Four Keys to Effective Role Play

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Role-playing is the standard training method in the military, police and fire rescue and especially, sports. Role playing is essential in professions where quick decision-making is necessary. That’s why role playing should be a regular component of your sales training.

Spike SanteeFour Keys to Effective Role Play
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Reduce Your Turnover

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According to an IBM Workforce Study, 71% percent of the CEOs in the survey cited human capital ahead of products, customer relationships and brands as the leading source of sustained economic value.

The same study found that employees who do not feel they can achieve their career goals at their current organization are 12 time more likely to consider leaving than employees who do feel they can achieve their career goals. Even worse, this number skyrockets to about 30 times more likely for new employees.

The study reveals a wide disconnect between company leaders and training recipients when it comes to the usefulness of the company’s training. Seventy eight percent of the CEOs believe new employees in their organization are getting the training they need. However, only 58% of the training recipients feel they are getting the training they need.

Consider for a moment what is happening at your company. Does your company have a similar gap between what you think your training is providing and what your employees think?

How much do you spend annually on employee training? How much time and effort do you spend on recruiting and then, the time lost to filling the same position again? The real cost to your bottom line can be significant.

The Gallup Organization estimates that U.S. companies are losing a $1 trillion every year due to voluntary turnover. The most astounding part is that most of the cost of employee turnover is largely company self-inflicted.

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall turnover rate in 2017 was 26.3%.
  • Estimates put the cost of replacing an individual employee from one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary — and that’s a conservative estimate.
  • So, if your company has 25 sales people, with an average income of $50,000, your turnover and replacement costs could range anywhere from $165,000 to $650,00 per year.

Voluntary turnover is costing you money. You also know that turnover has many other costs that don’t show up in your P&L. When you lose a salesperson, there is always a transition period that is sometimes marked by billing and collection problems and lost relationships.

Voluntary turnover also affects internal morale because it may cause those sitting on the fence to decide that they too should leave your company. Remember the statistic, employees who don’t think they can reach their career goals at your company are 12 more likely to leave than those who don’t. New employees who don’t think they can reach their career goals are 30 times more likely to leave.

This is not just the normal turnover.

Gallup found that 52% of employees who left said their manager or the company could have done something to prevent their decision to leave. Fifty one percent say that in the three months before they left, neither their direct report or higher ups talked with them about their job satisfaction or how they felt about their future with the company.

Wow!

In three months, nobody asked these employees how they felt about their job? Nobody talked with them about their future? It’s no wonder that they decided they didn’t have a future with the company.

You may be thinking to yourself these statistics don’t apply to you and your company. You could be thinking, “We meet with our sellers all the time, especially every week in their one-on-one.” The real question is, are you talking with your employees or are you talking to your employees?

Here is a suggestion. Structure the format of your one-on-one meetings so that the first half of the meeting is devoted to whatever the salesperson wants to talk about. The second half of the meeting is for your agenda. Encourage your salespeople to keep a folder at their desk where they can store notes about things that are important to them. You should do the same. We call this the One-On-On Meeting Folder System.

Students of Stephen R. Covey and the Eisenhour Time Management Grind know that we all need to spend more time in the Important but Not Urgent quadrant. That’s were the truly fundamental work is done.

Now before you start thinking that the salesperson will take up too much time and you’ll never get time to run through the numbers, believe me, it won’t happen like that. You should be so lucky to have salespeople with such foresight.  After the first meeting or two, you will need to remind them to come to the meeting with the things that are important to them. If they don’t come prepared, you should have some questions designed to get them talking about how they feel about work, their lives, their dreams.

It is critical to the success of your team to train your managers to have frequent, meaningful conversations with employees about what really matters to them.

Let me know if I can help. Talk to you soon.

Spike SanteeReduce Your Turnover
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I Don’t Need to Advertise

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In Radio advertising sales, you will inevitably encounter a prospect who says they don’t need to advertise because they have all the business they can handle. For most salespeople this can be especially frustrating because your whole premise for the sales call is to help the business owner grow the business!

