Archive for March, 2014

Idea Starters for your VBR

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

by Susan Novicki

I was brainstorming recently with one of my clients.  They had done a need analysis with a healthcare prospect that had ambitious goals but they only had $25,000 to spend.  Timing was pretty open but they would not be ready to start anything for at least a few months.   Always thinking 3 months out, I immediately thought of June being Men’s Health Month.

We have done many programs in the past around Men’s Health Month and this would be a great way to create a smaller program around a specific event – and not one that we have to build.  Many times we can create a concept that ties into something happening at that time period.  Men’s Health Month is an opportunity for companies to highlight issues that affect men and this is a great springboard for multiple advertisers.

I googled and found many other events occurring in that month that could also be a springboard for business.  Also organizations like the RAB and TVB have a list by month for potential promotions.

Let’s look at June for example:

June is both Dairy Month and Dairy Alternatives Month.  Did you know that June is Caribbean-American Heritage Month or National Soul Food Month or the Great Outdoors Month or LBGT Pride Month?  June is also National Safety Month and Cataract Awareness Month.  It is International Childhood Cancer Awareness and International Men’s Month.

The list goes on and on into the obscure but any of these could be “ticklers” for you to brainstorm new leads and new ideas to present to a potential client.  This could also be the “Valid Business Reason” to initiate a call.  Many times this can be an opening for a conversation and we will walk away with a completely different homework assignment.  But it was our catalyst to engage the decision-maker in a need analysis conversation.

And every month has a similar list -this is nothing new or earth shattering but sometimes we forget to go back to the basics.  Many times the things that we did years ago can be re-tweaked and made new.  We are still doing diabetes programs, especially in November around National Diabetes Awareness Month – but did you also know that November is Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month?  Just a thought as you prospect and “create” great ideas.

Work Smart, Not Hard

Friday, March 7th, 2014

by Ginny Speaks


Out of the gate this year, I have spent quite a bit of time rolling out new markets and training sellers and managers on our Knowledge-Based Selling methodology.  I so enjoy the one on one interactions and seeing sellers become energized when they learn about new buckets of money that are readily available. As in all things, knowledge breeds confidence and leads to new understandings.  I like to stretch sellers to see things differently — to take current ways of doing things, turn them on their side and view them from a different perspective.   This simple exercise is a powerful one especially when applied to the prospecting phase of the sales cycle.   Prospects come in all shapes and forms, yet one of the easiest and best ways to prospect is right in front of each of us – our traditional lead list.  This list is a solid foundation for building future business.


So how do we develop new prospects from our current list?   First and foremost there are three pools of money to tap into in every business: advertising, marketing and sales.   So take 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?  Then 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.


Then continue this exercise until you finish your entire list.  By the time you finish this list, 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 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 such as certified pre-owned or parts and service managers.   See how this works? We just identified three 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 and major products or services
  • Sponsorships and corporate interests

I encourage you to make time to mine your current list, to work your territory wide and deep … work smart not hard and see your prospect list grow.