A System For Sales

“They” say you should have a system for selling.  “They” meaning experts, I guess.  But here’s what I’ve learned through my selling career.  You have to find your own system that works for YOU.  Something canned or scripted out the same way every time… is a bunch of baloney.  (yes, baloney, not bologna)

I don’t usually do huge, elaborate proposals.  I talk to people and get them to trust me.  That’s my thing.  That’s what I’ve figured out works for me.  My personality, transparency, and “regular guyness” shines through.  After a few encounters, and sometimes after the first face to face meeting.  People trust me.  That’s the #1 hurdle.  Earning trust.

The other day, after just one meeting with a new prospect, I called and discussed some things over the phone with her.  I wasn’t proposing anything, I just ran through some rough options and explained why they could be good for her.  She said, “Let’s go with whatever you think is best. I trust ya.”  That doesn’t happen because I flooded her with research, industry articles, graphs, or fluff.  I learned as much as I could about her business, then I put myself into her customers’ shoes, and went from there.

But I’m only able to gain trust with people through simple conversation because I know my craft.  I know what it takes to make advertising work… and how to go about it.  There’s never a “push”… just good questions… and better listening.

Hey… some salespeople need to have a presentation all mapped out and rehearsed over and over.  That’s great!  That’s probably what works best for most people.  But not for me.  I’ve learned that from my sales experience through the past 15 years.  I found what works for ME.  And you need to do the same.

Maybe if you’re new at “this sales thing”… you have to try a few different approaches.  Of course you do.  You’re going to need to work your ass off for starters.  You’re going to have to put extra time in for the first couple of years, especially.  But you’ll learn a lot of things through that.  You’ll learn what feels comfortable for you… and what works.  That’s my point.  Whatever works for YOU.  There are managers out there who think you should do it just like they do.  I don’t agree.  At all.

Sales is a about trust.  If you know your stuff, know how to deliver results, and can help people feel comfortable, you’re most of the way there.

Could I initially get a bigger order from new clients?  Possibly.  But once my clients understand the value of what they’re getting from me (great radio advertising that causes consumers to give them a shot), then they eventually spend more with me down the road.  Causing that trust to deepen even more because I didn’t push them too hard right off the bat.  Again, some people would disagree, but I have some pretty loyal radio clients who love what I do for them, and have been with me for over a decade.

I do what’s right.  And I never sell something that’s not needed.  I care for my clients and for their bottom line.  When they realize that… then, the sales process is easy.

BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY… Have a groovy day!

Duane Christensen

Radio sales guy / ad writer / “marketing strategist” at Results Radio Townsquare Media in Sioux Falls.

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

605-940-7984

Radio Sales

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How Much Do You Advertise?

How much do you advertise?  How much SHOULD you advertise?

How do you know if you’re investing too much or too little into some kind of

Advertising formula
Is there an easy formula?
Image courtesy of “khunaspix” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

advertising or marketing?

Here’s the “simple” way to determine a general sense of “how much” you need to do….

How much COMPETITION do you have?  A little?  Then, you don’t have to advertise as much.  A lot?  Good luck.  You better have something to say that differentiates you from the competition or give people a reason to choose you instead of all the other businesses that seem exactly like you.

How much do you want to grow and how fast?  If it’s a lot… in a short period of time, then you better pony up some cash.

How complicated is your product or service?  Does “your target” easily understand what you’re offering?  Or are you going to have to really SELL them on it?  The more complicated the message (your advertising), then you’ll need a more complicated ad.  You’ll need a longer ad usually.  You’ll need to compare what you do to something else that is more easily understandable.  Compare what you do to something that almost everyone “gets”.  Or give us a scenario of why and when someone might need what you offer.  You could use a sentence in your advertising like, “It’s like _______, only faster.”   OR “Do you know how when you _______ and _______ and you’re thinking OMG I’m going to pull my hair out…well, we fix that.  We make that go away forever.”  (get my point?)

If you have a niche that nobody else is promoting, but is desirable to your target, then you don’t have to have a very complicated message.  Just get attention with a good headline and be crystal clear with your message.  Don’t overload your ad with things you don’t need.  Don’t force any humor into your ad if you don’t need to.

Hey… if you don’t have much competition… congratulations!  Then, all you have to do is let enough people know that you’re open for business and then serve those customers extremely well so they tell others and so they come back again and again.

