(By Loyd Ford) When Covid shut so many things down in 2020, I had a friend who was literally watching the news as so many businesses were going under. He said, “They are destroying the economy and no one is going to take risks in the future. People will stop trying to open new businesses after this.”
“Not a chance,” I told him. “Entrepreneurs are risk-takers. That’s who they are as people. That will come back with a vengeance.”
Even I didn’t know how much that would be true.
How is your real prospecting going for new local business? Is it about the same businesses you have seen in the past? Is it only about the traditional radio money spenders?
I know, you need more evidence.
I can’t help myself. I’ve also been spending time with Corey Elliott again. If you haven’t seen his latest video about new businesses that have exploded into the 2020s, you should look it up. Naw, let me share it here for you. The sky isn’t falling. That’s money falling from the sky for the smart local seller.
The question is: How do you apply yourself, your sales efforts to capturing more new clients at a time when local radio really needs them?
1. Free yourself of your old mindset. If you are a college football fan (as I am), you know about ‘adjustments at halftime.’ Those who do it well make powerful differences in the outcome of the game. I am suggesting that this time isn’t the end of radio; it’s halftime. In fact, you are coming out of the tunnel now into the bright lights of the 2020s and the stadium you’re playing in – radio – is packed with potential new clients. They may not be sitting where they were in the first half, so we have to get busy. Find them and solve their problems.
2. Separating a portion of your prospecting to focus on new categories, truly new businesses matters. While prospecting numbers matter (see number 3 below), our ‘after halftime adjustment’ means we should be building strategies to see people we ordinarily might not have been seeing back in 2019. This is a time you can grow outside of your normal activities. Add a percentage of visits that put you in the path of the new entrepreneurs.
3. See more people. We’ve seen this over and over. The average number of interactions a sales rep SHOULD have with a prospect before they become a client: 7 – 11. The average number of times your average sales rep actually interacts with a potential client: 1. Just one time. Do you think opportunity exists out there? It’s untapped.
4. Growing your knowledge about what is happening in your community can be critical to uncovering new businesses to help. Before work or after work, do you have any networking activities that help you tap into what is happening around you beyond the usual suspects? This is a great time to do that and it will make you a champion. Oh, and put more money in your pocket.
5. Believe in radio again. Focus on giving your potential clients experiences with radio that help them reshape opinion around what is possible because of engaging radio. We are so much more than over-the-air radio, but over-the-air radio is still affordable, effective and alone in the area of being inexpensive and powerful with consumers that businesses want to bring into their sphere of influence now. Everyone faces attrition because of technology and competitive environment, but radio is the actual king of audio and also attached to digital, social, events and more in a local market. Share the experiences that will make your potential clients become CLIENTS because they want the ideas you bring and the affordable way we bring more customers to them.
A final thought for you: If you look at the five things in this article and build your own personal goals around them, you will find you can’t hide money. Business owners need more customers. They do. Don’t get caught up in the inflation, supply chain, recession talk. If local businesses don’t have more customers, they have to fix that ASAP no matter what the economic conditions are. Even if they do have “enough” customers, small business owners are looking for help on how to be most effective. That’s our job. Show up and be that expert for them.
Always bring solutions, experiences and positive energy. You will be rewarded.
Then people who talk about you will say, “You can’t hide money.”
Loyd Ford is president and chief strategic officer at the branding consulting practice Rainmaker Pathway Consulting Works (RPC). Reach him anytime at 864.448.4169 or [email protected].