(Excerpted from Giff's Graduate School For Sales Management)

How many sales do you make during a fact-finding call? "Say what? Sales, you say?”

Yes, sales! What kind of sales? We’ll start with a reminder from a previous blog…

Sale #1 By demonstrating you’ve done your homework, convince advertisers you're there to help them grow their businesses. Example…

"Mr. Garcia, my name is Dave Gifford, I’m a Retail Brand Manager at Results Radio. I don‘t know if you recognize me or not, but yesterday—after checking out Costco’s website—I made the Grand Tour up-and-down every isle of your store…and whereas we both know you can’t match Costco price-for-price—you have a tremendous local branding opportunity when it comes to…well…here, take a look at this…handing Mr. Garcia the following 5” x 7” list) 


1. Fully staffed Service Department!

2. Parts stock: Extensive!

3. Apple • Sony • Dell • hp • Customized!

4. Outstanding Expandability!

5. Extensive Accessories!

6. All Major Credit Cards including Amex!

7. 90 days same as cash!

8. Lease with option to Buy!

9. Recognized Community Involvement

10. Local business Local people support





Acer? • Alienware? • Dell • hp • Leveno


Very limited

Amex only

No way

No way


National Chain Box Store


 Mr. Garcia, this is what I do. I help local, independent retailers increase their store traffic, turn over their inventories faster, and increase their cash flow...and last night I came up with a Media-Mix marketing plan—not just radio—that will help you, one, ensure continued loyalty to your store after Costco arrives, and two, drive more store traffic to your store at the same time. All I need to prove how it will work for you is sixty minutes of your time sometime next week...which is most convenient for you, Monday at nine or, uh...Tuesday afternoons at two, any preference?

Important Note: If you came into my store, and your opening line is—or any number of variations thereof: "The reason I wanted to meet you is to learn something about your business.", my response would be...

"I don't mean to be rude, but I didn't get up this morning to provide you an education about my business. Tell you what. Let me give you a sales tip. Learn about my business first, the way you should. There are tons of sources* available including Goggling 'the computer industry', and then call me. When you do call, remind me of our conversation, and I promise to talk with you then, fair enough?" (under the circumstances, that is about as "diplomatic" as I can be)

* Radio Advertising Bureau. 800 232-3131;; Instant Background: Computers.

Sale #2 That you are an expert on advertising, among the most advertising people in your market, someone who knows what you're talking about and—in earning their respect and trust—a media sales representative to be taken seriously. Note: You are not in the Radio Business, you're in the Advertising Business! Which is why your sales training curriculum should include a major in the basic tenets and principles of advertising. If you do, you will then be able to make...

Sale #3 That you offer advertisers a "unique expertise" unavailable from every media salesperson calling on them.

Sale #4 That you ask intelligent, relevant, insightful, analytical questions, and are quick to recognize what is particularly significant to their business.

Sale #5 That you gain crucial agreements that help you in the Test Closing (if necessary!) of your follow-up presentation.

Sale #6 That any company which fails to expand its customer base, cannot survive. And the
only way advertisers can increase their share of market is to take market share away from competitors. Business goes where it's invited! Period.

Sale #7 That today advertisers need only two things to succeed in business: new business and repeat business because they can't have one without the other. That they get new
business by advertising for it, and they get repeat business by advertising for it consistently. Fail to advertise go for new customers consistently, and their repeat business will dry up.

Sale #8 That you correctly identified their real #1 sales problem...that the fundamental flaw
in their advertising is that they are not reaching enough people, enough of the right people—with the right message—enough times—at the right times!

Sale #9 That there is a consequence for not solving their #1 sales problem: their best accounts will become their competitors' best prospects!

Sale #10 That they're spending too much money on newspaper or Yellow Pages or TV
advertising, or whatever they're spending too much money on. Especially, given the fact that most locally produced TV commercials look like they were produced in your neighbor's garage, the vast majority can't afford to advertise on TV effectively.

Sale #11 Reality: Radio gets only 5% of advertising's total spend, and selling your Station-Mix only (spot and/or interactive and/or below-the-line) has not increased radio's market share one iota! Not that is isn't important to your revenue, but if radio fails to go after the 95% of ad moneys radio is missing, there will be fewer radio ad dollars to go after. Consequently, Radio's #1 source of 2013 "GROWTH" money has to come from, 1) Getting radio and your stations included on as many Media-Mix schedules as possible, and, 2) Selling Customized Media-Mix Marketing Campaigns to non-radio advertisers! That's it!

Advice: To grow your revenues exponentially, get into the Advertising Business, and major in selling Customized Media-Mix Marketing Campaigns to non-radio advertisers.

Your Sell: With the proliferation of new media since 2000, no single ad medium is a one-size-fits-all solution for advertisers, thereby explaining why Media-Mix (integrated advertising) is today's marketing strategy of choice. But whereas Media-Mix advertising helps advertisers reach more potential customers through the addition of more and different ad mediums, adding more ad mediums increases the cost of advertising. Warning: overspending in Reach ad mediums at the expense of driving their ad messages home re-peat-edly (Frequency!), represents the biggest mistake in advertising today. Consequently, as advertising's #1 Frequency ad medium, Radio is the perfect Media-Mix-Medium!

Sale #12 That you uncover and overcome their major objections.

Sale #13 That their advertising is only as good as 1) Their credibility with consumers, 2) The persuasiveness of their sales messages and offers, 3) The creative execution of their sales messages and offers, 4) The consumer's receptivity to their sales messages and offers, and 5) The number of times their sales messages (commercials) run. Having made that point...

Sale #14 In the discussion that followed you identified their needs, their concerns, their aspirations, and their fears. Note: Find out their greatest fears are about the future of their business, and you can sell them. "Fear of loss is a far stronger emotion than the desire for gain."—Giff

Sale #15 That changes in the marketplace require changes in their advertising.

Sale #16 That they are not the "Coke Is It!" for what they sell. Because of same...

Sale #17 They need to re-position themselves by marketing their company or store or
service as if it were a "brand".

Sale #18 That you will come up with a choice of unique positioning statements to select from, each conceived and written to drive home a unique message consumers will quickly recognize, relate to, and respond to.

Sale #19 That, if the opportunity presents itself (appropriate to the circumstances), you should be prepared to sell them something that, over time, will 1) Increase their traffic, 2) Expand their customer base, and 3) Elevate their company net worth. If not, you will need to make...

Sale #20 Sell them on a follow-up meeting for the purpose of presenting a Customized Media-Mix Marketing Campaign strategically designed to solve the major sales problems you identified during the fact-finding call.

Lesson: All fact-finding calls are "sales" calls! 


Dave "Giff" Gifford/DGI © 2012