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Panpa Bulletin : July 2006
July 2006 PANPA BULLETIN | 31 the question -- who amongst the core and poor performers are sitting on a field of diamonds? Is it the territory that's the prob- lem, or the sales person? What would happen if you took a star performer and put them on that territory? Let me give a real life example. This case study comes from one of our community newspa- per clients. It's a recent story -- hot off the press as you say. This particular sales manager had two advertising sales peo- ple who are the subject of this illustration. Each regularly com- plained at how tough it is in their territory. "We are too expensive"; "the competition has a better deal". I'm sure you have heard the stories. Their territory sales plans were full of tales of woe -- "you just don't understand how tough it is out there boss!" Their sales manager reported to me that she believed their stories -- "it all sounded genuine enough". Their activity levels were fine, and they were putting in the ac- tivities, but results were always predictably on the low side. A couple of months on these two positions were replaced by two new sales people. They were not told that the territo- ries were"oh so tough". The sales manager wisely kept that news to herself (she even 'lost' the origi- nal territory plans). I think you know where this is going. Of course, the results changed dramatically within four months: Territory 1 went from $2k per week to $7.5k per week Territory 2 went from $3k per week to $8k per week And the total team average went from $11k per week to $25k per week. These new sales people had found their diamond mines - in the same difficult territories as the previous incumbents. So how many of you have po- tential fields of diamonds right under your noses? The reasons why this happen is all obvious -- we won't go into them here. My point is of course that whilst newspapers and ad- vertising sales people complain that 'things are tough out there', there are certainly advertising dollars to be had, if your people would just do things differently or look at their territories in a dif- ferent way. My question to you is how many diamond fields are there in your sales regions, and what are you going to do to find them? Or are you reporting to your management 'gee advertising director, it's got tougher out there -- or so I'm told by my advertising sales people'. Here is a second example -- a customer diamond. At the Ad Forum I presented a case study called Fruit to Go. It's based on a real-life situation -- modified a little to make some classroom points. In this case, the newspaper is today getting about $30,000 of ad spend a year. There are reasons why explained in the study. And so, a new sales person takes over that customer and is determined to find more advertising. What we do know in the real world is that behind every visit to a prospect or customer, that there is a real-life story going on. The real things that are affecting their businesses: real people, real problems, real opportunities and real dreams. Your star sales peo- ple will uncover and understand that story -- your weak or aver- age sales people won't. Under- standing the story gives you the opportunity for that additional business. At the Ad Forum, we set each table the task of going through the real-life story presented be- hind the scenes (information not known to the sales person at the outset). Nearly every group con- cluded in about 15 minutes that there is the potential for about $250,000 of advertising available on the table from this business -- but only if the sales person does their homework. Remember that the previous incumbent was only getting about $30k. All that information and 'real-life' back- ground is there available for the sales person to uncover -- if they are hungry and skilful enough. The conclusion of the exer- cise is that for every prospect or customer there is always a story -- you just have to find out what it is. It's the story that gives you the potential to find the field of dia- monds in that customer. The point I am making is this: How many Fruit To Gos are there in your sales areas? How many sales people have you got that could and would get the full story, and at the very least just double the current advertising revenue? How many of your people would miss this, and other opportuni- ties that are sitting there as cus- tomer diamonds? To summarise then, it's all very well to blame the industry and what's going on today with competitive pressures on poor sales results -- but only if you as the sales manager are absolutely certain that your people are not sitting on fields of diamonds. And only if you as the advertising director or general manager are certain that your sales manag- ers have got what it takes to lead their sales teams in the right way to explore and discover these hidden gems that are waiting to be found. Note: you can get a copy of the case study by going to www. paceaustralia.com.au and log- ging into the Knowledge Cen- tre/Whitepapers section; just download the pdf called PANPA PACE selling case study_fruit to go.pdf. By all means use this case study as a case or role play topic with your teams. Paul Archer is managing Director of PACE Australia, a sales performance improvement consulting and training frm. rough I have embarked on an excit- ing venture over the past two years that has seen me launch a totally new company, patent an idea and bring both my work- ing world and my volunteer world together through my new online advertising portal Ad It Last and our unique business model, Community Conscious Companies. What is a community? The dictionary states; 1.a. A group of people living in the same locality and under the same government. b. The district or locality in which such a group lives. 2. a. A group of people having common interests: the scientif- ic community; the international business community. b. A group viewed as forming a distinct segment of society: the gay community; the com- munity of color. 3. a. Similarity or identity: a community of interests. b. Sharing, participation, and fellowship. 4. Society as a whole; the public. As you can see the definition of a community is quite broad, however its common element is based on similarity and com- mon interest. Based on the dic- tionary definitions a newspaper could almost be called a com- munity as it brings together a 'community of interests' within its pages. Newspapers are a ma- jor part of a community's nu- cleus. What have community con- scious companies got to do with our newspaper and our The community road to success Working to make a better society can also help build better business and Christine Tutone walks the talk