target audiences.

Measuring Success In 2014

The analytics we have available for all things digital today are amazing. One analytics vendor amazed me this week with their suite of offerings, so much so that Im going to invest in their service. Their algorithms can calculate a digital presence score for any local business, and their competitors, in any market. Their analytics can give a combined digital score for all digital properties from mobile to search and from social to websites, or they can score and rank a business digital presence on each platform separately.

Radios Missed Opportunity

Im afraid radios history is repeating itself. There is no question that the Internet has changed the way people buy, and the way businesses sell. As the Internet is replacing all previous forms of print, radio is still missing the boat. In the old print-media world, every radio station let Yellow Pages take more local ad dollars out of their market than all of the radio stations in their market combined.

Compound Sales

Most of us understand how compound interest can grow our savings. Did you know that compounding is equally important in growing your radio revenue? If you can earn the right to ask for 15 percent more on each order after you have sold a new account, you will more than double your revenue on each account by your fifth order. But most sales efforts focus on a process that allegedly ends with closing the sale.

Oh, No! Not Another "Secret"

I received no less than 11 emails this past Monday offering to reveal "secrets" to me. Im well aware that there are words like "free" or "new" or perhaps "secrets" that are proven to capture attention. Heres my big "secret." The words you choose have to be the truth if your claims are to be believed and sustainable.

The Secrets To Selling Radio Packages

I am not a fan of selling one-size-fits-all station "packages" to advertisers. But working with hundreds of radio stations across North America, Ive learned that some account executives, and some transactional buyers, want or need "packages" to short-cut the selling process. Before I reveal the secrets to how you can sell station packages more successfully, let me explain why Im not a fan of selling packages.

Shouting Outside Of The Box

In Roy Williams' "Twelve Causes of Advertising Failure," Roy identifies over-confidence in qualitative targeting as one of the primary causes of advertising that fails. Nowhere is qualitative targeting more misguided than in business-to-business marketing. Many business-to-business marketers forget that business people are people too they follow their favorite sports teams on the radio, they listen for weather reports, and they each have their own musical tastes.

Are You Trying To Sell Upside Down?

Most of us have used a version of the marketing funnel to tell the left brain/right brain story and explain to our clients that buying decisions begin at an emotional or subconscious level, and become more conscious and logical as consumers get closer to the purchase end of the funnel. Even though we tell our prospects buying begins in the heart and is only rationalized in the head, we often use an upside down funnel in our own marketing.

Managing Expectations

Your local-direct advertisers know they cant pay their mortgage with Facebook "likes" and they cant send their kids to college with page views. They can only achieve their goals with sales. Yet they are delighted with responses or likes on the Internet while they demand that their cash registers ring when they invest in radio campaigns.

Radio Inspires, Internet Informs

Your clients and prospects arent hearing much about radio these days. The trade publications they read and the industry association conferences they attend are all featuring shiny new-media "gurus," leaving the impression that traditional media are dead. And frankly, the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) social and mobile media worlds are changing so rapidly, its impossible for anyone to really claim to be a "guru"...

Make It Feel Like Christmas Now

Make It Feel Like Christmas Now

While your sales people are boating, golfing, and enjoying the summer weather, it can be difficult to have thoughts of sugar plums dancing in their heads. But your clients and prospects are planning their Christmas campaigns NOW. An August 8 report in Chain Store Age suggests that 60 percent of retailers are cautiously optimistic about sales in the upcoming holiday season. In their 2013 Holiday Predictions Survey e-tailer Baynote reported 60 percent of retailers are forecasting revenue growth in excess of 10 percent.

Answering Advertisers FAQ's

I occasionally receive station presentations in my inbox, and most of them clearly tell me why stations arent selling more. Of course, their first error is sending me the presentations in the first place. The sender has obviously not refined their e-marketing data base, nor custom tailored the cover message to be relevant to meIm not a prospect. The senders merely send the same "package" to everyone in sight hoping something will stick... in the 70s we called that the spray and pray method of selling. (It didnt work then either!)

