John Potter, VP/Director, RAB Radio Training Academy
It makes sense to call directly on the client even if the client has an advertising agency. We not only learn of clients’ objectives first-hand, but we build relationships.
So what happens when the agency tells you to stay away from the client and deal only with the agency? “If you call on the client I’ll never buy your station again!” Here are just four ideas:
1. Some sales managers tell salespeople their job is on the line if they do not call on all clients, whether there is an agency or not. The salesperson can now say: “I respect that you are asking me to not call on the client, but I can lose my job if I don’t.”
2. Softly tell the agency: “The client belongs to both of us and I must maintain contact with them as well as with you.”
3. Stop by clients and thank them for their business. If the agency is unhappy, you can assure them you were only thanking the client.
4. My favorite explanation to your agency: “I am not going to present specific information to the client. I present that to you and your agency. But if I talk to the client and learn the client’s objectives directly from him/her, I will be a better resource to you by bringing you only the most relevant recommendations.”
These don’t work all of the time, but we must try to get to clients to maximize revenue.
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