DECISION

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					SMART Situational Analysis
You Are Trying to Get A Decision On A Proposition
There are not too many reasons why a decision maker asks you to 'get back to her.' Most often, you hear this when the person is either uninterested in your proposal or not quite sold on it. Although, there is a chance that they just want to study it further and cogitate on it before making a decision. There is also a chance that the plan simply cannot be funded at the present time. However, if a prospect believed that your proposal would result in either solving one of their problems or creating a growth opportunity -- that there would be a "return on investment" -- they would buy into your proposal and be anxious to start as soon as possible. If this is not the case, what do you do? First, you want to determine why she is putting off the decision. Ask: "This is an important decision and a lot of money is involved. What can I do to build your confidence in the successful outcome of the advertising program that I'm proposing?" If the prospect does not identify a specific reason, prompt him with questions: Make assumptions as to the reason in this order:      The prospect does not believe that there will be an adequate "return on investment" with any sort of advertising program...at this time. (Needed: a deeper sell on "Why Advertise") The prospect does not believe that radio advertising is the best way to go. (Needed: a deeper sell on the unique benefits of Radio advertising.) The prospect is not convinced that a cut back in another medium so that money (or more money) can be spent in radio is a viable trade off. (A review of the counter-media presentation is needed.) The prospect is not sold on your station, your idea, your copy, your media strategy. You need to identify the specific reason(s) and address them. The funds for the proposed campaign ar not available at this time. In this case, you need to ascertain how funds are generated or allocated and under what conditions new funds might be made available. You might look into available co-op or vendor funds. The business has a set position or policy on advertising that precludes using your proposed plan. For example, an upper end retail store may profess that they spend promotional monies to offset the cost of a superlative "customer service" program. Another retailer may spend ad funds on a suite at the baseball stadium where they entertain customers. Knowing where funds are going is necessary before you can offer an alternative and back it up with researched analysis. You're going to have to go to the top of the organization where these decisions are made. The business has a firm commitment to another medium. Newspaper, TV or Direct Mail is funded first and Radio is purchased, if at all, out of remaining funds. The remaining funds will not afford the proposed investment. You can either sell the idea of a "return on investment" that will make augmenting the budget worth the investment or try to either usurp one of the traditional media or

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make you case for why a cut back in that medium to afford the addition of Radio will yield an increased media delivery and tap into a new consumer group more effectively. Don't forget to bring Radio's unique advertising attributes into the argument, i.e., there are some things the Radio medium can do for you that the other media cannot.  There is some bias or misconception held by the decision maker that may not be rational or wellfounded but nevertheless the impediment to adopting your plan. You need to ascertain this carefully and do away with it using your knowledge and persuasive abilities.

Here are some questions you can pose:         

"Do you need more research to back up some of the points we made in the presentation?" "Do you have a lack of confidence in Radio's ability to communicate a message to a large number of your target customers and get them to take action?" "Do you feel that my station is not of value?" "Do you feel that we may not have put together the absolute best scheduling strategy to accomplish our goal." "Do you feel that the message we've created is not going to be effective in getting people to buy the product?" "Do you feel that the offer we're making is not strong enough to get people to take action?" "Do you feel that the market for this product is not big enough to expect a return on your investment?" "Is there another medium that you consider your primary medium? "You must have some belief about the Radio medium, my station or the plan I've proposed that is keeping you from making a commitment. If you tell me what it is, maybe I can do something about it...maybe not."

Summary: Being "put off" is very common...in all walks of life. Don't let it bother you. Find out the reason. Keep conveying the BENEFITS to meeting with you and/or assessing the merits of your proposal, and finally, buying into your proposal. Do it in person, by phone, by mail or through a third party. Be creative and inventive in getting your point across. The positive side of this situation is that your competitors are probably being put off as well. Discover the reasons and try to change the course of events.

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posted:1/29/2008
language:English
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Ryan McWhorter Ryan McWhorter
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