Turn Your CNA Into a CMA


(By Rick Fink) Business owners cringe at the thought of having to sit through another Customer Needs Analysis! You are extremely mistaken if you think the acronym CNA is only used in ad sales. Nearly every business category with sales reps conducts a CNA in some form.

Here’s a news flash for you: if you refer to them as CNAs, your competitors’ are more than likely nearly identical to yours!

To deliver more value, you must move beyond collecting your prospect’s thoughts in a CNA and conduct a Complete Marketing Audit.

The typical Customer Needs Analysis only tells you what your client or prospect knows, or thinks they know, about their business. While this is a great starting point, the business owner or manager is uniquely UNQUALIFIED to see his or her business objectively – they are too close to the forest to see the trees.

To differentiate yourself from your competitors and deliver real value to your clients and prospects, make it your mission to unveil a marketing issue they are NOT aware of through a Complete Marketing Audit.

How do you do that? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Offer to facilitate a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) Analysis with their staff or key people.
  • Search the web. Industry association websites, news stories, and targeted trade magazines may reveal ideas, news, or trends that affect your prospect’s business that they are unaware of.
  • Objectively review their digital ads, websites, and other advertising.
  • Be a mystery shopper and present your mystery shopper report with suggestions on ways to exploit the positives and make suggestions for areas that need improvement.
  • Facilitate a customer focus group to capture consumer perceptions of your client’s business in the marketplace. Better yet, talk to non-customers to learn why they patronize the competition rather than your account.

There are many ways you can uncover needs or objectives your prospects are not aware of or not catering to. Make it your mission to learn something about every account that they themselves may not be aware of and you’ll become an invaluable resource to those accounts.

Being more than a “media sales rep” and being an advisor to your clients and prospects is what truly sets the above-average apart from the average. Be willing to do more, dig deeper, ask better questions, and be willing to go the extra mile to truly help your clients, and they will reward you for it.

Rick Fink from ENS Media can be reached at 605-310-2062 or at [email protected]. Read Rick’s Radio Ink archives here.


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