The way companies make big purchases — IT infrastructure, buildings, and yes, advertising campaigns — has changed over the years. Decades ago before the rise of the internet, you had to talk to a salesperson to get your questions answered. If you wanted information on radio or television advertising, you had to speak to an account executive. There was no other place to turn.
Now when companies set out to advertise, they can conduct their initial research online. In fact, they often prefer to start the process with an internet search to avoid pressure from a salesman. Today, potential clients don’t engage with an account executive until much later in the buying cycle.
Think about the way you purchase a car: Twenty years ago, you would go to the dealership to talk to a salesperson about the different makes and models that were available. Hyundai Elantra or Jeep Cherokee? Chrysler minivan or Ford F-150?
Today, you research the different makes and models online. By the time you go to the dealership, you’ve already settled on the vehicle you want, you know a lot about it, and you have price guidelines in mind. You just want to test drive it to be absolutely sure before you make the purchase.
The same thing is happening with media sales.
Because your salespeople are brought into the buying cycle later than ever, they have less influence over the client’s’ decisions. Google has eroded the persuasive abilities of our salespeople.
If we want to regain influence, we need to find a way to engage with potential clients earlier in the buying cycle. If they’re going online to do research early in the buying cycle, that’s where we need to be. But how?
Recently, I hosted a webinar outlining a strategy for using the internet to engage with potential clients earlier in the buying cycle. I encourage you to set aside 30 minutes to watch it. You will learn how to generate more leads and close more sales for your station.
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