Being There Without Being There


(By Bob McCurdy) I was talking the other day with the owner of a medium sized successful agency in New York who has been a good pal for over three decades. I was asking him how his business was faring with everything going on. He is obviously taking a hit like every other agency or media company, mentioning he is relying heavily on Zoom to stay visible with existing clients and to pitch and retain business.

He indicated two things; there is an art to Zooming, knowing when to speak, not cutting people off and the difficulty of coming across as a cohesive unit when multiple people are involved from agency and client as well as his preference for actually “being there”. Being with the client across the table, which is becoming increasing difficult. He believes that this type of less personal interaction will become the new norm.

This conversation brought a question to my mind, which was how can we be there without actually being there with our clients. There are many ways to maintain client visibility but I will focus only Zoom.

The way we all have been using Zoom is obvious, but there is another, less utilized but no less effective way for that technology to assist us in maintaining client visibility when not there. That is using Zoom to record, save the file and then attaching it to an email.

For those who want to increase their ability to be there when not there and to separate themselves from the competition, consider:

-Committing to recording a short weekly update, highlighting anything that might be of interest to your clients pertaining to advertising, marketing, your cluster, client testimonials or creative ways other advertisers have used radio. This does not have to be a Broadway production. It is about visibility with value. Make it educational and something they look forward to receiving. Assisting them to know what you know so they will be more likely to believe what you believe is good for business. The RAB, your colleagues and the industry trades can be helpful here.

Keep it short. You could then forward this update as well as the articles/info discussed and email it to your current and prospective clients separating yourself from all of the other local media reps and positioning yourself as your market’s advertising expert.

-Creating 30-60 second videos for clients that analyze the latest audience ratings, Scarborough qualitative, station research and positioning that pre-sells your story with you narrating over the material on your computer screen. Short, sweet and to the point and again you can email it out with your spin on the material. The major benefit is that since you are the one creating the video you can position the material the way you want and have them focus on what you want, not what the competition wants. You control the narrative.

-On a more micro level, create bite-sized videos for specific clients that addresses their unique needs, concerns or objections. The chances are these videos will be viewed more than decks will be read. Frequency sells. Four of these bite-sized pre-sell pieces over several weeks will likely have more impact than one large deck delivered once.

-Another way Zoom can be effective is in prospecting. Instead of walking into a place of business unannounced, use Zoom as an initial intro tool. In this case, don’t record your computer screen but record yourself, with your face on the screen so they will recognize you when they see you. Many people are adverse to do this for reasons I don’t understand. State who you are, why it would be worth their time to meet with you along with an idea or two you have that can move their business forward. This could turn a cold call into a much warmer call. Again, keep it short.

Be sure to track what you forward to each client, this will not only prevent you from inundating them with too much material but will enable you to check what info you forwarded last so you can reference and reinforce it in your next conversation with them.

There is a lot more sales value in Zoom than simply using it for video-conferencing.

Bob McCurdy is now retired and can be reached at [email protected]


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