It’s Independence Day and we all know what that means…it’s time to BLOW SOMETHING UP! Of course, the day is about freedom, and blowing up roman candles and fireworks is symbolic. But you can apply the meaning of the day to your media sales life, and with a year that is halfway over, this is the perfect time to blow something up and have your own independence.
Just as freedom did not come without a fight, your media sales freedom will also come with a price. So what needs to get blown up in order to bring you independence?
Blow up your account list.
“Say whuh?” you might be thinking. “I’ve worked long and hard to get as many accounts as I can, especially those that spend money. I’m not lighting a fuse to all my hard work!” Got that, but you will probably agree that it is better to focus on the accounts that can make you the most money with the least amount of work. And that means you have to take a good, hard look at your list, and blow it up.
- POP! POP! POP! If you don’t have a CRM system that helps you sort your accounts into categories, then do it yourself. Sort your list by your top billing accounts, other spending accounts, accounts that you are actively working on and you know will spend, and others that have potential but you haven’t quite gotten to them yet. Note how many you have of each category.
- SIZZLE! Determine the last time you got an order on each account. Now, determine when you last called on each account. Mass emails don’t count, voicemails don’t count, and Facebook “likes” don’t count. Separate out those accounts for which it has been more than 45 days to two months since you had meaningful dialogue with them.
- KABOOM! FIRE some accounts. Especially, look at those accounts that spend sporadically or very small amounts and those that you have not had contact with in a while. Weigh several factors – how hard is it to get the order, how often do they change copy, do they pay on time. You are now determining your return on investment. Look at all of your prospects. Are they worth spending time on or are they time wasters? Don’t base your decisions on hope, base them on the amount of hard work you are willing to put in to build a relationship, to know their business, to understand their business problems, and to reap the potential return. If you are having trouble deciding to keep or fire, here’s a little account evaluation quiz that will help you. This step will be very difficult, but freedom doesn’t come easily.
- kaPOW! Get those old files out of your cabinet. Ask your manager to move those accounts off of your list. Just like cleaning out your closets, you will feel more organized and free once you get rid of your old baggage. You will also have room to add new, and better, prospects!
- BANG!! Take action. For those accounts you are keeping, start working on the relationship. That means get appointments, ask a lot of questions, and listen. Use your calendar by making time for each client and setting reminders. Put a “next step” in for each client. Don’t let another month or two go by. If the account was worth keeping, take steps to turn them into an active account.
This Fourth of July, each time you hear fireworks explode or see the sparkles in the sky, resolve to yourself that you will think of them as one of your dusty accounts that you have been clinging to for far too long, finally going off your list in a blaze of glory. You are now free to make more money.