Archive for December, 2010

The Health Care Industry Needs You

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

The Health Care Industry Needs You!

by Sue Novicki

Looking towards the New Year always makes me think about what I have accomplished and what I want to get done moving forward. I do this personally as well as professionally. For all of us moving into 2011, we look at what we want to accomplish and how we have set ourselves up to succeed.

Of course, our first quarter number should be in place at this point, whether in actual billing or in solid pitched business that reflects our closing ratios. For many of us, however, this is not the case.

So now is the time to get productive and make new calls!

While, personally, I think about better nutrition and fitness moving past the holidays, this is also a lead for business development. One category that can’t be overlooked is health care. I am sure you all realize that traditional open enrollment for a health care provider occurs in the latter part of the first quarter.  With this, there are two common threads with every health care provider that I have had needs analysis meetings with over the past year.

The first is retaining current customers or members and then gaining new members, in that order, and the second is educating their members to make sure that they are treating early warning signs of issues that, if left untreated, could become extremely costly for the provider.

We, as salespeople, have consistently been able to create successful programs and help our clients meet those needs. If you have not had conversations and pitched this type of program, now is the crucial time to get on the phone and understand what the decision-makers are trying to accomplish moving into open enrollment for 2011.

There are a lot of changes with health care since the national health care law was passed and this will continue as the law is refined and re-worked at both the federal and state levels.

With the new law, and the inevitable changes to it, will come additional products that the health care providers have available to sell. All of this will give you more reasons to talk to the marketing and even sales side of regional offices to help them create a message and the right mix of information to reach the consumer and current or potential new customers.

Get aggressive in making the calls – whatever category you are focusing on or have an interest in and have fun doing it. Get your first quarter numbers in and start of the year heading in the right direction.

Decision-Makers ARE in Their Offices

Thursday, December 16th, 2010


by Ginny Speaks

We hear this word a lot this time of year.  It evokes the magic of the season and makes us all feel like children again. In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it is easy to get off schedule. We tell ourselves that nobody is in their office and we don’t’ pick up the phone to make calls.

Stand out from the pack this year and do not fall prey to this thinking. Do not let excuses get in the way of your success.

BELIEVE it or not, decision makers are in their offices this time of year. December is an excellent time to make a list and check it twice.

First, review your hit list of leads you have called throughout the year.Then, pull from this list interested prospects that never bought, qualified prospects that never returned your call, and leads you just plain forgot about as you moved on to new projects.Then make time on your calendar to make the calls and stick to it no matter what.

Just last week during a telecoaching session, we were making calls to vendors for a drug channel retail promotion with a client.  We had five prospects on our list to call and FOUR picked up the phone.   We conducted in-depth conversations and every decision maker we spoke to was interested in our program.   Talk about success during a session!  We LOVE it when decision makers pick up the phone.

Also last week, we made another call with a client to several officers at a major athletic apparel company.  Not only did we get the Regional Sales Manager on the phone, but were able to set up an appointment with the Director of Sport Marketing for the company.

These people picked up their phones and we never would have known they were in their offices if we hadn’t called.

So, will you be naughty or nice?  Santa knows who will be dialing and who will not.

The Automotive Category – There IS Developmental Money Out There!

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

by Julie Caldwell

I consider myself somewhat of an automotive evangelist!  I love the auto category because it thrills me to train our clients on how to uncover regional contacts and dollars that exist in this category.

As media salespeople, most of us have done business with car dealers at some point in our career.  We think we know everyone who matters when it comes to these coveted accounts, yet when I go into stations and ask “Who do we know at the manufacturer (OEM) level?”, I am always astounded that the answer is sometimes, “uhh, no one.”  Many of us have been managing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of automotive business and the only people we know are at the buyer or head-of-the-dealer-group level.

I’m here to shout, “There are Regional and District Sales and Marketing Managers in every market that oversee and call on your dealer for every brand!”  These contacts also interact with the dealer groups every month and help them plan how they (and the agency) are going to spend the group dollars.  My experience is that they find it refreshing to have conversations about how you can help them move cars in their region.

So what’s the best way to find these contacts and how do you start the conversations?

Use the Morrison and Abraham profiles – You will find Regional Sales and Marketing contacts as well as a list of key contacts for the media buying and creative agencies.  You will also find tons of relevant information on the product pipeline, what marketing they are currently involved in for most brands, the types of events they are sponsoring, etc.  Make sure you do your homework and KNOW the models that are getting released in 2011 and when!

DON’T be intimidated by the agency – The best way to start a conversation with a Regional contact is by acknowledging that you already do “traditional spot” business with them through their agency and you work closely with “Sally Doe” buyer.  And always keep the Regional contact in the loop of communication.

DO NOT call these guys about advertising – We don’t make these calls to see if we can “affect” a share that we just got killed on or to see if we can get them to change a buy in our favor.  Initially, you need to tell them the reason you are calling is to see if there are any “opportunistic” or “local activation” dollars they have for certain new models in your region where they are looking  for “on-premise” or “experiential” (their language) events to get their cars in front of people.  Manufacturers are hungry to sponsor events that make sense for certain brands where they can get people to look, touch, and sit in their cars.   And social media opportunities are becoming more intriguing to these brands.

Involve your upper management in these calls

Often times there is hesitancy to rock the boat with an NSM or an agency contact.  If your station takes certain auto business nationally, then talk to your GSM about allowing “event” or “local-activation” money to come to you locally.  An NSM can get involved and should know these contacts as well in case there is ever a way to “affect” share by these relationships.

Just this year we have had markets that closed business with Subaru, Ford, GM, and Volvo at a regional level.  So PLEASE hear me on this…there IS automotive money beyond traditional dealer-group dollars!  Make it your mission to find some in 2011!