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Free money!

Imagine how different your prospecting calls would be this week if you knew that you had $5,000 in your pocket that you were going to give to one of your prospects to spend on advertising. Seems like a no-brainer, right? Who wouldn't want to see you if you had money to give them?

Stop imagining...

Co-op advertising is the free money you are looking for. Each year, over $7 BILLION are available in co-op advertising funds for local retailers; sadly, about $3 BILLION goes unspent every year. You read that right: $3 Billion just evaporates because we didn't get it.

If you're interested in finding this money, head over to RAB.com and use the Sales Tools drop-down, then prospecting, then co-op. You will see the co-op directory home page. This is the perfect time of year to search for plans that pay 100%. That's free money, but these plans expire by the end of the year. So here is how you search:

Use the advanced Co-op search bar. We've circled it for you. Put in the end of the year, and the "participation rate" is 100%. That means the money is there, and the advertiser can use it without paying anything.

We searched this morning and found 350 co-op plans that expire at the end of the year. That's 350 prospects for you to call on with free money in your pocket.

CAUTION: Co-op is not a sales strategy; it's a funding mechanism. What we mean by that is that you should follow the seven steps of selling. This means a comprehensive Customer Needs Analysis and creating your strategy to help them achieve their objectives. But the cool part is that you already have a way for them to pay for the strategy: Co-op funding!

Putting these plans in place takes time, so now is the time to get started. If you're unfamiliar with co-op, a video explains the basics and how to search the directory right on the home page. On the Co-op landing page, we also posted a webinar on-demand: Cashing In On Co-op.

We spend a lot of space on these tips, discussing how you can be a source of business intelligence and a resource to your clients — money talks. There is 100% money available in the co-op directory, and you can be the resourceful person who shares that information with the client. It helps them with their marketing, and it helps you with your budget. It's truly a win-win scenario.

There's gold in that directory! Take a minute now and look for yourself. We are always looking for success stories, so if you have success using this approach, please email me atJeff.Schmidt@rab.comhere and share your story.

Think BIG and make BIG things happen!

Happy Monday!

Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at Jeff.Schmidt@rab.com. You can all so connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, SVP of Professional Development, RAB