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Time to Pay Attention to Details

July 17, 2014

Can You Hear Me Now … Can You Hear Me Now … TIME TO PAY ATTENTION!!!!!!!!

The current economic situation is forcing consumers to make tough choices that affect almost every spending category. Fundamental ideas are changing and basic concepts are being altered. We need to start paying attention to the details in order to thrive in this changing economy.

PAY ATTENTION to Your CLIENTS: All of them. You need to keep your finger on the pulse of your current clients. Reach out to them. Understanding how the economy is affecting them is essential to maintaining their business and their trust. What may have been good enough before no longer applies. Ask questions and understand their needs so you can help them with their business. Do everything you did to win their business in the first place and then more. Keep in mind the three C’s: Contact, Consult, Coddle.

PAY ATTENTION to Your COMPETITION: There are two aspects to this. First and foremost, desperate times call for desperate measures, and your competitors will be pulling out all the stops to steal your clients from you. In addition to the three C’s above, differentiate yourself from the competition by providing personalized and responsive service and going beyond the call of duty. Treat your clients in a way they will appreciate and remember. The second aspect of this is to pay attention to the changes with your competition. Have they changed format, personalities, programs? Have they left a void in the marketplace that you can fill? How can you help the advertisers left behind? Again, contact, consult, and coddle them and they could be your new clients.

PAY ATTENTION to the News: It may seem as if the market is bleak, but are you paying attention to the news? Sure, sometimes it’s hard to see beyond the “we’re in the worst recession since the Great Depression” and the “stock market is down” but is there potential for new advertising or a piece of information you can share with an existing client to help them in their struggle?

PAY ATTENTION to Lost Accounts or Pitches That Fizzled: Perhaps one of the best places to try and generate some business is through your own files. Even the best salespeople lose accounts every now and then. They should also know that if they approach their former customer properly, many come back. Try to find specific reasons why the client left. If there were any problems or complaints about quality that went unanswered, try to come up with a plan to fix the problem, then share it with your former customer. Take personal responsibility and do whatever it takes to restore customer goodwill.

PAY ATTENTION to YOURSELF: Think about what makes YOU spend money when money is tight. Now use that knowledge to tap into ways you can help your clients. It’s not that people don’t spend money during tight recessionary times, it’s that they spend it more carefully. Your challenge is to ensure they think of you and your business as one of the places they’ll get value for dollars spent.

-Nakia Smith, Sr. Sales Research Consultant