Archive for September, 2011

Building the Account Executive of the Future

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

by Susan Novicki

Sue Novicki

The NAB Radio Show in Chicago last week was a great event and included presentations by Eddie Combs from Sears, Neil Golden from McDonald’s as well as Bob Pittman from Clear Channel. Be sure the open the article “What Do Marketers Really Want from Radio” over on the right side of this email.

On Wednesday afternoon, I was on a panel focusing on building the AE of the future. It was a great group of panelists. Here are some of the highlights I shared during the session:

A sales rep today needs to be very different from the “traditional rep” of years ago. And it all focuses first and foremost on the ability of the seller. If any of you have read Neil Rackham, Neil talks about the complex sale and the simple sale. The simple sale is the transactional sale. Traditionally our sales reps in radio have dealt with a simple sale but now we must have them do more than just sell one focus — whether that is spot, non-spot, NTR, events or digital. They must be able to sell multiple channels in integrated sales driven programs. Most great transactional sellers do not have the ability to sell multiple products – and more importantly to focus on the needs of the client.

We are expecting sellers to sell everything in our arsenal but we don’t give them the training to do this and, more importantly, we don’t hire the reps with the ability to be able to do this. The key to a complex sale is having reps with the ability to have a conversation, understand the needs of the client and what they are up against in their industry, and create a solution that includes multiple products within our arsenal. The complex sale results from a conversation with the client about their needs and the ability to create a customized solution that uses our products to create a “call to action” and meet those needs.

How do you know in an interview that you have a complex seller? In hiring this seller, they must have the natural curiosity to want to understand how business works – they need to be a “digger”. They should have a diversified background and not one dimensional. They need to be marketers even more than sellers and understand the pace of our industry. They also have to have strong technology knowledge. You should give the prospective seller a basic technology quiz. They have to know, for example, that Facebook is not just a personal tool to keep up with old and new friends but instead a tool that our clients use. How do they use it? This seller has to understand why and how a client uses Facebook and Twitter. This seller has to be technologically plugged in and not afraid to use it in a marketing program. And how are they using social media and other technologies to get business?

The complex marketer is the 21st century salesperson. They are forward thinkers that work with preparation and foresight. The person to hire is the one who can articulate a plan and is proactive versus reactive. This planner is both a short term and long term seller. This person is a leader versus a follower — one who will take business in their own hands – not just selling packages but understanding the products we have to sell and how they will work for a client.

Who Is On Your Target List For 2012?

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

by Kathrine Glass

If you haven’t heard it from your M&A consultant or your manager, listen up….Now is the time to lay the foundation for 2012.

Most companies are in the budgeting process this month and next. If their fiscal year is January – December, their budgets are likely due by the end of September or October.

What does that mean to you? If you want to sell big, concept driven NTR programs, you should be working to get those packages accounted for in their budget soon.

So what should you do? What makes a good NTR prospect? A few tips can help you identify the best places to spend your time as you are building your 2012 business:

  • Do you have the ability to establish a direct relationship with the decision maker? Can you work in budgets that are outside of “media” budgets and access true NTR dollars? Is there little or no agency involvement? Is the prospect accessible, responsive, wants to work as a partner, has a budget, is flexible, shares insight into their business, and works with you in a professional manner? If your answer is “yes”, then go for it!
  • Work with a manufacturer/vendor that is sold in multiple retailers/channels. This gives you the opportunity to find specific dollars and some times different decision-makers for those accounts.
  • Identify companies with new products/line extensions/new services that have recently been launched or are scheduled to happen in 2012. These are great because companies spend millions, if not billions, of dollars on research for new products.
  • Search out companies that have seasonal promotions/special offers/co-op opportunities. Use that as a door opener and set yourself up to try to help them with more than one campaign. You might be able to help them with their snow blowers in winter and leaf blowers in fall.
  • Find companies with an extended national program, promotion, or sponsorship. Many of these are multi-year deals so you can find them now! There may be opportunities to localize their national program. This happens a lot and really helps the client drive against the corporate direction.

If you can find just one or two prospects in each of the categories above, you will be set up for success next year. Do your due diligence early but don’t be discouraged. There are always opportunistic dollars out there. You can always find dollars in various times of the year.

However, if you start sowing your oats now, you can grow your garden for months and months and years to come!

For more help building your target list, contact Morrison and Abraham at 781.986.2100.