BUT… I’m thinking you might have more competition than you think you do.  It’s just not “traditional” competition or someone that’s in your precise type of business.  For example, if there are no INDOOR go-cart tracks in your market, you may think you’ll have no competition if you open one.  (Great idea!  Especially, in a place where winters get stupidly cold.)  But during the summer, you’ll have some other competition – a few other tracks.  You’ll get all of the winter entertainment seekers though, right?  Not so fast.  That word “entertainment” is the key to focus on here…

We only have so much money we can spend on “entertainment”.  You might think it’s going to be a perfect weekend for everyone to come out and hand over their cash…but that weekend might just be the opening of the latest Halo movie, stupid humor comedy, or the next sweet ass Star Wars film.  You’re competing with every other “entertainment” type of business, not just go-cart tracks.  Movie theaters, trampoline places, sprint car tracks, local sporting events, ski bumps, etc.

And if you’re a restaurant that serves the same kind and caliber of food as 35 other restaurants in a 3-mile radius, good luck.  Then, you for SURE need to keep advertising consistently.  Part of advertising for restaurants is to remind us that you’re there and that you’re an option.  Because we’re getting bombarded with offers and coupons and half-price deals every day.  By the way… why not just advertise why you’re good and how you’re good and tell us a good story along the way so we remember you?  Like on the radio.  Then, you won’t have to give away all your profits with coupons.  Then, when you attract the new customers, you better be able to back up what you’re saying in your ads.

Are you a MATTRESS STORE?  Oh Mama.  Did you know that JCPenney sells mattresses?  Dude.  If you’re a “middle man” mattress store or a furniture store that sells mattresses… you’re competing on price and you probably offer every crappy mattress out there. And maybe a couple decent ones, but you’re overcharging everyone grossly. Good luck.

I think the only chance you have is if you’re a mattress company that builds your own. Someone who has a proprietary “mattress formula”… and you actually care about your customers. You have to care that you’re producing a good product… and you have to NOT mark it up 1000%.  THEN, you’ll have a shot in this crazy Sioux Falls mattress market.

BECAUSE YOU HAVE SO MUCH COMPETITION… Your mattress advertising will have to push the limits.  Both your Ad Budget and your Ad Content has to push their limits. You’ll have to be consistent with your radio ad schedule and your ads will have to cut through the mattress advertising clutter and “puffery”.  They’ll have to demand attention.  But you’ll have to make a lot of friends with your ads.  Cause people to fall in love with your fresh approach to helping people sleep better.

Assess your complete market situation before you decide to pump any money into something.  You could be spending more than you need to… or not nearly enough to make an impact.

Keep the “fat” out of your ads!  Don’t fill me full of clichés and fluff and B.S.  Give me some substance.  Entertain me a little.  Keep me listening.  Wow me.  Because I have plenty of other crap to do.  It won’t take much for me to ignore every ounce of your wimpy and gutless advertising.  There’s an imaginary line you shouldn’t cross with how “creative” or “weird” or “out there” your ads are.  But the best performing ads will go right up to that line and flirt with it for a bit.

The more “beefy” and full of flavor your ads are… means THEY WORK BETTER.  Which means you get more big bang for you buck than the average, crappy ad.

For a general “ballpark” local advertising budget, take a percentage of your revenues (or your next year’s revenue goal if you’re looking to grow even more), like 5 to 12% depending on your competition and your profit margins… and stick to it.  Adjust it annually based on how things are going overall.  Of course there are many factors to consider – let me know if you want to talk “budget” or “cost of exposure” in more detail.  Because maybe you’re a retail store that would benefit a lot more by moving to a higher-visibility area instead of putting the extra money into advertising.  Maybe you wouldn’t.

Ok, maybe there’s not anything “simple” to figuring out how much to advertise.  But guess what?  There is NO EASY BAKE FORMULA that lets you off the hook of actually learning a little bit about this (or finding the right person to HELP you think it through).  You WISH there was a formula!  You and every other business owner.  Sorry Charlie.  Hey… you can always talk to me.  I’m the guy who has your best interest at heart and who knows how to make advertising work.  And I’ll let you know what kinds of things to avoid overpaying for… or avoid completely.

How much should you advertise?  Not too much.  Not too little.   Let’s find your sweet spot.  We can do that by assessing your competition, their advertising, their ad message, and their ad frequency… and then compare that to yours.

 

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, SD

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

605-940-7984

 

Slow Down And Do It Right

 

When you decide to advertise… you want to see something happen FAST!

But I’m here to tell you to “Calm down, bro.”  When you “do advertising” the right way, your results will come slower than you want them to. And then in 12 months, you’ll be thinking, “Holy crap! This is pretty dang awesome!”

