RAB Research Archive

The Biggest Mistake in Selling…



Have you ever had a client say, “I tried radio once and…”?

Of course, you have. You can finish that sentence.

One of the greatest challenges in selling advertising is setting realistic and achievable expectations. In our Sales Essentials one-day training, we talk about the importance of setting standards and expectations. It’s usually one of the key take-aways from the training.

For Sellers…

The biggest mistake sellers make is the failure to identify and set client expectations. As a sales rep, your clients are not likely to tell you upfront about how you are going to be judged. Whether they articulate them or not, clients have a set of criteria they believe are universal for determining how your performance as a seller, will be judged.

Some universal expectations that we all must adhere to:

• Do what you say you are going to do.

• Show up for meetings on time.

• Be prepared for meetings.

• Provide value beyond your product.

• Demonstrate that you care about the client.

• Show appreciation for the business relationship.

Those are the “no-brainers.” Finding hidden expectations will take courage and a little more work on your part. The end of the year is a great time to have “evaluation” meetings with your clients. By asking the right questions, you will be able to understand how you have been judged, and, more importantly, how you will be judged going forward. Here are some questions to get you started:

• In what areas have I exceeded your expectations this year?

• Are there any areas where I have disappointed you?

• As we look to next year, are there things you would like me to do more of?

• Anything you hope I’ll never do again?

It’s important before ANY sale is made that you ask your client these two very important questions:

1. How will we know if this is working?

2. What does success look like regarding this solution?

When you sell a product or service to a client, they have certain expectations of performance. To meet and exceed those expectations, it’s critical to know what they are. The good news is all you have to do is ask.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB





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