Beat Your Competitors At Level Four

Most of us have heard sales trainers point out that we have two ears and one mouth because we should listen twice as much as we talk. A Huthwaite Study of more than 60,000 business-to-business sales calls determined the single most differentiating attribute of high-performing sales people is their ability to ask questions.

Jumping Off The Bridge

Roy Williams says, The risk of insult is the price of clarity." To be clear, I dont have a lot of sympathy for stations that have not grown their revenues significantly in the new media environment. Are you insulted yet? Radio sales suffer from the "Im okay-youre okay syndrome." In other words, because our industry as a whole is experiencing flat or limited growth, its somehow become acceptable to not generate extraordinary revenue growth.

Managing The Vital Few

A search on the Internet attributes the famous quote Your only sustainable competitive advantage is to learn faster than the competition to more than a dozen well-known business or marketing gurus. Regardless of who originated the now-ubiquitous quote, the best sales managers have embraced the principal and have made training one of the cornerstones of their success.

I Ship My Pants

Virtually every radio account executive has had a business owner ask, How can I make my advertising stand out? The short answer is, Quit playing it safe. "Safe" advertising is what causes most ads to disappear into the never-ending landscape of competitors advertising, versus becoming a landmark in that landscape. CLICK HERE to view one of this Springs most popular "viral" ads.

The Move From Fear to Hope

You know that a clich is defined as "an over-used word or phrase that becomes meaningless over time" -- especially if your competitors are flogging the same over-used phrases as you. Today, virtually everyone claims to do needs-based selling or to sell solutions.

Win, Place, or Show?

Win, place, or showdoes it really matter? Youve probably seen shady characters in the movies or at the track who hot "tips" to help race enthusiasts bet on the winning horse. Advertisers eager to see their website win the race against competitors websites can be the victim of similar tipsters, calling themselves S.E.O (Search Engine Optimization) consultants.

Finding The Holes

Your competitors are afraid to tell the truth and the whole truth. The Internet is one of the greatest sales tools you have at your disposal to create valid business contacts. Researching online, you can usually find your competitors entire sales pitch! But more importantly you can also find the holes in their presentations.

What Winning Account Executives Know

The top-producing account executives we work with always know the answers to these 10 questions about every client: 1. Who is the real decision maker? Not to be confused with the decision-allocator. In the case of a car dealership, for example, the sales manager might decide which stations or what media they choose, but only the real decision maker, the dealer principal, can increase the budget.

Selling Yourself

Selling yourself is said to be the oldest profession in the world. But thats not the kind of selling yourself Im talking about. Im talking about salespeople who try to sell themselves in pursuit of career opportunities.

The Fear of Rejection

When we first began ENS Media Inc., I seriously considered investing in a consulting or training franchise because they offered recognized names and templated systems. I attended the various business franchise introductory seminars, presentations, and previews.

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.

Are You Competitive?

With more than 20 million small and medium businesses (SMBs) in the U.S. alone, SMBs have become by far the largest, most lucrative target for advertising salespeople. But selling advertising to SMBs has never been more competitive.

Do You Have An SEO Package?

Local marketers today have a dizzying menu of new and traditional media to choose from. The new media bandwagon is a hip and exciting place to be. Virtually every business has a website today. Websites can post more up-to-date information, and they are cheaper and more accessible than old-fashioned print ads or brochures.

What Advertisers Want

I have an 8-pound cylindrical automotive part about 11 inches long and 6 inches in diameter with a pulley on one end. Ill often lug the ugly brute into a seminar and ask the audience, Would anyone like to have one of these for their car? Of course, no one wants it.

Does Charlie Need The Money?

At age 71, famed Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts has contracted a masseuse to help him deal with his back pain during the Stones upcoming live performances. Why do you suppose he puts himself through this back pain at his age? Does he really need the money from more concerts? Of course not.