Since, I’m an amateur farmer who helps his old man out with the crops every Spring and Fall… let me put it to you in terms of farming. When you start advertising on the radio, your ad message is a seed.

You can have low-grade seeds that will yield very little, skip the fertilizer, ignore the weeds, and you won’t make any money. Especially, if you’re in a hurry and want to harvest after only having your seed in the ground for 3 weeks.  This is representative of not putting the right effort into your advertising messages and not giving your advertising plan enough time to mature in the minds of consumers.

The alternative is to have a high-yield potential seed, prepare your soil with the right nutrients, make sure the weeds stay away, and then harvest after the seed has grown and matured.  This is representative of a radio campaign that is developed properly. One that cares about the message that is created and one that allows enough time for those ad messages to really sink in to consumers’ minds.

The best things in life come with time.  Just like a good harvest.

Each radio ad is a seed that’s getting planted in a mind. Will someone drop what they’re doing and buy from you the first time they hear your ad?  Of course not.  But what if you keep saying really great things that they care about? Consistently. Again and again. What if you start getting people to trust you because of the stories, helpful information, and entertainment you keep sharing in your radio ads? Over and over. Consistently. Over time.  Hmmmm?

Those seeds begin to take root and grow.  Those ads start to do their job. They’re sinking in.  They’re sticking in brains.  Then what?

Then, over time… as radio listeners live their lives… they’ll eventually need what you sell. And who do you think they’ll think of when they need the product or service you sell? Who do you think that they’ll feel best about? Who do you feel they will have the most confidence in ? ? ? ? ?

YOU.  Your business.  Your people.  They’ve come to trust you before they’ve even met you because you were being patient with them. You were educating them slowly and effectively about why they should do business with you instead of someone else. But you didn’t ever “hard sell” them.  You went through the process of making friends with them through your radio ads that did NOT sound like typical radio ads.

Your seeds were the good ones.  And you watered and fertilized.  And nurtured those seeds.  You had patience.  You slowed down, gave your advertising campaign some real thought before you started it, then you let it go to work.  Nature ran its course and gave you a harvest that you never thought possible.

Slow down… and do advertising right.  It takes a lot of thought and planning at the beginning.  When you set a marketing budget… and focus that budget on a big group of people (a couple radio stations is a great start!), then that big group of people will start to be won over by your sincere advertising messages.

Warning: Don’t scatter your seeds to the wind.  Don’t glitter-blast them into the atmosphere and hope that the marketing gods catch them and turn them into Thousand-Dollar Bills.  That’s the “spray and pray” method.  It doesn’t work.  If you want the full-blown explanation of WHY that doesn’t work, give me a call.

RADIO is one of the most fertile soils you can find to plant your seeds. The power of sound is amazing when it comes to branding.  We can recite the lyrics to songs we never intended to remember.  We can remember tons of details when those details are wSioux Falls Radio Advertising guy - Duane Christensen - Results Radio Townsquare Mediarapped into a good story.

Sound.  Radio.  Good soil.

Are you ready to plant some seeds for one heck of a nice harvest, year after year?

Let’s talk about that.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

SiouxFallsRadioAdvertising.com

 

sample radio commercials ads spots

Some New Radio Commercials / Spots

 

I just wanted to share that I uploaded 9 new radio ads on my “sample” page.

Click Here…   Sample Radio Ads / Commercials / Spots

On 3 of them, I recorded 3 guys (business partners) separately on different days (because they’re busy dudes) from the scripts I wrote, edited the audio, and put them together. A little tricky to do dialogue sometimes without it sounding too lame. Adding humor helps. They’ll definitely stand out. Another new one is a biz owner… and a testimonial. Some are from recording biz owner off the cuff, then editing down. Another is the use of the biz owner and sound effects.

My “warm and fuzzies” come from creating great ads that help good, local business owners help more people.

sample radio commercials ads spots

Diversification is for your Financial Portfolio… not your Advertising… kind of… 😃

radio advertising sioux falls

Image by Stuart Miles via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Have you ever been told that you should diversify your advertising investments? You know… spread your marketing all around to as many places as possible… so you can “reach” the most people?

Don’t get me wrong, I can understand the logic.  But when you stop to truly think about how to make advertising work really well… it’s not logical at all.

Let me explain. Good advertising RESULTS do not come from merely “touching” or “reaching” people with a logo or an advertising message.  Advertising results come from engaging people with your ads. Engaging, entertaining, informing, and persuading. 

But how many people do you think would switch from doing business with one of your competitors and become your loyal customer with only ONE ADVERTISING IMPRESSION? Based on research and my experience, I’m guessing it’s a fraction of a percentage, and that’s being really optimistic.

