Radio Sales Today

RAB Sales Tips

Dusting off your dead ends: What to do when leads go cold

Great leads can come in hot and then cool off even when you do all the right things. When they seem to hit a dead end, you may be ready to abandon them altogether. Doing so makes sense much of the time, but a stalled account can still become a win. It depends on why it went cold. If the reason is something that could still warm up in the future, you can plan to rework these leads. Here are some tips to get things turned around.

There's no urgency to launch campaigns.

Advertisers can pump the breaks early and often when they don't feel there's an urgent need. They may be waiting for a season or because of some other reason they have in their head. You can counter that in a few ways.

First, express that the proposal is only good for a short period. Second, if applicable, bring up what their competitors are doing and how they need to be more visible. Third, talk to them about building momentum from previous campaigns or successes they've had. After all, they need to keep increasing revenue, regardless of what sales were prior.

They're working with a competitor.

There's always an opportunity to win over advertisers, and if they're talking to you, you can surmise they aren't 100% happy. In your conversations with them, let them talk about what's not going well. They may be glad to vent their frustrations, giving you an in with them.

You don't have to say one negative thing about the competitor. You just have to be better — have a better strategy, pricing, targeting, relationship, etc. Build trust, and the cold shoulder could transform into a warm one.

They need more convincing.

Yes, you still have to sell the value of advertising, whether linear or digital. If this is the cold front you’re facing, respond with the facts and numbers. Share reputable data on the benefits of advertising and returns. You could also show them results from campaigns from your current advertisers. It's hard to argue with these things — they're objective, not subjective. Ultimately, they need to connect ROI with ad spending.

Patience and persistence can change the dynamic. You'll hit these dead ends sometimes but having strategies to overcome objections can certainly turn the tide.

Source: Todd Kalman, SVP Sales, Marketron