"No" Doesnt Mean No

When it comes to securing co-op support for your advertisers, no doesnt always mean no. Many manufacturers and suppliers publish co-operative advertising (co-op) programs that, at first glance, do not appear to work for you or your station. Some might even suggest they dont support radio campaigns at all. To secure support from these manufacturers or suppliers, you must first understand why suppliers budget for co

Your Salespeople Have A Free Franchise

(By Wayne Ens) Does your sales staff fully appreciate their FREE franchise? Think about it, what do typical franchisees receive when they invest their lifes savings in a franchise?Franchisees pay for the rights and privileges of using a recognized name and trademark. Your station name, heritage, format, and logo provide a strong brand for your sales people to represent.

Building Better For 2013

Remember vinyl records? Do you know why the larger records, called LPs, had the small center-holes, and the smaller records, called 45s, had the larger holes? I discovered the reason when an old record company press room foreman shared the answer to the mystery of the holes with me. He explained that 45s were actually manufactured with the same size holes as LPs, but they were sent to a separate press to punch the holes bigger.

Making Your Network Work

Networking is one of the most profitable marketing strategies that sales professionals can employ, but all too often we confuse networking with glad-handing. Like any marketing strategy, networking must be properly planned and targeted to maximize results. To paraphrase John F. Kennedy, Ask not what your network can do for you, but what you can do for your network. Following that advice is the best way to profit from your networking efforts.

1 Plus 1 Plus 1 Can Equal Six

As a professional radio marketing consultant, you need to be able to articulate the marketing buzz words your clients are exposed to in their trade publications and at their industry conferences and clearly position radio as a player in the new media environment.

A Look In The Mirror

Im frustrated and annoyed with many of the managers in radio. We manage the most powerful and persuasive medium in the world and we dont use it to market ourselves! When was the last time you heard anything on a newscast about new research outlining radios role in the new media landscape?

When It Feels Like Christmas

(By Wayne Ens) You know "the early bird gets the worm." You probably also can guess what date you can expect Christmas this year. Yet many radio account executives will be panicked and running around like frantic last-minute Christmas shoppers, trying to pick up the crumbs left by more professional account executives who captured their prospects' Christmas budgets while they were still in the planning stages.

Searching For The "Natural Born" Seller?

Are great salespeople born or are the top performers groomed and trained to be the best at their craft? It's an age-old question that's bound to spark debate and a wide variety of opinions.

Selling By Seminar

(By Wayne Ens) Old business-to-consumer sales tactics no longer work in the business-to-business sales arena. Gone are the days of "tricky closes" for example. Your prospects have taken those same tricky-close sales courses, or have had other sales reps try those tricky closing tactics on them, and they see through them as just thatsales tactics.

Survival Of The Fittest

Canada's equivalent to the RAB, the RMB (Radio Marketing Bureau) went the way of the Dodo Bird a couple of years ago, leaving Canadian radio broadcasters with no formal industry sales training program.

Are You Sold?

I recently facilitated a workshop where the host broadcaster felt their sales people's competitive edge was to take a consultative approach to selling rather than a traditional sales approach.

Are You Marketing or Just Selling?

My father once told me, "Never buy a car owned by an auto mechanic. After they've been paid to repair other people's cars all day, the last thing they want to do is take care of their own car for free." Most radio stations suffer from the same "mechanic's syndrome": After creating innovative marketing campaigns for their local clients all day, they neglect the marketing of their own stations.

You Know What Advertisers Want

Ever since department store magnate John Wanamaker quipped, "I know half of my advertising is wasted, I just don't know which half," advertisers have been trying to measure the R.O.I. (return on investment) from their advertising. Many new-media advocates have brought accountability, measurability, and R.O.I. to the forefront with the suggestion that advertising can be measured by clicks, likes, online buzz, or page views.

Multi-ply Your Sales!

Our word for today is multi. Everyone seems to be multi-tasking and advertising on multi-platforms in a multi-media environment. But the key to successful selling today is to make multi-dimensional presentations.