Have you heard those businesses who advertise on the radio? The ones you hear a few times each week, every month, and every year? They’ve made it impossible for you to ignore them. When you need what they sell… they’ve made it to the top 1, 2, or 3 businesses in your HEAD that you have to either say “yes” or “no” to.  Because of their consistent radio advertising and an unmistakable ad strategy, THEY’VE LAID CLAIM TO A SPOT IN YOUR BRAIN.  It doesn’t mean you WILL buy from them, it just means that you can’t ignore them. They’re one of the top options you’ll consider when you want to buy what they sell.

So, if you’re not one of those advertisers… you’re going to be farther down that list of options to go to… if you’re on that list at all.  If you get onto that short list of businesses who people think of when they need what you sell, it will affect your business growth incredibly.

Radio “reaches” about 93% of adults each week.  So, tell me why you’d want to spread your marketing dollars – no, let me rephrase that – why would you want to SPRINKLE your marketing dollars around here and there and over there… barely making any impact at all in the mediums where you place your ads?

In order to become one of the top choices that people think about when they need your product or service (i.e. branding), you must be consistent with your advertising on the ad mediums you choose. Why?  Because if you’re not consistent, and if you’re not trying to brand your name in the heads of consumers, then you’re only talking to the very small fraction of a percent of people who need you right now.  That means about 99% or more of your marketing dollars are then wasted.  

Wouldn’t you rather advertise to the other 99% of the people who don’t need you now, but may need you in 2, 6, or 12 months?  That’s a huge group of people who you could be engaging, educating, entertaining, and persuading. Over time, who do you think people would want to do business with… the business they know NOTHING about… or YOU – the one who has been consistently whispering in their ear about how YOU can help them?

Side note:  And I’m sorry to say… digital / online advertising won’t make that happen. Not on their own. If you put a small portion of your budget into some online display advertising of some kind, that’s ok, as long as you have enough coverage with your radio plan. Then, your online ads can kind of be a support team to your radio ads. People who see your online ads AFTER they’ve heard your radio ads, will be moved much closer to doing business with you, rather than just seeing an online ad. Click rates are pretty dang low. 

It’s the same thing with being found on the first page of Google in a search query. For example, if I don’t have a “go-to” plumber… and I see 5 or 6 plumbing businesses on the first page of Google… I’m going to first call the one that I feel like I know and trust because of the storytelling or interesting information they’ve shared via their advertising.  Whether they were the FIRST in a Google search or not.  Doesn’t matter to me.  I go with the one I feel most comfortable with.

We’re talking about Branding here… not Awareness.  I’m “aware” of a lot of local businesses, but I don’t know anything about many of them. But the ones who tell me their story and how they can best help ME when I need their product or service… they’re the ones I will consider first. Every time.  

Are you ready to be a household name in the Sioux Falls area? That’s what I’m here to help you do. But just beware… it’s not just about consistency with your advertising… your ads have to engage, entertain, inform, and persuade. And there are not many marketing people who understand how to do that. I do. We do.  

Results Radio devotes much of its training for us to the “writing better ads / creating smart strategies / being remembered” side of things. You won’t find that in many other places around the country. We asked the question, “How can we make our clients’ advertising WORK?” And then, we figured out how to make that happen.

Let me know if you’d like to discuss a marketing plan… and I’ll help you figure out what that plan might look like.  It’s what I do.  

Thanks! Have a groovy day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

605-940-7984

Wave After Wave

radio advertising sioux falls

Do you know why it’s important to be consistent with your radio advertising?

Because not everyone is ready to buy what you sell at the exact moment you’re running your ads.

Consumers evolve into the “ready to buy” phase whenever their own stars align. You can’t predict it. Especially if you don’t sell something that’s seasonal.

So… all of those people become ready to buy, basically, at random. WAVE after WAVE. Which is exactly why you need to be consistent with your advertising. Your potential new customers shift into buying mode like the endless crashing of the waves on the beach.

But before that “wave” hits shore, it’s rolling along in preparation.

People go through different shopping phases, possibly for months and even years, before they make a final decision to buy. If it’s something other than food or gas.  This is exactly why consistently whispering your story into their ears on the radio during all those pre-purchase thought phases, research phases, etc., is such a great marketing tactic.

It’s a marketing tactic that is making a lot of our clients here at Results Radio grateful for being taught how to make local marketing and advertising actually work. Of course, there are some ultra-secret elements to getting results for our radio customers. Just kidding. I’ll tell you if you ask. There are about 2 other keys to making your advertising work like gangbusters (along with some other variables within your own business).

