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Can We Know What Clients Expect?


After years of selling radio, observing radio sellers, and interviewing countless clients, I finally determined the 10 most important questions to ask a client in the initial interview. Today, I want to talk about the last question, #10. This is the final question I ask an advertising decision-maker in the interview. One aspect of radio selling, where even the best sellers arent very good, is getting a feel for a clients expectations in advance of doing business together. Is there a way we can get a handle on their expectations in the interview process? I believe asking this final question in an interview not only accomplishes this, but helps set the stage for a long-lasting and meaningful relationship:

Lets pretend it's 24 months in the future and Ive not only helped you, but Ive become the single best media sales rep you have ever worked with. What have I done for you?

Rarely will you hear an answer like, Youve tripled my sales" or "Youve doubled my profits. I have always found it amazing how realistic most clients set the bar with their answer. I hear things like, Youve helped my business grow. People tell me they hear my ads. This question, worded this way, accomplishes something else for you, too. When you say, Lets pretend It's 24 months in the future, that sends the distinct message that you have no interest in selling a long-weekend package. It says youre going to be around a while. You expect to be hired, not bought. It says you have no interest in anything short of a long-term, meaningful relationship.

Getting a feel for your clients' expectations can be accomplished with one, well-worded, final question. Put this question to work today!

Rob Adair is the President of Pinnacle Solving. His company provides revenue growth solutions, branding and differentiation strategies to radio and other industries. Adair is a former radio industry COO and Sr. VP overseeing 25+ stations and multiple major markets. He can be reached at 405-641-0458 or by e-mail

(12/7/2012 10:23:49 PM)
I wonder if many old-timers remember when the opening line - on the phone - was: "Wanna buy some spawts....? And it worked!? (Fade in: Mary Hopkins-"Those Were The Days".)

- Ronald T. Robinson

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