Contributor: Bo Bandy, GM Digital & SVP Marketing, Marketron
Building relationships with your clients starts and ends with earning their trust. Being transparent, asking the right questions and sharing informed recommendations can make you a valuable resource. Over time you become an ally because the connection is much more than transactional.
So, what are the strategies that can make you a marketing resource for advertisers? Here are some ways you can cement your status as a partner to your customers.
Start with a Compelling Valid Business Reason
You’re likely familiar with VBRs, but have you updated these recently? VBRs are all about the customer and what they would get from meeting with you. When you craft a compelling VBR, you show customers that you’ve done your research on them and want to suggest specific solutions. Your VBRs should always have a thread of “what’s in it for you” and set the scene for the relationship.
Personalizing VBRs and including things like industry content, market research, consumer trends or their online presence establishes you as an expert. You aren’t out-of-the-gate selling; nobody likes a hard sell. Your role is more of a consultant. Clients appreciate it when someone takes the time to learn about what they do and their needs. With this first impression, you can build a solid foundation.
Keep Up to Date on Industry and Market Trends
Whether at the industry or local level, delivering insights to your customers can help them understand the market better and validate your recommendations. There’s always new studies, research and data, so it’s vital to stay in the know.
For example, new data from Edison Research Share of Ear reveals that AM/FM radio remains the top ad-supported audio medium for all ages. Other research regarding radio’s advertising effectiveness noted that large global brands are spending more on radio, a trend that local businesses would find interesting.
How do you stay in the know? Subscribe to industry publications, leverage the great resources from RAB, set up Google Alerts for keywords for daily notifications and read research and its analysis. When you can counter an advertiser’s objections or misconceptions with data, they’ll realize how well equipped you are to offer them guidance.
Discuss Why Specific Tactics Will Help Them Reach Their Goals
Identifying what advertisers want to accomplish with advertising is the first question to answer. They may want to drive sales, boost brand awareness, launch a new product or gain market share. Once you know what they want, you’ll plan how to get them there with an omnichannel approach that includes linear and digital tactics.
Be sure to explain how the campaign and its different components work together to improve performance. You don’t have to get overly technical, but don’t assume they know what a tactic is. To add context, you can also talk about metrics that matter in assessing campaign results and how you will track and report these.
Some advertisers may be hesitant because they tried something, and it didn’t work. This is a chance to analyze what went wrong and how you can deliver better outcomes through a well-developed marketing strategy. It would be a good time to provide them with case studies or other results, so they’ll recognize that your approach is different.
Become an Industry Expert
Do you have expertise in a specific industry, vertical or category? It could be a competitive advantage in positioning yourself as a resource for advertisers. You can build this expertise if you don’t currently have it. Consider verticals that are prominent in your market, from health care to auto to hospitality.
Making the investment to become an industry specialist can yield lots of benefits. You’ll gain a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities ahead. Advertisers will be impressed when you come to the table with this kind of knowledge. Engage them from the start by asking the right questions and demonstrating that you know their business.
Deliver Value and You’ll Be a Trusted Resource
In the dynamic between sales and customers, delivering value is the most important thing you can do. If you consistently do this with education, research, highlighting past results and showcasing industry expertise, you will be a trusted resource. Potential advertisers will look to you for direction and help with achieving their goals, which can lead to long-term loyalty and renewals. Consider all these tips as you evolve your sales strategy, so you and your clients succeed.