What do you do?
Seems like a fairly easy question to answer, doesn’t it? If you sell cars, when someone asks you what you do, you say you’re in car sales. If you fly planes, you say a pilot. If you cook for a living you say you’re a chef. Say any of these things and the person you are talking to will have a pretty good idea of what you do.
But, what do sports radio sellers do? And how do we communicate what we do to other people?
Heck, in our business, we can’t even agree on what to call us. Account Executive? Advertising Sales Executive? Integrated Sales Specialist? Strategic Marketing Consultant? Senior Account Manager? And when does someone become a Senior Account Manager anyway? It seems that time keeps getting shorter and shorter.
Back to what it is we do. Is it sales or marketing? Are we a consultant or a sales executive? Strategist or specialist?
We sell sports radio, but don’t we all also sell digital and event marketing? (Side note: if you said no the previous question, please stop reading and go back to your reruns of The Andy Griffith Show.)
Let me tell you what we are not. We are not in sales. I repeat, we are not in sales. I tell my team all the time, if people think of them as their “sports radio sales person,” they’re doing something wrong.
In fact, what they’re doing wrong, is the one thing I say is the VERY LEAST you want to leave a meeting having accomplished – the prospect knowing what you do including all the tools you have to help grow their business. Don’t be the person who makes an impression on a decision maker, only to leave having them think you just sell radio commercials.
In a perfect world, when you leave a meeting with a prospect or client, you want them to think of you as their new in-house marketing consultant. If you can make them feel as if they just brought someone on board their team, who knows marketing and will take care of it for them as if they were an owner in the company, you may have a client for life if you back it up with great service, great ads and great results!
I had a restaurant client in St. Louis once who was a very difficult person to read. I would meet with him and usually walk away having no clue if he was really interested in what I was pitching. We would have good conversations, and we had a lot of common interests, but when it came to talking business he gave off no signals.
After doing business with him for a couple of years, we were having a meeting about the upcoming football season and a promotion we both wanted to try to execute. When we finished, where we would normally start talking about other things, he asked me if I would mind looking at something for him. He handed me a folder from another radio station and wanted me to analyze the package they had presented.
Finally, there was the signal I had been looking for. I thought I was becoming more than just a “radio salesperson” to him, and this was the confirmation. When you have such a strong relationship with a client, that they trust you enough to help them look at other marketing opportunities (knowing buying you is now a given), you’re in a great position.
You get there by earning their trust. When you start out with a client, you make sure to listen well to what they are trying to accomplish and you write or design a great ad or tie them in to the perfect promotion to get out in front of their target audience. You learn about their industry and clientele so you can better advise them. You do all of the things you should do once a company invests in you and your ideas.
I don’t really know what you should call a marketing consultant who sells ideas and solutions using radio, digital and event advertising, but I know that if you are all of those things to your clients, you will both be much more likely to be successful.
So, what is it you say you do, again?