Forums » The Round Table: Brainstorming & Problem-solving

Justifying Costs

    • 102 posts
    June 30, 2019 1:34 PM PDT

    I'm doing small market direct business sales these days and loving every minute of it. With my goal set to double station business in 6 months, I sure have my work cut out for me. Luckily we are the only station truly targeting the county. My station has incredible on the street awareness, dominates in the ratings in the county and enjoys a great reputation.

    I have found some sales have been made by all local media by just walking around a package or emailing or calling. I am 'look you in the eye' selling. You get a written proposal based on your needs and budget. 

    The proposal seems to truly elevate me over all other media. That the owner will see my face each week says I'll do the work to earn their business. I tell them I came from a top 10 market where I had been a GM of a station just to be sure I'm taken seriously. I ask for annuals. I don't want to be selling again and again. I want traction. I want what others get as my share and more if I can give a compelling reason for more than an equal share. I am careful to not oversell. I know that sounds strange but I had learned a client had $1,500 a month to play with. I maxed out at $1,200. I mean if I took all $1,500 I really couldn't produce greater results than $1,200 could. I left $300 on the table. 

    Somebody spending $1,500 a month puts you in the top 3 or 4 circle. Many spend about $300. I was talking to a restaurant that was leasing billboards. I asked what a billboard cost to lease. I took that figure and created an annual plan for a bit less (10%) and created some exclusives for the client. He gulped at seeing my proposal asking 5 times the average amount a business spends. I need those dollars. I need him to win over restaurant options on higher traffic count roads. I have to build tons of awareness he loses because of his lower traffic count location.

    Winning him was breaking it down. I explained in writing it was just $50 a day. I said if his food cost is 40%, I just need to deliver 10 lunch specials a day to cover his expense but I truly believed 10 meals a day was a very minimal amount because I'm out to have his name on the tip of all my listener's tongues when hungry hours roll around. I really think breaking down the cost to daily 'bite size' amounts and demonstrate with his items how little he has to sell to pay for it is what worked for this one pulling through.

    For me, it's regular visits, written proposals and breaking down the cost to eliminate sticker shock that works for me. 

    I post this because of all the stuff I've read and heard, everybody says ask for the moon because you might get it. Everybody says not to bother people without an appointment. I don't expect to be seen but I want them to know I was there. And nobody said to break it down to show how little the client has to benefit to cover the investment. It was not any mind blowing moment but rather thinking from the shoes of the recipient of my proposal. 

    Footnote: Small market selling is different than larger markets. More often than not it is dealing direct with business owners. 

    • 1 posts
    July 12, 2019 12:09 PM PDT

    Great read Bill, and I agree !   90% of my sales are Face to Face.  Written proposals shows you care!  Keep up the good work, and lets get everyone out of the office!


    • 119 posts
    July 12, 2019 3:32 PM PDT

    Nice work, Bill.

    I like that you ask for enough to make an impact but leave some on the table for them to use elsewhere.

    This week, I had a long time advertiser who spends $1800 every month for live 10 second mentions, tell me she needs to cut down to $1000 a month for the rest of the summer, in an email.

    No problem, I made some adjustments and stopped in to discuss.  In our conversation, I learned that the $1800 she spends with me is equal to her $1800 monthly rent, and they just need a little break until fall.

    She told me she could spend $1200 per month (not the $1000 she mentioned in the email) and I gave her an option for $1300 which she gladly accepted.  Plus she is planning on spending more during special times of the year which will more than offset the current $500 per month loss.

    Conversations about what matters to them are the key to selling in medium markets and creating trusted relationships with your advertising partners.