Selling Radio Direct with Pat Bryson.
An underperforming salesperson leaves. What’s our strategy?
In our last article we talked about what happens when we lose a salesperson. How do we safeguard their accounts? We discussed a best-case scenario where the person leaving had good relationships with their clients. The list of new “orphan” accounts is usually a substantial one. We gave steps to re-establish relationships with these important accounts as quickly as possible.
Today we will discuss what we need to do when a salesperson leaves who was not performing well. Chances are, either you have experienced a decline in the amount their clients were spending, or you have seen accounts cancel or fail to renew. The person who takes over these accounts may have to correct problems.
How do we begin to recover these accounts?
Scenario Two: The underperforming salesperson leaves:
- Research the accounts. Check their billing history, their production. Have they reduced or cancelled? If so, when?
- Ask people in the station if they know of a problem with the account. Arm yourself with all the information you can collect.
- If at all possible, make the first contact in person. You are there to introduce yourself and to schedule an appointment. Be ready to experience resistance.
- When you get an appointment, do a CNA. You want to uncover everything you can about how the client feels about the station. You may not have to ask: the client may come out guns blazing with a litany of grievances about their treatment:
“You’re the first person I’ve seen in months.”
“No one would call me back or answer my emails.”
“The only time I ever saw someone from your station was when they
wanted to sell me something.”
” The last time I used your station you really screwed it up.”
- Listen to the client. Once you know their concerns, work with your manager
to correct them. If you can resolve their issues, you become the hero.
6.Never make your first contact about raising rates. They probably NEED to
be raised, and chances are the schedules they have been using are not
effective. Develop the relationship first. Now you can introduce appropriate
scheduling and rates as time goes by.
Unfortunately, many times these problem accounts are given to novice salespeople. With the number of stations who are short of salespeople, this may be our only option. This will require the manager to coach the new salesperson through these interactions. If possible, the manager should go with them on the first contact.
People want to feel that they matter. When we provide bad or no service to clients, we are telegraphing our low regard for them.
Note: Our clients are businesspeople who employ staff. Every one of them has had a bad employee at some time. They understand that a bad employee does not necessarily represent the values of the station. Sometimes reminding them of this will soften their ire. Now, follow up with exceptional service!
Happy Selling and happy recovering!