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A friend and client recently told me that he sees two kinds of people in the world…those obsessed by money and those who are guided by other concerns or principals. I like to think of myself as a compassionate person, driven by love of family, literature, art, music, science and leaving the world a better place than I found it. But when it came to broadcast sales, it really was about doing my best to bring more money to my clients…who would then in return, richly reward me for my effort. Yes, it came down to the money.

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In the mid- ‘80s when I first started selling broadcast advertising, my average order for local direct hovered at somewhere between $1,500 and $2,500 per month. Why? Here was my evidence.

· Because that was the range that I had determined was acceptable to Austin, Texas business owners at that point in time.

· Because that was the average monthly order sold by senior sellers at our stations.

· Because that seemed like a lot of money to me at that time.

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This article is about teaching clients a much better way to reach out and turn consumers into their loyal customers. It’s about how clients can attract new customers without ever having to put their product or service on sale.

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We have discussed in previous articles in this publication that media salespeople are usually the ones with the rate issue…not the local direct decision makers we deal with. We know now that value almost always trumps price. That means that when a salesperson proves to a client beyond a shadow of a doubt that his/her plan for the client’s success is better than the client’s plan, that’s when most clients will adopt you as their advertising resource, surrendering creative to you and eventually purchasing what you recommend they buy.

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Broadcast stations bring me into their markets to visit with their local direct clients. Many of those meetings turn out great. I’m able to give a local direct decision maker long-term marketing and advertising strategies. They appreciate the advice and usually start spending much more money than they were previously with the station.

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Let’s talk about potential elephant-sized local direct budgets from elephant-sized potential clients that virtually none of us are calling on in any meaningful way. I’m talking about big industrial/mining/manufacturing clients, some of the biggest employers in your market. While these big businesses may not necessarily be consumer-oriented, there are still many reasons they should be advertising on radio and television stations all year long. We just need to teach them how to use us. Here are some of the talking points you’ll need to turn some of these giant non-advertisers into regular...

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Rather than useful information that consumers need to know, most broadcast commercials are filled with meaningless clichés that no one wants to hear. Today’s consumers don’t like being “sold” but they don’t mind being informed. Here are some talking points that listeners/viewers might like to learn from some of your clients.

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I own a beautiful three-year-old border collie named Shiner. You might be aware that border collies are supposed to be the brightest of all dogs, but that’s not the case with little Shiner. She’s very sweet, but she’s not so smart (she got skunked five times in six months). The bane of her existence is the Common Squirrel. She’s so busy chasing them (to our knowledge she’s never caught one) that she misses the more lucrative (to her) cats and deer that are in PLAIN SIGHT.

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After you’ve thought about the way your client answered your seven-question client needs analysis regarding his advertising and marketing efforts (click here for that article), you’re ready to put your conclusions and recommendations into proposal form.

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Nobody in media sales likes this surprise, “Cancel my advertising. It’s not working.” Wouldn’t it be a shame if the only reason the client called to cancel was based on false information? And more shameful because the seller, unaware that the false information was the only reason, timidly accepted the cancellation without any argument whatsoever.

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While attending the University of Texas I had several jobs. One of which was a Men’s store (haberdashery). The owner was a terrific salesman named Sol Ginsberg. He was a diminutive man with white hair and big black horn-rimmed glasses. He spoke with an eastern European accent.

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I recently met with an RV dealer in Southern Minnesota. He had been considering using radio small-market radio stations to sell his RVs. He had used radio before in larger markets and was skeptical about his results. After our conversation, he wasn’t just thinking about radio anymore, I gave him an idea that convinced him that broadcast advertising was the best thing he could utilize to create new customers.

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“It’s not the money…it’s the principal. And interest”.

-Anon.

So a business owner goes to a bank. He tells the banker that he needs to borrow $50,000 for new equipment. The banker says, “I remember you from back in the late ‘80s and you were slow paying us back during that recession. Why would we loan you money again?” The customer said, “Hey, I paid you back every cent. I could have bailed on you but I didn’t.” The banker says, “Okay, we’ll see. You look like a gambling sort of guy. One of my eyes is made of glass. If you can...

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“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.” –Anthony G. Oettinger

Last month I met with the decision maker for a chain of dry cleaning stores. She was wary of broadcast advertising and her account executive had trouble even getting her to commit to a meeting. When she arrived she said she could only stay for thirty minutes. She wound up staying for an hour and a half, took pages of notes and now plans on spending most of her 2014 advertising budget on my client’s station. Here’s why.

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Many doctors and dentists feel that radio or television advertising “cheapens” their professions and that it is beneath them to promote their skills. Yet at the same time, these same medical professionals have no problem advertising in the Yellow Pages or in those little magazines you only see in doctors offices. You know, the ones where the entire staff dressed in white coats is lined up in front of the MRI machine, smiling maniacally?

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Look at all of the small businesses out there that only advertise when they have sales. “20 Percent Off! 30 Percent Off!” Many of them will spend 97 percent of their advertising budgets going after the worst, most disloyal three percent that would only buy if your client’s prices were the absolute lowest available. What a miserable life, only dealing with the disloyal and parasitic bottom-feeders.

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I used to help emcee Spamarama™, the world’s largest tribute to Potted Pork Products here in Austin, so I know something about pink meat and opening cans, but that’s not what this article is about. This article is about how to create great commercials. I have learned the hard way that local direct clients are not creative geniuses when writing commercials. When I let them dictate their own commercials, the chances of a cancellation at some point due to lackluster response was virtually certain. So, I figured out early that if I could win control over the creative message, the campaign’s...

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Rock music fans are aware of the “27 Club,” that horrible category of talented musicians who died at age 27. That list includes Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse and others. Fortunately, the “32 Club” is not so morbid and its members are at the top of the local broadcast sales game.

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