Here Matt Coen of Second Street Promotions Lab explains how to do a proper needs assessment…
In order to conduct an effective needs assessment conversation with advertisers, one needs to prepare before each and every sales call. Advertisers don’t have time to educate a media company on their business, so it’s up to the salesperson to educate themselves as much as possible before picking up the phone or walking through the door.
The more that a salesperson knows about their potential advertisers before they begin, the better-positioned they will be to help solve the advertisers’ challenges. After all, unless one demonstrates the fact they’ve done extensive research and presents a good solution, why would an advertiser believe that their problems could be solved?
What to Research
Here are some areas one should research about potential advertisers before meeting with them…
1. Their Emails
Does the advertiser send emails regularly? When they do, what is their message? Where are they driving people?
2. Their Competitors
If possible, one should figure out what businesses in the same category are spending on advertising in that market. How much are they spending, and how are they allocating it? This information will help one understand what these advertisers value and what audience they are trying to reach.
3. Their Calendar
Do they have any upcoming events? It’s important to pay attention to seasonal opportunities, holiday-related celebrations, major sales, openings, and so on.
4. Their History
What kind of advertising does the advertiser already do? It’s important to know if they’ve already worked with one’s company in the past.
After doing this preliminary research, one will be able to avoid asking questions that waste an advertiser’s time, which results in making one look unprepared and unprofessional.
Questions to Ask During a Needs Analysis
Once you have done your research, you can focus on the questions that will be valuable, like the following:
- How do you see your business growing in the next 3 months or year? Do you see anything holding back your growth?
- What are your goals for business growth in the next 3 months or the next year?
- Do you have any sales goals for the next quarter you are looking to hit?
- What are your key challenges when it comes to driving foot traffic?
- Is there something big on the horizon that you haven’t already announced? A new location, product, or service?
- I see that you have a presence on [social channel]. Is there anything that you are struggling with or trying to do to increase your engagement on that channel?
- Tell me more about your social media strategy.
- How much of a priority is your email list?
- I see that you’re sending a regular email newsletter. What is the size of your list and how are you trying to grow it?
- Who is your target audience? Your ideal customer?
Based on the advertiser’s answers to the questions asked during a needs assessment, one can more effectively answer their challenges with solutions that one offers. It’s important for one to learn how to choose the right promotion type to meet their goals – and that of their advertisers.