Here’s a rough formula for you…

Consistent Radio Ad Schedule + Strategic Advertising Copy / Creative =

ADVERTISING RESULTS

When you’re ready to stop shooting from the hip with your local marketing efforts, let me know. I’d love to sit down and discuss your options with you.

But remember something Chuck McKay said in Fishing For Customers and Reeling Them In

“Marketing is not an event, it’s a process.”  And that process, I believe, has a lot to do with the unpredictability of when people buy things. WAVE AFTER WAVE, people become ready to buy. Tell your story consistently… and I guarantee, you’ll be catching more waves than most of your competition.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio / Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, SD

Local Marketing, Radio Advertising, Digital Advertising, and Coffee Drinking

Seeing Your Business Through Your Customers’ Eyes

I decided to write a little bit about this topic because I’m giving a short talk to a small group of Home Builders Association of the Sioux Empire members. I think the best way for me to really get ultra-familiar with a topic is to write about it. 

This topic is kind of vague. There’s not really a step-by-step guide. It’s about helping you improve your understanding of your customers. What makes them tick? What makes them buy from you? What do they wish you did, but you don’t? The answers to those questions can open a lot of new doors for you.

To me, Seeing Your Business Through Your Customers’ Eyes means you have to get to know your core group of customers really well. I don’t mean having beers with them every week, but maybe just TALK to them more often than you do.  Ask some good questions about the problems they have, and about how well or poorly your product or service addresses those problems.  Then listen to them.  Really listen. Listen so hard that you have to stop them a few times for clarity and say, “tell me more about that” or “explain that a little more”.  And make them feel comfortable enough, so they will also share any shortfalls your products or services may have… not just “the good stuff”.  Remember, you’re trying to improve your business, so get out your “thick skin” and be willing and prepared to hear the bad stuff, too.  

The True Benefits

What’s the benefit of understanding your customer better? Why does it matter? Why should YOU care?  Quick answers: Growth comes easier, customer service is better, marketing is more effective, an overall more successful business.

When you know your customer in a deeper way, or know how they feel about your business or product or service… then, you’ll be able to please your future customers better. That also leads to having fewer negative word-of-mouth incidences and fewer negative online reviews.

That reminds me… Have you checked your Google reviews lately? Make sure someone is checking that from time to time. Tip: If you have your Google business page set up correctly, you’ll get notifications for when any new review comes in. Then, you’ll be able to reply to that person in a timely manner with a “thank you”… or you might be able to head off a bad review by seeing if there’s something you can do to fix the negative experience they had.

Who Is Your Customer?

You have to know who your real customer is. Not demographics. That’s the stuff that doesn’t matter as much as you think it does. Who are they INSIDE? What are they FEELING? What are their PROBLEMS?  What do they CARE about?
 
Let’s try a few.

The flooring / carpet business…

“She’s a 56-year old female who is ready to stop settling. She wants soft, durable, and beautiful carpet that enhances her home and that her grand babies can crawl around on. She also likes to hear from us that if anything might go wrong along the way, she’ll be taken care of. She appreciates a solid, trusting relationship with the local businesses that she deals with.”

The financial services business…

“She’s 44 years old and she wants to know that her future is secure. She wants to make sure that if anything were to happen to her husband, her family wouldn’t have to sell the house and move. She wants to know that she won’t have to get a second job. She wants financial peace of mind for later in life.”

The home builder / remodeler…

“Our core customer is a married couple who knows they don’t want a ‘cookie-cutter’ home. They have a comfortable income and it’s ok if they have to pay a little more for uniqueness and higher quality. They’re usually pretty tidy and like things to be a particular way. They also want to know that they aren’t paying 20% more than the industry average for building and design services.”

The high-quality hotel…

“He’s a business traveler who needs a comfortable bed for a great rest. He needs a little extra work space in his room to prepare for the next day of sales calls or meetings. He’d rather not have to leave early to grab an unhealthy fast food breakfast, but rather have ample complementary choices for breakfast at the hotel. And since he’s from out of town, he occasionally asks for dining, shopping, or entertainment destinations in the area.”

 

The kitchen and bath showroom…

“She wants to really impress her guests with a gorgeous kitchen. But she also wants to know that it’s not going to cost an arm and a leg for extra design help.  She has about a dozen different magazines or pictures with her when she walks through the door. She knows the general style she’s looking for, but often times gets excited when we show her a few design concepts and colors she hasn’t seen before. She usually loves our attention and knowing that we care.”

