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Sales Tip - 'I Don’t Have a Budget for Radio'

We recently asked in the RAB.com poll, "Which is the toughest objection?" Results show 3 out of 4 said: "I don’t have a budget to support radio."

This objection comes up on the phone when trying to get an appointment more often than at the conclusion of a presentation. It discourages us from trying to get the appointment even when we have pre-qualified businesses and believe they are excellent prospects. But don't be discouraged. When you have a program that meets their marketing objectives it is surprising how often advertisers come up with money even after they told us they had no budget.

I often ask attendees of our in-person training programs if they have a budget for lunch each day. Most answer around $10 or so. I ask one person, maybe a sports fan, to join me for lunch, but it will cost $150. Reaction is usually surprise and an immediate "No." Then I tell him I am having lunch with Michael Jordan. It is amazing how quickly a sports fan would be willing to come up with $150 for lunch.

So how can you achieve your singular goal of the phone call...getting the appointment? RAB's Professional Development training programs suggest using a process. Ask questions about the objection. Understand the concern. Then use one of two options: acknowledge and divert; or acknowledge and respond. Get a sample script from RAB.com under the Appointment link in the nav bar (deep link: http://www.rab.com/public/apptScript.pdf)

For either option ask enough questions about the objections to get prospects talking. It helps make prospects feel more comfortable when they are talking. Then either divert or respond.

It is easy to divert no matter how the client answers your questions. Just say: "I look forward to hearing more about that when we get together," and again ask for the appointment.

Using the second option of responding is easy if you have created a list in advance of benefits of meeting with you. Just ask questions, then refer to your list and use one that is appropriate to the objection. It might sound like this:

Prospect: I don't have a budget to support radio.

You: It sounds like you have developed budgets for each of the media. May I ask what media you have budgeted?

Prospect: We're buying Google search, we buy banner ads, and direct mail and emails to our database of customers.

You: You must have a pretty large database.

Prospect: Yes, over 30,000.

You: That's great. Are you finding digital is working well for you?

Prospect: We're getting a good return on our digital investments.

You: One of the benefits of meeting with me is I have a background in creating efficient marketing campaigns beyond radio, spanning digital, mobile, social, cause marketing and events. Many advertisers using traditional, digital, or a combination have found my expertise of value whether they buy radio or not. (Again ask for the appointment.)

Source: John Potter, SVP/Professional Development, RAB