Archive for September, 2013

Finding Qualified Leads

Friday, September 27th, 2013

by Ginny Speaks

Finding good solid leads is always top of mind with the managers and sellers I work with daily.  So, how do we do this?  What can we do today to begin building a solid lead list for 2014?

One of the easiest and best ways to generate a good lead list is right in front of each one of us – our traditional client list.  This list is a solid foundation for building future business.

How do we mine our current list?   First and foremost, there are three pools of money to tap into in every business:  advertising, marketing, and sales.   Start with your top three accounts that spend the most money with you and ask yourself this question.  Do I know who is in charge of each one of these areas (list them)? If you do, great — you are covering all bases.  If you do not, you just uncovered a new door to open for potential revenue.  Continue this exercise until you finish your entire list. By the time you are done, you should begin to see patterns in your selling skill set, where you are strong, where you need work and categories you do well in.

Take this information and begin your new lead list with at least three accounts you are going to develop deeper.  For example, let’s assume you are strong in auto and you do a ton of campaigns with the local Ford dealers and mainly work with the General Managers.   While doing this exercise you realize you do not work with regional marketing and or the other divisions in sales such as pre-owned or parts & service managers.   See how this works?  We just identified 3 new doors to open within auto!  As always, the better prepared you are when opening these doors, the better the conversation will go.

So always do your homework ahead of time and find out the following facts about your prospect before you dial:

  • Headquarters contact information
  • Fiscal year
  • Background information
  • Organizational structure
  • Marketing practices
  • New products

Getting a Solid Needs Analysis

Friday, September 13th, 2013

by Susan Novicki

The NAB Radio Show is approaching and I will be in Orlando next week to speak at the conference.   The topic I am to speak on is the importance of a solid need analysis.  This is an easy topic to discuss since it is something that I am passionate about.  Without a solid need analysis, there is little opportunity for a great close and maximizing on the investment you can get for an integrated program.

The first issue is determining who to talk to for a need analysis.

So many times sellers are talking to non-decision-makers.  A great need analysis will determine if the person you are speaking to is the decision-maker. If they can’t answer all of your questions, they are probably not.  Many times salespeople are talking to the media buyer – while this person is often someone with a RFP and will spend money, they are not a person that can make decisions.  If we want to create an integrated program, which is what the client is looking for, many times the media buyer cannot make a decision on it because many times there is no spot or ROP involved with some components of the program.  Remember that media buyers are tasked with putting together a buy with the perimeters all in place – the media, the reach, the amount of stations / formats / newspapers etc. that are needed.  They can’t deviate from that.  To create a sustaining program that will achieve a specific directive, we have to find out what the objective of the client is and create a concept and program that all reaches back to the objective.

Second is getting ready to make the call for the appointment.

Preparation is the key and preparing questions to ask the decision-maker is critical.  Remember that we need to talk as little as possible and listen to what the decision-maker is saying.  Many times until we start asking questions, the decision-maker does not even think that they have a need.  We need to unearth it in the needs analysis and immediately the decision- maker becomes engaged and is eagerly waiting for the next meeting to see the ideas that you have created for the objective.  Without solid preparation you will not end up with a homework assignment.Then where are you after the meeting?

Finding the right decision-maker, preparing to initiate the call and having a conversation — with the decision-maker talking 90% of the time and you talking 10% — are the ingredients for a great needs analysis.  Are you doing all of the above to be the most successful?