One thing that many people will admit to is that they hate change. They really dislike having their proverbial cheese moved.
A great example is the negative and profound feelings people have in response to changes at Facebook. Just about the time that everyone seems to understand the social media giant, they make a change in how people post, share, or interact with the system — seemingly for no reason. Is it just to mess with users, make life more difficult, or just to frustrate the core customer?
Frankly I can’t tell you why; most people can’t, and that exacerbates people’s discomfort. Only the elect few at FB really know.
Now think of Southwest airlines. This airline started out as a west coast regional carrier that slowly has evolved into a national, and soon to be an international, airline. Why? Because in my opinion, people GET Southwest.
By “get” I mean they understand how to interact with the airline to get from point A to point B. I have flown many, many miles in the last 25 years and I can attest that the airline industry seems to thrive on actually confusing people, making the fare structure, baggage claim policies, and — heaven forbid — changing a flight hard to comprehend and understand. This certainly applies to the occasional or once or twice a year traveler.
This is not most customers’ experience with Southwest. You can log in and book travel via the website and easily see the fares and how cheaper travel can be taken advantage of if you can book early. They let you bring a bag or two with no add-on charges. You can change a flight easily, as long as the same fare is still available. Boarding is easy to comprehend and execute. Pick a seat and sit in it. They have nuts, blankets, overhead luggage space and the same plane every time, so people get it, and know how to interact with the airline.
So where does your radio or television station stand when it comes to ease of understanding how to interact with you? Ponder the following questions:
- First and foremost, do they know how and why doing business with YOU makes sense for them? Have you generated a personal marketing resume (PMR) that will explain your empathy, problem solving capabilities, and marketing expertise? This is a great tool to begin the relationship on the right foot, and hopefully it includes a reference or two.
- Do you regularly explain your sales process to them and why partnering in this manner with you and your station will allow them to maximize THEIR return on investment?
- What are all of the station capabilities and/or unique creative solutions that they may have the opportunity to take advantage of given the investment that they make with you? Case studies can serve as examples to illuminate past successes for your clients.
- Do they know HOW you price your inventory? If they place a schedule sooner with you, will they get a better rate? If they buy more often will they get certain advantages that are offered to them for this loyalty?
Make sure your clients view you as knowledgeable, easy to understand, engaged, and as someone they can partner with. Your success and career satisfaction are riding on it.
By Chris Crawford, General Sales Manager, Efficio Solutions