The Old Leaky bucket

  • I was asked   the other day from one of my favorite salespeople about retaining clients.

    These days they seem to be leaking a lot lately he said, and how do you stop the leaks.

    Here are a couple of ideas.

    Do not stress.

    I think that we do stress a little at times on our retention rates, I always like to ask what are the exact numbers of clients that are actually falling off your lists.

    I wrote an article on talkingmediasales earlier in the year called “The conveyer Belt theory” which talked about living with retention but also doing something about it. 

    If you are losing around 20% of your clients every year that is actually quite normal, any more than that you have a couple of problems.

    1. 1.       Selling packagers not solutions.

    This one is quite common, media companies under pressure, rates dropping, packages being sold against you. You turn into them, and start selling your product like them. It is short term.  It might work for a while. You have to go deeper into your sales strategy and own this category.

    1. 2.       Customer Service.

    This is really the road to riches, but usually media companies pay lip service to it. Here is an example of creative thinking, and innovation.   A business partner of mine created a customer service idea out of travel. He was able to purchase 100 airline tickets at around 50% below the advertised price, and it was to a great destination.

    No Strings attached.

    He decided to send his top 100 clients a FREE ticket as a thank you for investing with his media company. NO STRINGS ATTACHED, no advertising, no commitments, nothing. Guess what happened, every clients was over the moon.

    They were so excited to receive a FREE ticket, but could they take their partner with them, sure he said, I can get a ticket at the advertised price, slightly under, but still a good deal.

     What do you reckon happened? 70% or 70 took the extra flight.  

    Do the math.

    Original ticket Price 100@ $299 = $29,900.00 (Giveaway)

    Ticket for spouse      70 @$599 =     $41,930.00     (client paid)

    The actual cost of the promotion   $9000 (170 x $299 = $50830)

    Here is the rub, they took those 170 clients on the trip and generated hundreds of thousands of advertising dollars beside the pool.

    We don’t do that around here.

    So, the squealing begins, oh, no, we don’t do that, that wouldn’t work around here, that is a bit clever for us, blah, blah, blah…

    I have proposed deals like this to many media companies, and the answer is usually no, and sadly that goes on in hundreds of media companies all over the world.

    So, want to stop retention,  then pay a little more attention to your advertisers, for they are ones that pay you.

    Good selling

    Merry Christmas, festive or just holiday season to all my friends at the Radio Sales cafe, thank you for your support this last year.... Summer holiday at Middle earth... see you all on the other side... 

    Mike