Archive for October, 2012

Opportunities Abound for 2013

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

by Susan Novicki

I have been doing sales meetings and webinars over the past few weeks on Trends 2013 — reviewing the current consumer behaviors and demographics and the trends occurring by category of business. The exciting result is that opportunity abounds in many areas for 2013. So it is great that there are categories that are hot moving into next year but what do we do with this information to close business?

It is important to remember that the fastest way to close business is to understand the economic drivers for a category of business and to use this information to have an intelligent conversation with a decision-maker. I have had many conversations with decision-makers over the past few months and they have been extremely productive because we have done our homework and understood what is happening in the category of business and with the specific company – in this way we are clearly identifying some initiatives that the company is moving toward and how our products can help them get that message across in a meaningful way to their key customers.

For example, when we know that a category of business has had a successful quarter and that the outlook for next year is equally positive, this presents an opportunity for us to aggressively go after business. But we have to think about what we can bring to the table to entice them to have a needs analysis conversation with us so that we can develop a fully integrated customized program. This is establishing our credibility so we are not “Joe Salesman” calling to sell them some media. We all know how often we get shut down by a Regional Sales Manager or a Marketing Director – telling us to call their agency. Instead we are realizing what the specific industry and the company are focusing on and the importance of our customer to them in creating their success. Initiating a conversation in this manner opens all kinds of doors for us. It is amazing how the conversation shifts from “everything is great and I am all set” to “tell me more about what you could do for me”.

From automotive to financial services to health care to consumer package goods and retail — opportunity abounds for 2013. The question is — are you prepared to make the call to have an intelligent and productive conversation so that you can create an integrated six figure program that will help drive traffic and move product?

Do your homework and don’t waste a decision-maker’s time, and most importantly don’t waste your precious selling time.

It’s About Time

Friday, October 12th, 2012

by Ginny Speaks

It just isn’t the right time.
Time will tell.
Everything in its own time.
Time is money.
Timing is everything.

We have so many clichés about time and timing and rightly so as time does play a part in all that we do. I am sure you all have heard your respective field consultant teach about timing and how important this factor is in a solid needs analysis. It is one of the 5 key things we teach sellers to ask when uncovering needs and capturing a homework assignment.

Let me tell you about a deal that we lost recently because of timing … a lesson learned in so many ways.

We were working with the Regional Marketing Manager at a major automotive company on an assignment to bring him a program that would put his vehicles in front of the Hispanic consumer. He wanted to conduct test drives and requested that the program have longevity.

We did our research and found the perfect event and created a multi-layered package that put this auto brand right in front of a large Hispanic audience for a month long period. We were thrilled to bring this program back and present to the auto team and they loved it. (Of course they would, it was exactly what they asked for!) They loved it so much they actually took monies from another event to pay for this program because it provided all the key elements they wanted, yet with a higher price tag than expected. They found the money and were ready to implement so we were on. We began to work on the package details. The event marketing agency was involved and they placed orders for customized premiums to giveaway at the event and during the test drives. All things were moving forward as planned.

However, and here comes the timing part, although the contracts were submitted to legal right after we got a yes, they were still not approved and it would be two more weeks before the contracts would make their way up to the appropriate people to begin evaluating the deal.   You see where this is headed. This was a problem — the event would begin while the contract was in the process of being approved by legal.

Our regional contact and the agency were doing all that they could to push the contract through, yet as with all companies, there is a protocol and we were just in too short of a time window to make it happen.

So we lost the deal to something really beyond our control. Or was it? Hindsight always breeds wisdom, if we take a moment to understand the lesson. In most cases, especially with deals that have many moving parts, legal contracts take time.   Always remember to ask the timing question and to find out how long a deal takes to get contracts approved.

Lesson learned and a hard one — in this case, $75K came and went quickly.

The good news is the regional really loved the program so we are having discussions now for next year to implement this exact program. Now it’s only a matter of time!