Selling To The Audio-Impaired

Every market has them. "Ad agencies" that are nothing more than glorified graphic artists. They'll push for print and online strategies that naturally lend themselves to the advertiser needing more artwork. Believe it or not, the "ad agencies" that don't like or understand radio can be a huge source of new revenue for you! Here is the secret: You can be as successful, as long as you are willing to let those "agencies" take the credit for your work.

Sales Rules of Engagement

(by Wayne Ens) Yesterday I heard a radio ad inviting listeners to Go to our Facebook page and say you like us, and well give you a free ice cream cone. Do you think anyone believes that everyone who hit the like button for that mall truly and sincerely likes them? Or is the credibility of those likes jeopardized by the ice cream bribe?

Stop Complaining About Competitors Dropping Rates

(by Wayne Ens) In a recent survey of 110 AE's we asked What's the biggest hurdle you face each day? The most common answer? Our competitors are driving our rates down. Im sorry, but your competitors dont set your rates at the local level, you do. Find it! Here are six better ways to help you take control of your rates immediately. We'll post six more Thursday.

20 Tips To Create Upbeat Sales Meetings

(by Wayne Ens) 89% of radio sales reps say sales meetings were "usually a waste of time". The irony is that properly planned and focused sales meetings can be one of the most productive, unifying and motivating uses of everyones time. The sales meeting is also the ideal place to consistently reinforce and promote the companys mission statement or battle cry.

6 Easy Steps To Helping Clients Succeed

Success coach Anthony Robbins often tells the story about a major shopping center that experienced a failure in their elevators. It was costing them thousands of dollars a minute in lost sales. The mall manager was panicking. She had called several service companies, but none of them seemed to be able to fix the problem. Finally, she called someone who was able to fix the problem in 60 seconds flat by simply pressing a few buttons. Then he invoiced her a whopping $10,000 fee for services rendered."

The Radio Crises

My last article talked about the important role of selling as teaching in a confusing and rapidly changing media environment. We need to teach our advertisers why radio deserves the dominant share of that 75% traditional ad spend and we need to accelerate prints decline.

Seven Keys To Successful Selling

Why does a lawyer earn more than a garbage man? Because nearly everyone is capable of doing the garbage mans job, but the lawyer knows something most of us do not. So she makes more money. Why are accountants paid far more than the average person? Because they know something the average person does not. Knowledge is power and knowledge earns big bucks for those who have it in the new economy.

The Empathy Index. Perfect For Your Next Sales Meeting

Last week we critiqued a total of 22 different radio presentations from 22 radio account executives who were asked to send us their best presentation or one-sheet. It saddened me to note that only one of the twenty-two alluded to what they were going to do for the client. The rest may have well been titled All About Me or All About My Station. How do you feel when you try to talk to someone who can only talk about themselves or their business, and in a jargon you dont understand? It's time to change that and this article explains how.

The New Way To Sell Radio

The three worlds of the typical radio account executive have all changed dramatically; 1. New media have certainly changed the advertising landscape 2. Our traditional retail clients have come under enormous margin pressures from big box stores and online shopping 3. The sales strategies that got us where we are today are now our industrys bench mark rather than our competitive edge.

Understanding Who You Call On.

Did you ever wonder what a buyer was thinking before you went in on a sales call. Well, I can tell you. And, I can tell you, I learned a lot more about selling radio when I was buying radio at my ad agency than I ever learned when I was trying to learn how to sell radio. Here are ten things I learned as an agency buyer that you should keep in mind when trying to sell to one:

4 Ways to Avoid Ticking Off Advertisers.

Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said An optimist is someone who goes after Moby Dick in a rowboat and takes a jar of tartar sauce. While the image that quote conjures up might bring a smile to your lips, you need to approach every sales call totally prepared like Zigs optimist. In the old days, we were able to differentiate ourselves from our competitors by simply asking a few questions and filling out a standard CNA, Customer Needs Analysis.