Archive for August, 2011

CNA in a Package Selling World

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

by Ginny Speaks

The best way to hit a target is to understand where the bull’s eye is located.

I’ll never forget the time I was working the Dallas market on our way to meet with the Field Marketing Manager of one of the large fast food chains when the rep looked at me somewhat frazzled and said, “Hey, what we are going to pitch him?”   My response was, “Nothing, we are going to ask him a ton of questions and find out what their initiatives are and then build a plan.” The rep replied with a hesitant voice, “Okay, I will follow your lead.”

We arrive at the meeting, sit down, and the client says “What do you have for me?”   “Well,” I replied, “we did not prepare anything for you today as we wanted to take this time to learn about your business and find out what your initiatives are for the upcoming 6 months and then use this information to bring you a fully integrated program.” You should have seen his face! He was thrilled to answer our questions and even took out a customer analysis folder and copied it for us. When we left, we had all the information we needed to bring him a package that perfectly aligned with his objectives.

This is a classic example of how our industry has fallen into the rhythm of pitching packages instead of probing and asking questions. Again, the best way to hit a target is to understand where the bull’s eye is located. Conducting a thorough needs analysis helps you locate that bull’s eye; having done that, you know without a doubt that, when you present a package, it fits within the guidelines of the client’s objectives.

When we go down this path in sales, we shift the power to close deals in our favor. Selling is about asking questions, probing to find answers, learning about the client, building rapport, discovering hot buttons and, most of all, LISTENING so that you provide a service to your client that affects their bottom line. When we do this, we set ourselves apart from the pack and our clients begin to view us in a new light – one that serves others and brings results as opposed to just another media rep pushing paper.

NTR or Just Swapping Dollars?

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

by Amber Brown

Somewhere around the mid-90′s someone coined the phrase “non-traditional revenue” as a catch-all phrase for anything that didn’t take up regular media inventory. And it’s evolved to include events, digital, street teams, sponsorships and so much more.

There is a danger in this umbrella definition for many reasons. Revenue for any inventory or non-inventory product that comes from the same bucket that traditional revenue comes from is just swapping dollars.

Incremental or not? If a rep sells a portfolio of offerings for more share of an ad budget, isn’t that their job in today’s media world? Granted those jobs have changed dramatically in past years, but really the money is still from the same pot, arguably, sold to the same decision-makers.   So, is it the revenue that’s non-traditional? I would say no.

To qualify a piece of business as non-traditional, you should look at who’s buying it….not by what they buy.

For media companies to truly grow their revenue, they must call on new decision-makers in industries that have money to spend to move product.   Many of these industries are some of the biggest ad spenders, but with a shaky economy and ad budgets dwindling, most reps ignore decision makers outside of traditional advertising. The reality is that more and more Fortune 500 companies are placing large dollars at a regional level with decision-makers in non-advertising functions.   These dollars are there to move product, drive traffic, put butts in seats and do business. Are your reps calling on these non-traditional decision-makers?

Is the person buying from you a decision-maker with a title that’s unique, with a unique budget? This is what non-traditional revenue is all about.  Otherwise selling the same clients, or even the same types of clients…say a new car dealer… isn’t really non-traditional as much as creative accounting. But if a rep sells a Regional Manager from a large consumer packaged goods company a sponsorship that includes an event, digital, on-site and sampling, you’d certainly have no argument that this is a decision-maker that doesn’t fit the mold of traditional.

Step back and take a look at what you call NTR. Are you calling on non traditional decision-makers or swapping money between products?