Posted: February 24, 2012 at 7:04 am
I have several competitors who bombard my clients when I post any ad on my site http://www.radiofacts.com. It kind of irritates me because I work so hard to foster those relationships and think it’s unfair to my clients especially when the competitors try to sell their sites by putting mines down (and it gets back to me and that tactic is tacky and rarely works). There is one site in particular that is often very successful at manipulating my clients into supporting them too… hey if it works than so be it. The problem is, when I call many of their clients from different formats outside of Urban radio I almost always get rejected.
It’s one thing to reject a proposal but it’s insulting to make a person jump through hoops to get to no. Clients KNOW up front if there is a possibility that they will support you but they also KNOW when they are NOT going to support you. Don’t be politically correct, just be HONEST (lol). It would save us both time and money. In all honestly.. I’d rather have a potential client tell me to “Fuck off and don’t ever call me again” than to have me waste my time sending in proposals, making endless calls and sending emails to follow up. Be careful of what you wish for because I have actually HAD potential clients tell me never call back again (lol) but for the most part… my clients have been great to me. Here are some tips to help you know that you are wasting your time.
1. Potential Client asks for proposal (RFP)
This is not a sign that you are wasting your time but I have done great RFPs and I have been rejected and my ideas stolen and given to my competition (I’m talking non minority competitors). At one time this practice literally made me sick to my stomach then I realized that there are many marketing companies that don’t have a CLUE how to market to minorities and they use anything they can to learn… including the unscrupulous practice of stealing information from proposals. NEVER and I mean NEVER include too much info in your RFP. Be vague about particular places, names and events but focus more on how you can deliver and numbers. I have a saying, “if you give away the recipe the restaurant will close” that applies here. Realize your information could be stolen and manipulated so keep your sources and major information private. There is a 50/50 chance that your RFP will be accepted or rejected. This is not an easy task but if it works out, it can be lucrative and if the marketing company is not biased (which is VERY rare) it may open a door for a long relationship.
2. Never Get Excited about a Potential Client..
The more excited you get the harder you fall if it doesn’t work out. In addition, I am a firm believer in giving all that you have to give then letting it go when it comes to attracting a client. I usually get them 99% of the time when I forget about them and don’t focus on them.
3. Follow up with people who call you about to support your business
This is not easy because the results are often futile. Often people that call you and who show an interest in supporting your business are not ready. There was a time that I looked at it as a waste of time. Now, I make a mental or a short note in my Thunderbird (an excellent email program with a calendar) to call them a week later. It is rare that these situations ever work out but there is a one in a million chance that 1 does.
4. Aim high and have NERVE!
I have found that dealing with corporations is 99% done when the contact calls you and you NEVER know what they are looking for. If you are a minority business I pray that they will not refer you to the “Lion’s Den” which is what I like to call biased Marketing Companies but if they do just realize it’s not easy to sell to them and if they don’t like you they can call the corporation and reject you in an instant. Hopefully you will be able to deal directly with the Corporation and they have budget in place and they are ready to support your venture. Dealing with independents or smaller clients is a LOT of work and it only comes into fruition about 15% of the time but the money is up front (even though it’s often at a discount)
5. Don’t Pursue those who Run from you constantly.
As a rule, make 3 calls and send 2 emails at the most. If the person does not respond, make sure they are aware of what you are doing but put them on hold till next year. They may shock you and call you (which is rare)… but realize some people usually support people they like… as unfortunate and unfair as that may seem it’s a fact. So you need to locate those who “Like” you and leave the ones who don’t like you alone. The more you try to get their business the more you suffer and start to question the value of what you do. As an old boss once told me, “Love those who love you and leave the rest alone.”
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Best in Business
Kevin Ross email me at firstname.lastname@example.org