Be Bold. Be Rewarded

Ever pay sticker price for a car? Of course not. Over time the auto dealers have taught us to wait for a “tent sale”, a “President’s Day sale”, a “Bottom Line Blowout sale”. Just like the big chain department stores are doing – Macy’s big sale Saturday with pre-view day Friday. Kohl’s one day Saturday sale. They are teaching us to wait ‘til Saturday where they cut their margin and their ability to stay in business (remember Montgomery Ward?). Oh, and by the way, they still pay employees and electricity and rent for the other six days of the week while telling shoppers to wait until Saturday. Make sense? Not to me.

My point? We must be more than order takers and lackey copywriters. We must be a team of wise counselors to our clients and not let them cut into their margins to get customers. If we counsel clients to cut prices just to lure customers, we’re asking them to put themselves right out of business. As time passes they’ll keep having to cut, and cut, and cut to make the offers better; and eventually there is no profit, and no business. So AE’s will then need new clients to meet goals instead of growing the current AE/client relationship with wise counsel. And wise counsel leads to larger buys, too.

But yes, some sales make sense – when a client legitimately made a mistake and ordered too much, or things got damaged by flood or fire or an intern, or when inventory is perishable* like seasonal produce. (And those circumstances are made for the immediacy of radio!)

So what is wise counsel for our clients to get customers? Be bold. Stand apart. Avoid the easy ads and find distinctive solutions. Skip the same commercials everyone else in the product category is running and climb higher to be heard above the sameness. Even start your own category and be number one in it.

We improve our billing when we can count on clients to renew their schedules. They renew their schedules when they get results. Clients gets results when they stand apart (remember the USP?). To stand apart: be bold with positive ideas and rise above the sameness. In short: we need to help our clients stand out.

*By the way, “perishable” does not apply to broadcast inventory. Instead of cramming a “per inquiry” spot in the avail, give the listeners more of why they listen (and be honest, you know listeners don’t tune in for the commercials or all radio would need to play are the commercials). But this is a discussion for another day.

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