By Jim Doyle
Are we losing customers after we’ve made the sale?
Our team looks at hundreds - maybe thousands - of commercials every year in our work with cable companies, TV stations and their clients. We just reviewed more commercials for a recent production contest.
Want to hear something
My friend and colleague Don Fitzgibbons, a.k.a. the Guru of Ads, does a fun and powerful seminar. During the seminar, he shows an awful-looking ad and asks the audience, “Good ad or bad ad?” The audience responds immediately and loudly, saying, “Bad ad!” Don, however, goes on to report that the crummy-looking and cheesy ad was responsible for a huge growth in sales and repeats the question, “Good ad or bad ad?”
There’s just one thing that makes an ad good. Good ads produce good, measurable results. Bad ads don’t. No matter how creative or well-produced an ad is, if it doesn’t produce results for the advertiser, it’s a bad ad.
We make new business a major priority of our sales effort. Sales staffs spend hours and hours working on new business. And then we produce commercials that don’t get great results. What a tragedy!
Leaders know that we MUST succeed with new business development. Our new business efforts have to be more effective than they have ever been.
But there’s a dirty little secret about new business development. New business is profitable for the company and for the AE only when we get repeat business. The amount of time it takes to generate one new sale makes it unprofitable. Renew a second or third time and ROI grows dramatically – and if the client keeps renewing year after year – WOW!
Unfortunately, a huge percent of the time we do not get the second order because our client doesn’t get results during their first schedule. And, yes, that’s often caused by under selling. Far more often, however, the problem is a nice-looking ad that isn’t effective.
If we’re going to develop local business, our AE’s and producers must become better at marketing. That’s true for our core business and digital products alike.
Here’s a real-life example. Could your AE’s and Producers help a client in this way?
An assisted living center was advertising on a dot.com. The banner ad:
Southwood Assisted Living, click here . We suggested applying the basic marketing principle of focus and the ad was changed to: Assisted Living Programs for Veterans, click here.
The click-through rates quadrupled overnight! The same idea would have dramatically improved the results for the core cable TV products. Before that change, the client may have cancelled. But not now! Because of its focus, the ad got results for the client.
This is a big deal. If our new business efforts get stronger, but we lose clients as fast as we bring them in because of poor production, we are set back big time. We’ll have clients who believe cable television doesn’t work and won’t come back anytime soon. And we’ll have AE’s who don’t believe in the power our products.
I can think of few industry issues that are as critical to our long term success as this one. It’s a problem we need to fix!
Jim Doyle is President of Jim Doyle and Associates, a sales consulting firm in Sarasota, Fla. His company works with cable TV sales organizations to grow local business and create a powerful selling culture. Reach Jim at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 941-926-SELL.
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