Today is Halloween. Scary movies, haunted houses, carving pumpkins, great parties, and kids having fun collecting candy come to mind when Halloween is mentioned. A little-known fact about Halloween is that it is fourth on the holiday list in regards to retail consumer spending. Think costumes and candy and it is easy to see why this is the case. This makes the holiday a great time for your customers as well.
So it seems to be an appropriate time to ask a question. When it comes to media sales, would your clients say you are a trickster, or that you are a treat to work with?
Of course we all WANT to answer “treat.” Let’s be honest and spend some time not fooling ourselves to make sure our self-evaluation is as close to what our client’s response may be as possible. Here are just a few questions we need to ask ourselves on a regular basis to ensure we are being perceived by our clients as a treat to work with.
- How do you prepare so it will be a treat to work with you? Do you really understand the client’s business? Do you regularly seek out information, insights, and data on your key clients or target prospects so that you are prepared to bring value to your client conversations? Do you send them information you have uncovered regarding their product or service to make sure they have it for review?
- After you have knocked on the door and said “trick or treat,” do you ask your clients questions they may not currently be asking themselves? Many people may classify this type of question as a “hard ball” question. No matter what you call it, in reality it is a critical question that when asked may assist the client in having a new discourse with themselves regarding their business, or areas of their business or industry they may have never considered. These may seem uncomfortable at first to ask, but once you realize that this is where your real problem-solving capabilities come from, stretching the client’s thinking should be more natural and productive.
- Now, do you have some candy in your bag? In other words, do you possess client answers to your list of critical questions about their business or service, and what do you do with that information? This is where the real creativity and solution finding for your clients comes in. Do you have a process of brainstorming to generate unique ideas to bring to your client? Can you engage station capabilities to deliver a well-thought-out, actionable, and complete program to deliver ROI that answers the selected client priority? If so my friend, you will indeed be a treat.
The competition for candy will be rabid tonight on the streets of our country. The competition for mutually profitable, long lasting client relationships is even more competitive in the media space. Ask yourself regularly some of the questions above to make sure your most important clients see you as a treat to do business with.
By Chris Crawford, General Sales Manager, Efficio Solutions