I believe it might be law that when one is writing a column this close to Thanksgiving, you must write about what you’re thankful for. I’ve always been kind of a scrooge when it comes to the end-of-the-year holidays, mainly because I’m in sales management and less and less sales happen this time of year.
With that said, there are a few things I’m thankful for, such as:
The annual buyers who don’t cancel – Oh, the few, the proud. They have a plan, they get results, they stick to it. Sure, things happen from time to time and a week gets moved here or there, some copy is changed and updated, but overall, the account is low maintenance and even pays on time.
New clients who hang in there beyond what sales guru Roy Williams calls “the chickening out period” – This is 8-14 weeks in to the campaign when an advertiser sees more going out than coming in. It’s a process, and based on many years of history, the ROI is about to steadily increase, but not if they pull the plug or slow things down, simply to save short term money. If you are someone who is thinking about advertising and happen to be reading this, don’t do it unless you are prepared to do it correctly with frequency and consistency.
Clients who refer other businesses because they’re happy with their results – Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Problem is, we don’t ask enough of our clients to do this. Business owners know other business owners and their opinions carry a lot of weight with one another. I saw a very creative idea not long ago where a rep had taken video on his phone of his clients recommending him and how he had helped their businesses grow. He shows those quick videos on his phone when he meets with new clients. Sometimes we need to let others do the talking for us.
The agencies that actually earn their 15% – It has become all too commonplace for station reps to be responsible for ideas, creative, copy, schedules and chasing down the money. You know, the things the agency is supposed to be doing on behalf of the client. Too many times we are giving up 15% of the buy to someone who isn’t an agency but rather an angry ex media seller who ran out of companies they could get a guarantee from so they started an “agency.”
The account executives who just do their job – Here’s to those of you that realize you have six main responsibilities: prospect, cold call, needs analysis, presentation, close and service. Your company agreed to pay you and you agreed to do those things on their behalf. All of them. You don’t complain much, you don’t need a whole lot of help, nobody ever worries you aren’t doing what you’re supposed to be doing, and you grow your business and personal revenue accordingly. God bless you.
The on-air hosts who realize that sales drives the bus – And pays for the gas. And the oil changes. And the tire rotations. Ok, you get it. Surprisingly though, it’s still too low of a percentage of hosts who go out of their way to proactively help sales. The ones who do are a true blessing and are generally well compensated. To the programming guys who may read this – I know I speak for all of your sales reps and managers when I tell you that ideas and leads are always welcomed and appreciated.
You – Thanks for reading this. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours and to everyone out in the sports radio universe!