Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Last Minute Sales Pitch

I recently worked with a business that needed help with a media purchase.  They were dealing with a phonebook vendor and found themselves unsure how to handle another frantic sales pitch, as representatives were always making sales calls and pushing different products.  As is often the case, this particular deadline was “urgent”.

In a given year, this small business would spend thousands of dollars when faced with the pressure of missing the opportunity to advertise, without gaining a return on that investment.

The following suggestions can help when you are dealing with an aggressive sales representative:

1)      Develop a plan. Establish a budget and priorities so you aren’t pressured into something that doesn’t make sense for your business.

2)      Ask if “urgent” deadlines are flexible.  In my experience, the deadlines that are provided are rarely hard. If the turnaround sounds unreasonable, ask if it is firm.

3)      Trust your gut.  You know what’s best for your business.  Listen to what sales representatives have to say, but if you are uncertain, consider passing or delaying your decision.

4)      Measure results.  Ask your clients how they found out about you.  This will help you adjust your advertising plan and save dollars that can be allocated elsewhere.

In the case of my client, we established actual publication deadlines and made cuts to get spending within budget.  The sales representative was probably disappointed, but my client was satisfied, having made a smart and affordable decision that met his company’s needs.

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