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Tips for Making the Most of Your Media Sales Meetings

Don’t Let Who Takes You to Lunch, Take You To the Cleaners:

Are you sometimes lured in by Über-friendly sales reps offering lunch meetings
at your favorite spot? Like most you’re probably thinking, what’s the harm? You
probably should go and listen to hear if what they’re offering makes sense for
your bank or credit union. However, before the dessert list is presented,
you’ve found yourself committing to a buy before you’ve had a chance to weigh
it against your overall marketing goals or objectives. You may not realize it
until it’s too late.

Most media sales reps are in the business for one reason – to get you to buy
what they’re selling. They show you ratings, research and packages that
validate why their station, magazine, etc. is the absolute best way to get your
phone ringing off the hook. The bottom line is that their goal is not to
sell your products and services, but to sell theirs to you.

The intricate collaborative partnership between client and media partners must
begin with an articulated set of objectives and goals. Whether you plan your
own media, or use an agency, offering insight and guidance is essential to
making the most of your media dollars.

7 Important Things to Share with your Media Planner/Sales Reps:

  • Market
    Why are you doing it? Research and evaluate insights
    about the designated market area, competition, sources of business, etc.
  • Target
    Who is the primary prospect you are speaking to?
    (by the way, Adults 18+ isn’t an answer)
  • Campaign
    Goals/Desired Response
    – What action do you want the
    consumer/prospect to take? What are realistic and measurable goals?
  • Key
    What is the one incentive that will create your desired
    response? Consumers will always be thinking, ‘What’s in it for me?’
  • Support
    of Benefits –
    Prove it. What are ideas and facts that fulfill the
    incentives you have promised?
  • Creative
    Telling your story creatively will allow your media
    partners to properly place your messages where and when they will have the
    most impact.
  • Timeline-Identifying
    specific dates is critical to precision execution of strategy.
    Current events relevant to the designated market area, plays an important
    role in discovering the right media sources and staying within budget
    constraints. Political campaigns, wildly exciting sporting events,
    the holidays impact rates and inventory.

If you’re disorganized, or unable to clearly outline goals
and budget then you’re more vulnerable to making poor media investments. After
compiling and sharing this critical information, request that media partners do
their own research: visit your client’s website, Facebook page, and even pop
into a branch. Have them familiarize themselves with your financial
institution’s mission statements, products and services and the what your
organization is doing in the community. By getting to know the brand, they can
make the best possible recommendations for media opportunities that are in

Leisurely lunches and free theater tickets are great perks, but shouldn’t be
part of your media strategy. They may make you feel beholden to these media
partners even if they don’t speak to your target audience.

So go ahead, take the lunch meetings, but if your rep shows up and doesn’t know
how to pronounce the name of your bank or credit union, there’s a good chance
that whatever their selling isn’t for you. It’s okay to lunch and learn, but
remember- dine, don’t sign.