Take Off Your Blinders

You may think you know your customer, but many business owners or managers have BLINDERS on. You get too close to your business. You get tunnel-vision. But it’s not your fault. It happens automatically. All you have to do is break the cycle and the habits you’re in. Look at everything a little bit differently – as if YOU are the consumer who’s considering doing business with you.


There are a lot of different ways you can step into your customers’ shoes or see through their eyes to get a better glimpse of what you’re doing well and what you may need to improve.  I’m going to try to give you a few ideas here…

Hire some secret shoppers – then get their honest feedback. You want to know what their experience was like throughout every touchpoint within your business. On the phone, in-person, level of confidence they had in the people they talked to within your business, how did the environment or surroundings make them feel, etc.

TALK to some of your core customers or past customers. To me, this is the most important one. Do a mini-interview with a few customers. Have a list of questions ready that you’ve really thought out. Ask them what they care about.  Ask them how you could have helped them in the past even more. Ask them what they love or appreciate about what you do for them. And for helping you out, why not give them a gift card or something for their trouble?And if you’re tempted to just rely on sending out surveys instead of actually talking to your customers, you’re going to miss out on some really important feedback that is pretty much impossible to learn from a “Rate Us” type of survey, hoping they’ll actually fill out the comments area at the bottom.

One thing to ask your customers to do, that could be really valuable, is to ask them how they would describe your company (or what you do) to a friend. They’ll use verbiage that you wouldn’t think of because you’re too close to your business and haven’t looked at it from the outside-in for a long time.  If you gather a bunch of those, what you find, can help you say things in your marketing to better connect with your ideal prospect. You may find out part of what you offer, that you thought was awesome, isn’t really that important to them, or vice-versa.  It will also help you understand how to talk to your customers in their language – because maybe you or your employees are talking over your customers heads.

Know your competition.  What kind of experience are your potential customers having with your competition? Is there something they do, that you don’t?  What kind of messages to they put out to the public in their marketing?  By knowing what your competitors are doing and saying, then you know what your customers or potential new customers are also hearing and seeing.

Talk to your employees one-on-one. Ask them what they see and hear from your customers. What are the most common questions your customers ask them? Is there anything that is commonly asked for that you can’t provide?  If your employees really aren’t sure… then you should encourage them to ask your customers more questions, also. Let them know that your customers are your best resource for improving customer service, marketing, sales, etc. 

Pretend you’re one of your customers who is looking for information on your website. You may think a website is just a website. But is it easy to find your phone number there? Your hours? The basics of what you do and do well?  It should be easy for your customers (and non-customers) to easily find the information they’re looking for on your website. It’s one thing that is often overlooked.

Get down in the trenches for a few days, or every now and then, to make sure you stay in-touch with your customer’s problems, wants, and needs. You may think that you can run on auto-pilot (or manage from a distance)… and maybe you have some good systems in place to help ensure a good customer experience… BUT you need to check that system from the ground up, periodically.  

Short snippets about “walking in your customers’ shoes” and why it’s important…

And here’s one more from Shep Hyken that’s quick and to the point…

You need to see your business through the eyes of your customers once in a while. They’re the reason you’re in business, right?

Duane Christensen    605-940-7984     duane.christensen@results-radio.com

Marketing Strategist

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

www.duanechristensen.townsquareinteractive.com

Take Your Old Advertising Ways To Slaughter

Still advertising the old way?

Hog Trailer

You’ve advertised for years and years, maybe decades… and you’re still not happy with your advertising and marketing results.  Then, the “new guy” (in the form of online advertising), steps onto the playing field, and you’re like, “Finally! Advertising that I can track!”   But lo and behold, you found out THAT was a crock of malarkey, too.

No matter WHERE you have advertised and no matter who has been in charge of it… it’s always failed, right?

The old way: advertising that looks, sounds, and wreaks like every other advertisement out there.

There are a few different kinds of “old way” advertising.  One example is just cramming a bunch of bullet points about your business into a radio ad (or any kind of ad for that matter) and then “picking the right station” to be on.  Doesn’t work, right?

Note to self: Stop doing it that way. Take that method of advertising to slaughter. Kill it. Be done with it. Aren’t you fed up?

Another example of “the old way” of advertising “CREATIVE”. That’s when it’s humor or special effects or any other kind of creativeness shoved down our throats in an ad… but there’s really no tie from that creativeness to your business.  No relevance. And that means people might remember the “funny stuff”, but they don’t remember YOU. We’re flooded with “creative” ads that don’t work any better than the first example I gave.

