Our thanks to 2018 Radio Ink Radio Wayne Streetfighter finalist Vedra Grant from Beasley Broadcast Group in Charlotte for sharing this advertiser success story with us. Vedra was consistently persistent with a local auto dealer and got the client back on the air. It was a great win for both Vedra and Beasley and a great success story for us to highlight this week.
Vedra tells us about the situation with her client and then answers a few of our questions…
“There was an automotive client who stopped advertising with us for almost two years. He decided to put most of his advertising on only two stations in the market (two of the least expensive) and the remainder of his $40,000 per month budget was moved to digital and retargeting. Over a 3-4 month period, I kept sending him screen shots of my online pages as I was looking for a car to potentially purchase. I illustrated how different automotive ads would show up, especially his competitors, and he was not setting himself apart. To me, they all looked alike. He somewhat agreed but I never tried to convince him not to continue his digital advertising. Instead I suggested how a creative commercial talking about competitive automotive retargeting you might see of his dealership on the internet and furthering that message on radio. I told him that I had not heard of any other dealer doing this with any brand and he could truly set himself apart. I wrote a sample script of this idea. He loved it and added one of our stations right back into the mix for one month and is now looking at the remainder of the year.”
Radio Ink: How important is being persistent with clients, even after they stop using your station(s)?
Vedra: It’s very important! There will always be things the client(s) are introduced to that are presented as the “latest and greatest” from all forms of media. The thing that is important is that the client’s needs will also change just as media options change. As a media sales consultant that really cares about my clients, it’s important to me to know the “when and why” they have made the decisions they have for their strategies. Perhaps there is information I can provide them that is industry related about a different way radio was used to get the results they were trying to achieve, or follow up on their strategy to perhaps even congratulate them on their successes (even if they didn’t include radio at that time). Clients want to know that you care about their success…period! I believe there will always be a future opportunity at some point to include radio and/or my station(s) again. A client could just as easily get irritated if you push too hard. Explain how you balanced that aspect of the follow-up.
Radio Ink: How do you balance the line between being persistent and pestering?
Each client’s personality is different so listening skills are very important here. This isn’t a skill that’s automatic though. Listening takes practice. Many times we are so anxious to close a sale that we forget to prioritize this much-needed effort first. I have a few clients that let you know they want to see you often but not always “pitching/presenting” them something. Overall relationships are important to them. Often times you can mention things in social environments that will result in them asking you to present more details at another time. Then there are others that let you know they are quite busy and with the right questions, you can determine what they define as persistent or pestering… what’s important or a waste of their time. Bottom line: ask the right questions and listen intently to how they like to be serviced and presented information to. More often than not, with time, you will earn more business than you lose.
Radio Ink: Do you do similar things for advertisers not on the air with you?
Vedra: Yes. The right questions and listening skills still apply.
Radio Ink: Why is it important to understand digital when working with clients these days?
Vedra: No matter how much I don’t like it, people are gathering their information differently. In addition to that, category industry professionals on a national and regional level are giving vendors the impression that digital platforms are a “must” to be included when formulating media strategies. I don’t even have to ask most of my clients now if they are using digital in some way. I would say 90% are either in social media for exposure, or using various digital platforms for lead generation, targeted audience extension, etc. The reasons are many so it’s important to ask questions regarding how and why they use these platforms. Familiarize yourself as much as possible. But the challenge they’ve had is still regarding how to measure digital results. I learned quite a bit while researching industry standards for certain vendor categories. Did you know that some vendors won’t pay co-op on radio advertising but will for billboard and digital? Crazy, right? But it’s happening, and finding out why is critical because perceptions can sometimes be formed by retailers that radio is not as viable anymore with no co-op dollars back for radio. Thank goodness it’s just a few that have adopted this. But radio inefficiency is not why this is happening for some co-ops. Some manufacturers have gotten pressure to add digital as a source for co-op reimbursement and want to keep limits on what they pay back. It doesn’t mean radio isn’t a viable medium anymore. Many co-ops believe that retailers already believe in investing in radio and digital is the new questionable medium for ROI so co-op has been moved to some forms of digital now instead.
Knowing information like this helps me when working with a client’s advertising strategies to show them how RADIO IS still a viable medium, and now I have a few digital enhancements of my own that will enhance their results.
Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to congratulate her on this great sale.