Dear Advertising Providers:
As lawyers, accountants, and even management consultants, we often rely on your advertising solutions to generate new business. Please understand that our time is very valuable, and our first priority is running our own businesses and serving our clients. We are getting frustrated with the standard advertising pitch and process. You assign multiple reps, make unsubstantiated claims, charge high rates for unnecessary services, and then provide slow or no support after the sale. It doesn’t have to be this way.
We want to help you help us. Part I of this blog includes 5 ideas to improve the way you interact with us, which will also improve program results.
- Assign a single rep. We want one person who calls on us, understands our unique business needs and adequately represents all of your company’s solutions. Don’t make us meet with four different reps, just make it simple.
- Provide a solution. Ask us questions about what we’re trying to accomplish with our marketing and advertising efforts. Then customize your presentation to our business needs. When you present new ideas, include the reasons why we should be interested. Don’t force us to buy something we don’t need, just because it’s part of a standard package. Be creative.
- Use real words. Your internal terminology works inside your company, but is often lost on us. We have no clue why a PLL is different from and LPP and don’t know the difference between Intks Form I and Intks Form II. Assume that we don’t work for your company. Translate everything into a terminology that we can easily understand. Then use that same terminology across your sales, service and billing departments.
- Generate real results. While some of us still would like to build our brands, we prefer to pay for the activities that build business. Focus on delivering clients. Oh, and by the way, banner ads no longer work — please remove them from your sales pitch.
- Follow through. When we ask a question or report an issue, don’t ignore us. Acknowledge receipt, and at least provide a timeframe for follow-up. Then meet or exceed that expectation. What you ignore now we’ll remember at renewal.
If any of the above-mentioned examples seem far-fetched, please understand that each example is real and occurred to a real firm within the last year.
Professional Service Providers
Part II of this letter will offer 5 more tips to improve our working relationship and program results. If you are a professional services firm or advertising program provider, please let me know about your experiences and ideas. I’ll try to include some in the next blog.
If you can’t measure it, don’t do it.