Note to self: Stop doing this, too. Slaughter the “old way” of what you think advertising should look or sound like.

I built my wife a website a few years back. She’s a Realtor. I added a page on the website called “4th Dream Home Story”. She has received comments from a few new clients about that exact page of the website. They think it’s cool.  My wife said, “When people read that, it’s like it allows them to trust me a little bit before they’ve even met me.”  I said, EXACTLY!

That’s the power of telling a story. Of sharing a personal story. They won’t remember all the other “stuff” on the website, but they’ll remember that. Plus, it ties into real estate – even better.

So, try to remember how it is that you form really tight relationships with people. Is it by spewing a bunch of facts and boring figures to your friends? No. You tell stories. You’re emotional. And that’s how you win over new customers, too. You make friends with them by creating ads that show you’re human. You bond with them through your ads. You want them to relate to what you’re saying. Be vulnerable. Shit, tell them about a bad divorce, or a influential parent, or the time you were stuck in an elevator with the Beach Boys.

Entertain them. Don’t sell them. “Selling” is for short-term goals that are short-lived. Building relationships within an audience is how you’ll win over the vast majority of them. Tell them something in your ads that will make them think, “Hmm, seems like a nice person.”

You’re afraid to be the spokesperson for your company? You need to get over that. Be the passionate business person you are… and win over a bunch of people by being YOU. And if you can’t read a script to save your life, I understand. Then, let’s sit down and just talk. I’ll record your raw passion for the business, your stories, and more. And it will turn into a radio ad that will be better than anything that was ever scripted.

Take the ineffective old ways of advertising (what you “think” advertising should look and sound like) and leave them by the side of the road and hit the gas. You don’t owe them anything.

Duane Christensen – Local Marketing Guy

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls, South Dakota

605-940-7984       duane.christensen@results-radio.com

Duane - Helmet 2016

I Really Suck at Advertising and Marketing, Please Help!

I was trying to think of what you might Google if you wanted to learn how to improve your local marketing efforts.

  • “Better advertising”
  • “Where should I advertise?”
  • “Should I Advertise Online?”
  • “I really suck at marketing please help”
  • “Advertising salespeople are annoying can I do it myself?”
  • “I’m so much better than my competition why are people so stupid?”

But it’s kind of hard to know what your situation is. Maybe you already advertise on the radio. Maybe you’re already boosting a few Facebook posts here and there.

Let’s talk about advertising choices. There are too many of them. You can’t do everything. Don’t even try.

Here’s the truth about choosing an advertising medium or direction…

Most people (but not you, of course), are NOT fascinated by what actually WORKS… they’re fascinated by what is NEW. Right? Don’t you have this feeling that you’re missing out on something if you don’t give the new, shiny thing a shot?

I’ve said this before…

When you buy advertising, all you’re doing is renting an audience to “reach”.  Different ways to reach people change all the time. But what HASN’T changed is PEOPLE. Making advertising WORK, is all about PEOPLE, not about the new ways to reach them.

In order to be successful, all advertising must do 3 things:

  1. Impact (with people)
  2. Communicate (with people)
  3. Persuade (people)

Bill Bernbach impact communicate persuade

Let’s tackle the “Impact” part of that. The great marketing dude, Bill Bernbach says, “90% of ads do not get noticed.” What?!!! Are you crazy?!!! How is that possible?!!!

Actually, I would agree with that estimate. That statistic comes from a LACK OF IMPACT. Do you want a “Plain Jane” ad that only talks about boring facts of what you sell or what you do?

It will be ignored. You’ll be part of that 90%. Just by standing out (yet still relevant), you’re far ahead of your competition.

Stop being afraid to stand out. You won’t get warts. Your house won’t get egged. 

You won’t die.

What do you think happens when your ads get noticed and they’re part of that 10% group?

Hey, I get it. You’re afraid of offending people. There are certain things that I hold back from sharing on social media because I don’t want people to think I’m a flippin’ weirdo or something.

But hey… I’m weird sometimes. My wife loves it. My daughter loves it. If it’s not good enough for anyone else, maybe I shouldn’t care. I do and I don’t. It’s kind of sad that I’m 41 years old, and I don’t think I’ve totally come out of my shell.

I’m working on that though! And so should you!

Especially with your advertising. Stop insisting on blending in. It’s costing you a lot of money – and not making you any.

