1. A good reason to return your call. Like you and everyone else these days, your client is bombarded with spam. But unlike you, your client is also bombarded on a daily basis by human spam. Every day he must deal with phone calls and personal visits by not only media salespeople, but other vendors and charities hoping to get some of his money.
To get a client’s attention these days your call must somehow differentiate you from the sea of spam. Study your client’s business. Look for flaws in his advertising and marketing strategy. For example, is he advertising exclusively with a medium that is overcrowded with his competitors? Does it appear that his advertising looks just like his competitor’s advertising? Is his advertising weakened by advertising cliches? Is the client’s advertising always price-oriented?
If you could come up with a plan that identifies and solves one or more of these problems then you must formulate a headline that you would use to get that client’s immediate attention. For example, “I’ve come up with a way that you don’t have to discount your price anymore in order to attract new customers. In other words, I think I could help bring 20 percent more to your bottom line.” Virtually any business owner would be interested in hearing about a plan like that. You will stand out from the rest of the media spam and will be much more likely to get an appointment.
2. A short, concise business plan. Most local business owners hate the cliché ratings-oriented computer-generated proposals we bring to them. As soon as you leave they throw them away. What they do like and don’t throw away are short plans that quickly identify and then solve specific problems that they are having.
I use a proposal I invented called SOS. That stands for Situation, Objective and Strategy. For Situation, I use a paragraph or two to sum up the specific problem I intend to help the advertiser solve. Another paragraph, Objective, concisely explains the goals my plan hopes to achieve. Here I might briefly describe my overall branding idea as well as about how many new customers we hope to bring in, based on a return-on-investment calculation. The Strategy section goes into detail on how I plan to achieve my objectives. In this last paragraph I discuss short- and long-term creative strategy and detail how I arrived at my ROI calculation (The Mediator ™ ROI calculator including the SOS proposal writer available at www.paulweyland.com). This proposal would serve as my notes during my presentation, keeping me and the client focused on the business at hand.
3. An honest, hard-thinking advertising advisor. When your client fully understands that you are working in his best interest instead of just trying to sell him spot schedules, and when he realizes that on a consistent basis your plan for his success is better than his, you will have finally earned his trust, respect, and his business. He will buy you long-term regardless of whether you’re number one or number 20 and provided you’re on the same page demographically, regardless of your format or program. Your rates will become less important than your value as a trusted advertising and marketing expert.