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Sales Dish of the Day: Schmooze a Client with a Frozen Budget

Filed under: Sales Dish of the Day

Many end-users in industries like auto, finance and real estate simply don’t have the dollars to spend like they used to. In order to coax the remaining dollars out of them, as well as keep them as a client when their marketing budget has thawed, distributors must stay in close contact.

Michelle Rallo, president of Corporate ID (asi/168943), does this by sending gifts. “One of my target accounts is frozen until the end of May, so I sent one guy a Fairways and Greens polo with the Dr Pepper logo on it,” she says. “I still try and keep in touch with them to let them know I care, whether they’re spending money or not. I’ve also done a couple of lunches here and there.”

For others the goal is to convince them that inaction is the wrong action, says Andrew Miller, president of ACM Consulting. “Show them the value they are losing by not making an investment,” he says. “Talk to the client about what will be lost by not acting now. Identify the issue that would make their business better if it were resolved tomorrow and show the client the risks of not doing anything about it.”

Having business metrics helps, says Jason Black, president of Boundless Network (asi/143717). “If you can speak in metric terms and how the solution that you’re proposing will help them with retention, development or acquisition, you’ll be more successful,” he says. “It’s not about the cost, it’s about the opportunity.”

Or go after an area they do not currently have a program for, like safety awareness, says John Festa, independent sales rep for Geiger (asi/202900). “It’s not about ideas anymore. Tell them you have a concept and they’ll go ‘Whoa, he has a concept.’” – Kenneth Hein

— From the 2009 Counselor State of the Industry

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