Spike SanteeI Don’t Need to Advertise
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The First Radio Commercial

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The first Radio commercial was broadcast on August 28, 1922. The station was WEAF AM in New York City. It was owned by AT&T. The commercial was for a real estate development called Hawthorne Court Apartments in Jackson Heights, a neighborhood in the borough of Queens. The apartment complex was owned by the Queensboro Corporation. The apartment complex was named after Nathaniel Hawthorne, on of America’s great writers.

Spike SanteeThe First Radio Commercial
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The Copywriter’s Playbook

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Copy Writer's Playbook

To be a good copywriter, you must learn to work with the psychology of consumer, not against it. You must first understand why people buy things and why they buy them when they buy them. If you don’t consider this important science in your script writing efforts, your commercial will likely fall on deaf ears.

Consumers are motivated from within, not from external sources. Any decision to buy a product or a service begins as a conscious, or, many times, an unconscious need or a desire. That need or desire, that thought, that is what we call the felt need. That something that the consumer is thinking about throughout the day and night.

You must also learn how consumers come to a decision about acting out on the felt need. As you study the research and the brain science involved, you will come to realize that having a sale or offering a discount is not one of the major considerations in the process.

In his 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation, Abraham Maslow proposed that the motivation for action is an unfulfilled need. Maslow’s research suggests that humans seek to satisfy their needs and desires in a certain hierarchy. Maslow contends that people must satisfy their most basic needs first before they can go forward and satisfy the more sophisticated needs.

Level One – Physiological Needs

A human’s physiological needs take the highest priority. You need be able to breathe, have plenty of water and food, and have healthy bodily functions.

Level Two – Safety

People need to feel secure in their life. They are concerned for the safety and security of their families, their property and their future.

Level Three – Social Needs

Loneliness can lead to social anxiety and depression. This often leads to serious physical illness and possibly even heart disease.

Level Four – Self Esteem

We have a need to feel good about ourselves; we need our own self-respect. We need people we can look up to in life. Respecting role models and leaders is something Maslow identified as part of our need for esteem.

Level Five – Self Actualization

At the pinnacle of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is the need for self-actualization, the instinctual need of humans to make the most of their unique abilities and to strive to be the best they can be. In short, self-actualization is reaching one’s fullest potential.

How is this relevant to advertising? Start observing the advertising you are exposed to through the lens of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and you’ll see the word you and your throughout.

Pharmaceutical advertising is the sixth largest advertising category. Examples: “When you have COPD, it can be hard to breath”, “Chantix can help you quit smoking”, “When you’re depressed, Cymbalta can help”.

Consider the proliferation of advertising for home security systems, insurance and financial services. Examples: “Can your doorbell do that?”, “Are you in good hands?”, “If you don’t like their answer, ask again at Schwab”.

Human beings have a natural need to be involved in emotionally based relationships. Whether those relationships come from large or small social groups, or one-on-one relationships, people need to love and be loved by others. Examples: “You don’t have to be lonely at Farmers Only Dot Com.”

The National Car Rental advertising campaign script appeals to the need for esteem with the script: “You are a business pro, executor of efficiency; you can spot an amateur from a mile away, and you rent from National.”

Advertising for higher education, degree completion programs and technical colleges appeal to the instinctual need for self-actualization. The United States Army created a very compelling message using the appeal to this instinctual need for self-actualization with the Be All That You Can Be, In the Army campaign.

When you understand the psychology of consumer behavior, you begin to understand that you are not just selling a product, you are selling the idea of the product, the image of the product, and the result of the product. In your commercial, you are trying to tell the consumer how your advertisers can fulfill one or more of the needs in the hierarchy.

As you observe advertising through the lens of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, you’ll see it can be the Copywriter’s Playbook.

Talk to you soon.

Spike SanteeThe Copywriter’s Playbook
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Four Keys to Emotional Engagement

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Imagine you are on a large stage with one thousand people in the audience and you have a chance to tell them all about your business and give them a reason why they should come and shop with you.

What would you say? Oh, and another thing. Your time is limited. In this example, you have sixty seconds.

