Asking for More again – the Secret to Higher Revenue

Selling Radio Direct with Pat Bryson

Fourth quarter, in the U.S., usually means it’s time to renew clients for the new year. In today’s uncertain economic environment, doing so may seem a bit scary as we determine IF they will renew, might they want to cut back expenditures, or if they might choose NOT to renew!

Renewals often require increasing rates. As salespeople, we often don’t want to “rock the boat” by asking for higher prices. Have you ever tried to sneak a renewal past your manager using last year’s rates? Or perhaps you held the dollar amount your client had been spending the same, which means you decreased the number of messages they were using. Did this put them beneath the number of ads required for an OES schedule? If so, we are doing our clients a disservice.

Renewal time should be a time to find ways to better serve our clients. Business is evolving rapidly tossed about by external factors beyond our control. These shifting sands require businesses to constantly change how they do business. The marketing plan they used last year, last quarter or even last week may need to be changed. It’s almost a certainty that their message will need to be changed.

Before we ask for a renewal, we need to sit with our clients and do a needs analysis. We need to benchmark where that business has been in the last two years and where it needs to go in 2024. What has changed? What do they anticipate for 2024? Are they in a positive frame of mind or a negative frame of mind? What is their PERCEPTION of the next 12 months?

Here are some questions we need to ask:

How has your revenue changed in 2023? Up, down flat?

What are the major challenges you are facing now?

How have these changed this year?

What concerns you most about 2024?

If the answer is “supply chain”, ask what products they can get, what they can’t get. When do they anticipate the supply chain to improve?

How have they altered their business model because of the supply chain?

If they mention not being able to staff fully, ask how this has affected their business specifically. Shorter hours? More days closed? Longer work days for the owner? 

Is revenue exceeding pre-COVID numbers?

If revenue is soft, ask if they are seeing smaller average sales or less traffic. 

Have your profit centers shifted? If so, how?

What will it be important for your customers to know about you in the next few months?

How important to you is being involved with community events?

Where do you want your business to be by the end of 2024?

What needs to happen to get it there?

You probe for changes in the business. You ascertain goals and objectives for 2024. You understand your client’s perceptions of his world. These new challenges can trigger changes in how they have been advertising. If clients have not been using effective schedules, you may now find ways to introduce them to doing so. 

When clients believe our campaigns can help them to solve problems, they will give us money. If they PERCEIVE that their opportunity for reward exceeds their PERCEPTION of risk, they will embrace our campaigns. Renewals start with understanding where our client’s business is NOW and where they want it to be by the end of 2024.

Take the time to understand. It’s not about US: It’s about THEM. Easier renewals await!

Happy Selling!