Marketing Through Education
March 27, 2012
Oh, before I even begin, I have to ask one thing. Can we all please stop referring to those people who give us ratings as "listeners?" They're NOT just "listeners" ... they are your "clients." The difference between a listener and a client is that "listeners" do simply that - they just listen. A client is one who not only listens but feels that they are under your careful and genuine guidance, and within whom they feel you have created a valued relationship.
Remember that a brand is "a promise, based on a relationship, wrapped in an experience." There is a relationship present and it's a part of who you are. It's the same reason that we at Pinnacle Media despise being called "vendors." A vendor is someone who simply supplies a product or service. We truly strive to be your "partner" and no matter what you choose to call us, you will always be considered our "client." Okay, now that I have that off my chest...
If you were to ask any person, in any business, who makes a living selling, if they would like the opportunity to have every prospective client in one big arena and give them the pitch, virtually all of them would give you a resounding, "YES!" I mean, who wouldn't just LOVE that chance? At worst, they would simply have to make fewer individual appointments to see all the same people and then have more time for golf. At best, they might make a sale to 10 or 20% of those in attendance.
But how do you take that opportunity and improve the percentages and make a sale to 70-80%? Are you selling or are you educating? Author and business strategist Chet Holmes calls it, "The Stadium Pitch."
Now, a few things you should keep in mind:
- If you're a programmer, you have this opportunity every single moment you are on the air! You constantly get to make a sales pitch to all of your clients (remember, they are no longer listeners). Are you aware that any other person trying to bring in revenue through sales, would give their right arm for the opportunity you have EVERY moment?
- When a seller (yes, that includes programmers and on-air talent) gets in front of their clients, do they treat them more like customers or valued clients? Are you always trying to "sell" them something, or are you truly concerned with what you have that will improve their productivity, revenue or profits? From a programmer's perspective that means, "What positive impact will you have and how will you make their lives better?" The best salespeople do not always walk out with a sale, but they will always walk out being a trusted, respected partner.
Are you truly prepared to educate, or are you just standing, ready to sell them something? Chet Holmes remarks in his book, "The Ultimate Sales Machine," that the seller who simply says, "We have the best widgets in the business and I would like to show you why ours are better than theirs," will be much less successful with this approach then the person who uses education to market his service or product. Compare the approach above to one who uses the ability to empower rather than simply sell. "We have a new program for businesses like yours that identifies ways to increase your position in the market and we have had great success with this program with many others like you in the same business." Which approach might get the appointment with you?
The truth is, many of us use Education Marketing ALL the time. You are reading this because you hope to glean some new information that will strengthen you; we hope to build strong relationships. All Access does this constantly, by offering a variety of industry minds who present you with fresh ideas. Mark Ramsey, in my mind, is the best at "education marketing." It is a strategy that builds true trust and confidence.
Sure, we are researchers and brand strategists and we have some great products. But if you know me or the products we have developed at Pinnacle Media, you also know that we never just pick up the phone to simply sell you any of the products or services we strongly believe in.
- Finally, are you ready? If you had to be forced to make that stadium pitch today, would you be ready? As a programmer, you and your staff have to be prepared at every moment. Just remember, you make a stadium pitch with every song, promo, sweeper, and every break. Who you are is projected in everything you do and every opportunity you take. Amazingly, many are not truly ready.
So, are you selling your product to listeners, or are you educating your clients? Are you pounding them over the head with old-school static tactics that rarely work, or are you a new=school brand manager who builds true relationships; fostering a brand of trust and confidence with your clients which requires innovation and passion?
You now know why I so often close with my mantra, "Here's to Ratings, Revenue, and Relationships!"