Spike SanteeFour Keys to Emotional Engagement
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Is Your Brand Sociable Enough?

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For your business brand to be truly social, it takes more than just having a website and asking people to “Like us on Facebook”. Those are social media tools. But what is your brand’s social message? Without a carefully crafted and focused social message, you’re wasting your time and money and it could be affecting your bottom line in a negative way.

In today’s marketplace, it is not enough just to offer a great selection at a good price. That is a basic requirement. Consumers today are making decision on what a brand says, what it does and what it stands for.  What does your brand say, do and stand for? It is important to figure that out and learn how to articulate it before you spend your hard-earned money on any form of advertising, including social media advertising.

In his book, Start with Why, author Simon Sinek says: “People don’t buy WHAT you do; they buy WHY you do it.” Most companies focus on advertising the WHAT of their business,their products, industry and competitors. They can even articulate the HOW they do WHAT they do. But it become more difficult to describe the WHY of a business, the purpose, cause or belief. The WHY of a business it their reason for being and the WHY is the why anyone should care.

Sixty two percent of consumers want companies to take a stand on current and broadly relevant issues such as fair employment practices,transparency and sustainable living. 1

This consumer desire can drive strong product growth. The parent company of Dove soap, Lipton Tea and Knorr Food Products, Unilever,found that their brands that focus on sustainable living in their advertising message grew 50% faster than their brands that don’t. The Unilever family of products with a sustainable living message in their advertising delivered 60%of the company’s revenue growth in 2016. 2, 3

How do you capitalize on a consumer’s desire to do business with a purpose driven brand? First, you need to be able to walk the talk. People can detect inconsistencies, and when they do, you are perceived as inauthentic and you erode trust.

At Knorr Food Products, they describe their WHY this way; “we have a responsibility to help make positive change across the food system from the way food is grown, to the way food is consumed. We believe nutritious and delicious food should be within everyone’s reach. That’s why our ambition is to source 100% of raw agricultural materials sustainably and to help more than 1 billion people improve their health and well-being by teaching them how to cook nutritiously by 2020.” 4

Dove, they don’t sell soap, they are working to make beauty a source of confidence, not anxiety. They don’t hire models for their advertising, they use real women of all ages to challenge stereotypes and highlight how beauty is unique to the individual. Dove portrays women, as they are in real life and they don’t digitally distort the images in their advertising.Since 2004 the Dove Self-Esteem Project has delivered self-esteem and body confidence education to over 20 million young people is 139 countries with a goal to reach another 20 million by 2020.5

Dove is the most popular bar of soap in the United States with more than twice the market share as the number two brand, Dial. 5

According to the Accenture report, beyond price and quality, these are the top consumer drivers: 1

  • 66% – The brand has a great culture, it does what it says it will do and delivers on its promises.
  • 66% – The company is transparent with where it sources materials and treats employees.
  • 62% – The brand believes in reducing plastics and improving the environment.
  • 62% – The brand has ethical values and demonstrates authenticity in everything it does.
  • 62% – The brand is passionate about the products and services it sells.

Here are four ways to make your brand more sociable:

  1. Get a copy of Start with Why from Simon Sinek and work to figure out your WHY.
  2. Develop a paragraph to describe your WHY.
  3. Align all your actions with your WHY.
  4. Eliminate clichés from your advertising message and replace them with a genuine message of WHAT you do for the consumer and WHY you do it.   

Then, you will be ready to buy some traditional and social media advertising.

Let me know if I can help.

  1. Accenture Strategy Global Consumer Pulse Research, 2018.
  2. Unilever,“How to boost business growth through brands with purpose,” August 8, 2017.
  3. “Empowering Unilever marketers and unstereotyping ads: Keith Weed’s case for Global Marketer of the Year,”Campaign, January 24, 2018.
  4. https://www.unilever.com/brands/food-and-drink/knorr.html
  5. https://www.unilever.com/brands/personal-care/dove.html
  6. https://www.statista.com/statistics/275244/us-households-most-used-brands-of-bar-soap/

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Spike SanteeIs Your Brand Sociable Enough?
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