(By Charlie Sislen) Last year we published an article about establishing a sales brand. This is what differentiates you or your entire sales team from other vendors out there. It is a crucial element in the sales arena.
It is a gross understatement to say that the sales environment is more different than ever before. However, it is important not to abandon your sales brand. As a matter of fact, it is more important than ever before to reinforce your brand.
There are numerous sales brands. Let’s review three prominent brands, and review how they could be adjusted in response to the current sales environment.
The Flexible Partner
Some brands are easy to reinforce. Organizations that have built their brand as a flexible partner can adjust to the advertiser’s needs. Presently, many others are trying to infringe on your brand by asking the advertiser, “What do you need?” If you have established that as your brand, you need to reinforce it. Your clients need help. As you work flexibly with them now, always remind them that this has been your business as usual, and will always be the way you do business. It should pay dividends in the long run.
The Data Expert
For those who have built their brand on being data experts, it is easy to maintain that brand. However, the data you supply needs to evolve. The cadre of Nielsen applications and various qualitative research (The Media Audit, Scarborough, etc.) are the typical tools used to help advertisers. Now, the sales person needs to provide data on how other advertisers are modifying their message to adapt to our new reality. If you have already established this brand, it is important to reinforce that radio and your cluster remain a smart source for your client.
The Event Resource
An interesting brand, and possibly the most difficult to maintain in the current situation, is that of the event resource. Historically, many stations have used in-person events to give their advertisers direct interaction with the listeners. While social distancing has made this brand hard to continue, it is not impossible. Many stations are having digital events, like listener Zoom parties. Brand endorsement and product placement can be a good substitution for in-person events. They can help uphold this brand, and assist your advertisers in touching potential clients.
These are just a few sales brands that need to be revisited because of the shutdown. Whatever your sales brand is, you need to ask yourself, “How do I maintain or enhance my sales brand in this new atmosphere?”
Charlie Sislen is a partner at Research Director, Inc. He can be reached at 410-956-0363 or by e-mail at [email protected]. This essay is part of a series titled “Growing the Radio Pie.” To view past articles, visit The Ratings Experts at Research Director, Inc. online here.