#DMS2011: New Models for Customer Acquisition

A telling stat this week out of the DMS meeting is that business owners are approached around 40 times each month by sales reps. The local business advertising space is becoming more crowded so this figure is only going to increase. For sales reps, it’s going to be even harder to cut through the clutter and get the ear of a business owner who wants to focus on their work. Indeed, in one of the advertiser videos shown during the conference, a business owner was given a pie by a marketing company trying to get her attention – and it worked!

Mike Centorani, VP of sales training and development, MatchCraft and Paul Plant, founder and principal, Radicle Consulting, hosted a panel to share their insights on effective models for acquiring new small business advertisers in today’s media environment.

Both Mike and Paul advocated a similar model for customer growth where sales reps are closer to their customers, more educated on their potential clients’ businesses, and can offer a diverse portfolio so they become a trusted mini ad agency. To gain credibility with small business owners and to cut through the noise, Paul and Mike offered tips for sales reps to acquire new customers:

  • Focus on the customer and their customers — not on you and your products
  • Keep in touch, offer flexibility, and prove the ROI you deliver before you deliver a bill
  • Investing the time to learn about the verticals you’re calling and visiting, to be able to ask the specific, significant questions that will engage them early on. Business owners want someone who understands their industry and if reps can explain how their solution will help drive leads, the perceived value of the advertising package will be greater than the amount you’re asking them to invest.
  • Offer creative incentives and offers..  Plant mentioned some sales reps he works with offer a “try before you buy” approach for customers where it makes sense
  • Shorter-term contracts and/or big entry-level packages

All great suggestions for reps looking to up their game.

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