So, do you think you have it bad at work?
These two stories appeared next to each other on the local news website in the Syracuse area this morning:
Kim Jong Un executed defense chief for sleeping during meeting, spy agency says
Fall asleep at a meeting in the USA and you might get fired, or you might get handed a cup of Starbucks. In North Korea you apparently go before the firing squad. And you thought your boss was a jerk?
Upstate NY ex-postal carrier faces prison for dumping Bed Bath & Beyond ads
If a 12-year old carrier dumps papers he probably gets fired and maybe Mom grounds him for a day or two. A postal carrier gets fired and goes to prison. And his wife probably gets really, really angry with him.
The common thread here is a simple lesson: screw up on the job and you pay for it. For those involved in advertising and marketing sales, the corollary is truer: screw up and you don't get paid. Your client doesn't get paid either. Nor does your company, the source of everything you have to sell for.
There are large, obvious errors, such as leaving a client's ad out of a paper. No one gets paid. The point today is that you may be making many more, less obvious errors that are costing you, your clients and your company even more money over time. And they are so basic:
1. You don't suggest -- no pressure on the customer, just ask "have you ever considered expanding your market area? Would you be interested in discussing a new campaign that will help you build your market share? We have a print & deliver insert product that we can target specific neighborhoods with -- should we look at that for the new line of tractors you're carrying?" We get caught in our routine...so make your routine better! Make it one of consistent suggestive selling that benefits your client.
2. You don't pay attention -- watch the small details; notice little things in your client's inventory: new items to promote, seasonal items that need to be cleared. Notice competitor ads and approaches that affect your client's results and strategy. Pay attention to details like that. You probably do it for your top 20% -- expand that to your top 50% and see what additional revenue it brings you.
3. You don't ask -- for referrals, for additional ads promoting related services, for details on co-op plans, for sit downs to discuss annual plans and revised strategies. You know.
You are not going to be killed or incarcerated for missing these little tips. Fact is you are not going anywhere...you will remain in the income and opportunity level where you are currently seated if you continue to miss these finer points of your job responsibilities. I read a study on Ej4.com recently that stated 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact on a customer. Here’s another interesting number: 44% of sales representatives quit after the first “no”. Your job also includes hanging in there. Don't screw it up.