The expression “the customer is always right” is probably one of the most destructive clichés in business. Quite often I have clients re-writing part of their script, or trying to combine two scripts into one. Or the client attempts to shoehorn too much information into their commercials, or they come up with an “idea” for their radio commercial which is idea driven rather than brief driven. OR they want their phone number adding to the radio commercial for their car dealership.
The Customer is quite often wrong. But they are always paying!
I will use another cliché used in sales training. When you go to see a doctor do you suggest the kind of treatment you would like? No, you describe the symptoms; he or she makes the diagnosis and suggests the kinds of treatments available. You may get a choice and the doctor will give you an opinion on which is the best course of action. OK, let’s say this doctor gives us a course of antibiotics… would you suggest that you take half the prescription and save half the price on the tablets.
But then I trust my Doctor. He’s been to medical school. He’s worked in a practice with other Doctors who helped him when he was first started out. He’s diagnosed and cured hundreds and thousands of sick people. I trust his experience.
Now for your radio advertising you need the help of “Radio Doctors”. You need experts from the radio station to help you solve your business problems. You can tell a good radio sales person because they’re not concerned with opening your wallet, but concerned about helping your business to grow. They will ask more questions about your businesses than try and sell you “Rushton FM”. The BAD ones will come to you with pre-prepared contracts and spot plans before you’ve even discussed a brief. They will use all the hackneyed sales tricks in the book, because all they have been trained in is double-glazing style sales techniques.
A good sales person is like a doctor, they try to get to the root of the problem. They do a fact find and take a brief. They will become a trusted partner. Someone who is helping you to invest your advertising money to get a return on that investment. They will introduce you to consultant specialists, the copywriters who will communicate your message effectively, and they will schedule it to hit the right kind and number of people for your business.
You are an expert on your business; you are the right person to express the symptoms. You will have insights into your business and the reasons people buy from you, but properly trained sales people know how to help you use radio effectively.
This isn’t philanthropic reasoning that drives the good radio groups to train their sales people properly. The cost of the resale is much lower than the cost of the initial sell. So it’s in the Radio Company’s best interests to retain clients. You do THAT by making sure the radio works hard for them. When they try their best for you, but you make up your own rules and the campaign doesn’t do as well as it COULD have done…. well… the customer is always right!