What Do Retailers and Agencies Want From Our Reps?

Selling Radio Direct with Pat Bryson.

Eight things advertisers told me they wanted from our reps…

Before I started BBI, I was a market manager for radio stations. One night, I woke up at 3:00 AM with this thought: “What do retailers and agencies want from my salespeople?”

It’s a simple question, but probably not one we ask very often. So, I decided to call up some of our best clients and agencies and ask them. Their responses were surprising only because they are so simple, logical and, many times, totally ignored.

Here’s what they had to say:

  1. Be interested in their business
  2. Find out their goals before you bring them a campaign
  3. Make the proposal fit what they need to buy not what we need to sell
  4. Make an appointment: don’t drop in
  5. Follow up after the sale and schedule
  6. Be pro-active in anticipating their needs
  7. Let them clear copy and hear the ad before it airs
  8. They want a long-lasting relationship

Simple? Yes. Do we do these things? Not as often as we should.

When was the last time you called on a business, pulled out the “package du jour” and tried to sell it to them? That may have been the first time you called on that business, but you were going up and down the street pitching the package. Did the package fit their goals? Maybe, but probably not. Don’t clients usually start asking you to modify the package in some way? That’s because it’s what we need to sell, not what they need to buy.

When you are doing a needs analysis meeting or presenting a solution, do you have an appointment, a time the prospect has set aside to concentrate on what you are showing them? If they won’t give you their time, they won’t give you their money.

If you want to see your client stare at you open- mouthed, show up the day after a sales and check on the results. Salespeople hide. We don’t come back to follow up. We are afraid of knowing.

Today we need to function as idea and solutions people. We need to keep abreast of the business landscape and be pro-active in our interactions with our clients. What holidays are coming? What seasons are changing? What external events are causing business modifications that customers need to know about?

If you have ever aired a commercial that contained errors or mispronunciations, you know WHY it is important that your clients clear their ads BEFORE they run. You never want to hear, “You’ve got my ad wrong!” You can feel the steam through the telephone.

And lastly, number 8 is why new people need persistence and patience to build a business. Creating long-lasting relationships takes time. You can’t rush it, but you can make sure that every interaction you have with a client shows your professionalism and your concern for their business. Take an interest in their business. Know their goals. Bring them solutions.


“It’s not about US: It’s about THEM”

Higher revenue awaits, for us and for our clients.


Pat has a New Book