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Advertising & The Salesperson

Advertising is salesmanship and today I’m gonna give it to you with both barrels.

At the last big System Seminar in 2011 I heard this mentioned again and it really rang home with me because so many ads I’ve come across never even hint of sales. They just don’t even come close, except to show some creative persons idea of brand awareness.

During a recent lunch meeting with a client we got on the topic of sales events and unscrupulous sales tactics and a firm that was continually using these to promote businesses that were having challenges during the last decade or so.

This brings me to a series of questions:

Are you seeing ROI in your advertising? Are you seeing an increase in sales due to the advertising expenditure that shows up on your books every month?

Are you testing, split testing and tracking your advertising?

These are tough questions, I know. But you should answer them sooner than later and make sure to keep the answers honest. 

Now back to our topic…

Many times I have found that the people in the small business who are wrapping their lives around advertising and marketing should be doing something else. 

What is it that draws the owner or employee to head up the advertising and marketing charge only to stumble and bloody their nose again and again?

This is not always the case because I’ve seen business owners and managers who really understand that advertising is salesmanship. But it’s somewhat rare.

In many cases the owner wants the influx of new business thus creating what I call ‘sale, sale, sale’ advertising – only to have the salesperson be trampled by bargain hunters and tire kickers. It’s frustrating for the salesperson because he or she makes a living based on what he or she sells!

Advertising is salesmanship. It’s not about who can do the best graphics and dish out a cool looking logo with a fancy background. It’s not about ego boosts and who has the biggest ad with the bells and whistles going bonkers.

For a small business it really means this – does the advertising message accomplish something and sell the product or service? Is it just cool looking or does it really sell and get the person to do something, like a direct response ad that has a call to action.

Now let’s take a turn and look at the the sales professional. You know, the salesman or saleswoman who has chosen to invest and spend their career in the trenches as a relationship building, customer service, prospecting, merchandising machine. Most salespeople wear multiple hats and sometimes only one hat is sales-oriented.

I’m talking about the sales professional who has worked and studied for hundreds and maybe thousands of hours only to have worthless advertising make their job or business that much more difficult.

The best advertising enables the sales professional to do his or her job, not prohibit them or interfere. 

If your sales team ( or person or yourself) is going to perform at peak levels and you are investing in advertising…Support with the best marketing that you and your team can produce and afford and make sure to back it up with stellar customer service and deliver on what you advertised.

Because in the end what really matters is ROI and profits in your pockets.

To your continued success,

Dave Krygier

PS – Sometimes small business owners get overwhelmed and need help with sales and marketing. If this is you, I would suggest you contact The SmallBiz Mechanic and see if he can provide some assistance.


How to Save Money on Your Yellow Page Advertising

Do you own or run a small business that still utilizes the offline physical directories that have yellow pages in them? Do you still place ads or listings in these physical books.

If so, this article will most likely be of interest to you.

Here’s a recent story that hit home…

Just recently when I was getting my haircut – I happened to pick up a local magazine focused and aimed towards women.

This particular magazine happened to be built mostly of quarter page ads, like the one that said, ‘we are honest and fair’  – Coming from a used car dealer, this was quite the interesting sub-headline.

So I asked the gal who cuts my hair what she thought of this ad and another one and this led to the topic of the yellow pages.

Well, all of a sudden we were going back and forth and I started to share how I had at one time put the ole’ offline directory companies to the test and did a lot of testing, surveying and tracking.

Why – because I couldn’t stand paying the prices they charged us to be listed right next to my #1 competitor! After all, we were a small business and at that time all the physical books were still a big part of our marketing and outreach to bring in new business, or so we thought.

Our conversation continued and then I asked her if she would be open to a test and she said yes. So for a full week she conducted a survey to see how many people used the paper dinosaur directory and you want to know something – the number was low. More about this in a future article- so stay tuned.

So how does this story pertain to you and your business?

Here are a few steps you might consider taking if the physical directory books (and print for that matter) are still a part of your offline marketing mix.

1. Survey your prospects and clients to see where they came from and how they found you.

2. Ask your physical directory book(yellow pages) account rep to provide substantial, documented research that states what kind of response and return on investment businesses receive from their physical books.

3. Use the survey information to better position your business to find targeted, quality traffic and leads.

4. Create Ads that are response oriented and use the web to capture to the lead.

In closing…

Most small business owners don’t understand how easy it is to research.

Or it’s just not important enough that they can be bothered to do the work.

I believe this is a tragedy because physical directories and print advertising are not what they used to be in years past.

With most small businesses placing ‘image ads’ instead of ‘response driven’ ads, money is being wasted which could otherwise be put to good use bringing in new leads and clients.

Oh and by the way – have you checked out Secrets of the Tiny Store ?