It's A Grand Opening

How many media relationships have you made today? One of the biggest questions I'm asked by small business owners is this: "How do you know you're getting a good deal on media buying?" I always respond back: "How well do you know your media rep?" Someone who sees you as a partner in business would do whatever he or she could, right? Any time a media reprings in a "package" without analyzing your needs, love? Em and let? Em go!

Analysis without diagnosis is malpractice. Media sales people are mandated professionals who make money by selling their station. Many will sell "packages" that are targeted at anyone who will buy: the grocery store, the car dealership, the jewelry store. The most successful reps make money by helping their clients make money. That is the biggest difference. The rep of the latter variety will sit down with you, learn about your company and suggest a media strategy that they feel will work for you. And you will know it's right, because your rep did a great job explaining why it would work for you. Unfortunately, good reps are hard to find. But, here's the good news: they're out there. You just need to find them.

Warning signs of weak media reps:

1) "Our station is having a fire sale on unused inventory, which will save you up to 40% …"

2) "I was just driving by and thought I'd stop in?"

3) The conceited opening: "We're number one in the market. You must by from us."

4) "My boss is really on my case right now. Please, buy something from me."

Signs of Good Media reps:

1) "I've been studying your company for about three months now and I would be very interested in learning more about your goals, because I think we might be a good fit."

2) "I came across some industry statistics that pertain to your business and I was expecting you might have some time to discuss the numbers for me."

3) "What do you think of this idea? How about this? Maybe we should try this!" Idea-Idea-Idea is key (after analysis)!

4) Good reps really want to partner with you because they're passionate about using their product to grow your sales, not to just meet their monthly sales quota.

A great media partner can make you a lot of money. You can figure out what a bad one will do. On an agency level, I encourage my clients to communicate with their reps. Many agencies feel that those relationships should be squashed as soon as possible. They often are not confident with their own relationship with the client so, they fear losing control of the account if they allow communication between client and rep to continue.

Please? The relationships you make in life are what make you stronger. Look at it this way: you're not in business to make a profit; You're in business to build relationships. Build relationships and the money will always follow.