If you really suck at advertising and marketing your business, then we need to talk. The first thing to do is not make it so difficult and intimidating. All you’re trying to do is become friends with new potential customers. Get them to like and trust you. That starts with authenticity. There are people just like you who would love to buy your product or service. Let them know who you are, what you’re all about, and why you do the things you do. They’ll love you for it. And the best way to do that is through stories, humor, and transparency.

Don’t try to disguise bullshit in advertising with long words or extra words that aren’t needed. We have built-in bullshit detectors in our brains. All of us. So, don’t attempt to get us to love the smell of yours.

Be authentic and create ads with IMPACT! Remember… you won’t die.

Are you ready to advertise though? Is everything up to par within your business? How’s your customer service? How’s your product? Are your current customers happy with you? Here’s another quote from Bill Bernbach…

A great ad campaign will make a bad product fail faster. It will get more people to know it’s bad.

So, just make sure you’re ready for a great advertising campaign. When you are… let’s get together and discuss the possibilities!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

I work for Results Radio Townsquare Media in Sioux Falls. Been pounding away here at Results Radio in Sioux Falls, South Dakota since 1998. Love helping good, local businesses grow.

You Are Not Special – Or Are You?

You’re thinking, “Damn right we’re special.  People love us!”

That’s awesome if you have customers who love you. You should work really hard to keep it that way!  But what about Non-Customers? Do they love you?  Nope.  They couldn’t care less.  Especially, if they barely know you exist. Especially, if they know nothing about you. Especially, if they are content doing business with your competition right now.

So, what’s the main goal in your advertising investment?

It’s to get RESULTS, right?  Sure.  But HOW do you get results?

Throw a bunch of money at different advertising packages and “deals”… and see what sticks!  Wha?  Nooooooo!  Don’t do that.  I want to help you get a phenomenal return on your advertising.  And that does NOT come by shooting from the hip…

Yosemite-Sam-Quotes-300x281

Looney Toons legend: Yosemite Sam

BOOM!  Die, Varmint!

You’ll be disappointed. And you’ll waste a lot of money.

Back to the question of the hour. HOW do you get advertising results?!!!!!

The answer is in the title.

You must prove to the public that you’re special. PROVE to them… that you’re SPECIAL. Easier said than done though, right?

You can’t just throw up all over people, saying that you’re special and that you’re the best, and you’re “quality”, and a bunch of other horseshit that YOU know is true… but that nobody else believes. They may believe you some day. But first you have to PROVE it to them that you’re special.

Proof.

It’s in the pudding.

Meaning, you need to help your customers “taste” what you have to offer that’s better than what they’re chewing on now. What’s so great about your competition? What’s the big deal that they’re talking about? Probably nothing. They’re most likely just holding up a sign and yelling about who, what, and where they are. That gives YOU an opportunity to POUNCE!

This is where the “strategy” part of your advertising plan comes in. (Want help with strategy? It’s my specialty.)

Take that SPECIAL thing about you in which your competition can’t claim or not talking about. Then, you shine a light on that special thing, so that when the public thinks about your product or service, they INSIST on getting that special thing that you offer. And when they think of it, you want them to think of YOU.

Good advertising is not something as simple as “branding”. Good advertising is making friends with your prospective customers. FRIENDS are much more likely to do business with you that someone who doesn’t know you. So, start your advertising with the idea that you’re trying to make a new friend. Think about that. It’s not branding. It’s more like bonding. It’s being helpful, vulnerable, sincere, and human. That’s what it is.

Take that “special thing” about your awesome local business and weave it throughout a story that you tell the public. The special thing about you is the LOGIC side of your advertising. And the “friendly” part of your advertising is all of the rest. It’s the STORY. It’s the humble and caring part of you. It’s the reason why you love what you do. It’s the passion.  OR… is all of that a great big PART of what makes you SPECIAL?  Hmmmm.  I’d say that you may be on to something!  : )

Need help writing that advertisement? That’s what I love to do. I love to sift through the good, bad, and what your future customer truly cares about (because it’s about them, right?)  And then, we come up with a strategy and radio advertising plan that has immense potential.  A plan that will put you at the forefront of people’s minds. Not because you’re spending the most, but because you’re saying the right things in your ads. You’re proving to people how you will be their superstar.

Then, pretty soon… you have a bunch of new FRIENDS, who think you are SPECIAL, and are ready to be YOUR CUSTOMER.  

And dang, that’s really cool when it all comes together. I have a healthy handful of clients in and around Sioux Falls who would love to tell you about their experience with me and Results Radio. I’d be happy to get you their contact info.

Let me know if you’d like to have a conversation about this sort of stuff.

Have a groovy day!

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Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com