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Let the Client Decide How Much They Want to Spend

Dave Greene

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One of the biggest mistakes we can make in media sales is to decide what it is our client or prospect can or cannot spend on advertising.  That is their job and only their job to decide as the person who will eventually stroke the check.  We’re to listen and offer solutions based on our knowledge of marketing and our specific products.  If we’re not given a budget to work with all we can do is present at levels we believe will deliver the best results based on their needs.

Managers often have to deal with reps who refuse to ask for more money.  In their mind, for whatever reason, they don’t think the client can or will pay “that much” for advertising.  If we’ve done a good CNA and good research, we should have some idea, but ultimately that number isn’t for us to decide.

I want to share with you the story of the last time I almost let an AE talk me out of asking a client for more money.  It happened several years ago in St. Louis when I was asked to attend a meeting with a local union, but that I should know going in the client had said, “our budget is mostly tapped for the year” (the meeting was in early September) and this was to talk about opportunities for next year.

Image result for empty pockets

As the meeting went on, most of the ideas we ended up talking about revolved around the Rams football season (remember the St. Louis Rams?) and the Cardinals baseball season, but the client repeated over and over again that the Rams would have to be for next year as “our budget is mostly tapped for the year.”  It was a really good CNA meeting and there were a lot of good ideas shared.  As we wrapped up our AE scheduled a follow up meeting for the next week to go over a proposal for next year “since you said your budget was mostly tapped out for the year.”

As soon as they left, my first thought was to put something together that included the football season that had just begun.  The AE thought I was crazy and that I hadn’t listened to a single word said in the meeting. “Didn’t you hear what they kept saying? They are tapped for this year.  I don’t want to look like an idiot and present something when they just told us over and over they couldn’t do anything for this year.”

I said what I had heard was that they were “MOSTLY tapped out” and we failed to dig deeper on what mostly meant.  The AE reluctantly worked with me on a package where one option included starting this season and another which was just the following year.  The morning we were to polish it up and present it, the AE came in and pleaded with me not to bring up anything for the current year.  He said things like “they said they don’t have the money” and “they can’t afford to do something this year,” as well as “I think there is a big opportunity here and I don’t want to blow it by looking like we didn’t listen to what they said.”

While I still didn’t agree with it, he was passionate and adamant about it, so I decided he could handle the client the way he thought was best.  I told him it was his decision and he should present to them whichever one he feels most comfortable with.

The follow up meeting came and before we had the opportunity to present, the head of the union said once more how he really liked the ideas we had come up with and that they especially were excited about the program around the Rams, “just wish we could do it sooner, but my budget is mostly tapped out, I bet I don’t have fifty grand left for the year.”

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(Insert record scratch)

Whoa. Hold up. I’m sorry, sir, did you say fifty grand?  As in ten grand a month for the rest of the year?  Allow us to go back and sharpen our pencils here, but what if we could make something work this year for that dollar amount?

To make a long story slightly shorter, we sold a deal right there at the table without the presentation ever coming out as the AE had only brought the proposal for the following year.  To this particular group, $50,000 left for the year in marketing was not a lot of money, it was the equivalent to being “mostly tapped out.” For our rep, it became one of his highest billing monthly accounts, and one of the best lessons he (we) could’ve learned: Always ask for more.  The amount of money the client has to spend on advertising is their decision to make.  Not ours.

 

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BSM’s Black Friday SALE on BSM Summit Tickets is Underway!

Jason Barrett

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Each year I’m asked if there are ways to save money on tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit. I always answer yes but not everyone takes advantage of it. For those interested in doing so, here’s your shot.

For TODAY ONLY, individual tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit are reduced by $50.00. Two ticket and four ticket packages are also lowered at $50 per ticket. To secure your seat at a discounted price, just log on to BSMSummit.com. This sale ends tonight at 11:59pm ET.

If you’re flying to Los Angeles for the event, be sure to reserve your hotel room. Our hotel partner this year is the USC Hotel. It’s walking distance of our venue. Full details on hotel rooms can also be found via the conference website.

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Does The Return of Bob Iger Mean to ESPN?

Demetri Ravanos

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Demetri Ravanos has questions about Disney going back to the future with Bob Iger. This entire episode of Media Noise is all about what the change at the top of the Walt Disney Company indicates about the future of ESPN.

ITunes: https://buff.ly/3PjJWpO

Spotify: https://buff.ly/3AVwa90

iHeart: https://buff.ly/3cbINCp

Google: https://buff.ly/3PbgHWx

Amazon: https://buff.ly/3cbIOpX

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Is Realistic For FOX at the World Cup?

Demetri Ravanos

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On this special holiday edition of Media Noise, Demetri Ravanos dives into the controversy and criticism surrounding FOX’s coverage of the World Cup in Qatar.

ITunes: https://buff.ly/3PjJWpO

Spotify: https://buff.ly/3AVwa90

iHeart: https://buff.ly/3cbINCp

Google: https://buff.ly/3PbgHWx

Amazon: https://buff.ly/3cbIOpX

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