It was the end of an extended chase. In early 2021, a longtime client underwent a management change and the new marketing director canceled everything with us.
For nearly 2 years I’d been trying to build a relationship with the new guy. Phone calls, emails, a meeting that went nowhere, followed by more phone calls and emails.
Finally, I secured another meeting, which generated an assignment for a holiday campaign. My manager wanted to sit in on the presentation, and I agreed … if he promised to stay quiet. 😊
The day arrived. We set up our equipment, made small talk, and I started the presentation. For the next 20 minutes, I laid out the current situation, my thoughts on where the advertiser could be most effective, and the plan for driving holiday retail traffic to their area stores.
True to his word, my manager stayed quiet and let me run the show.
I got to the end and asked for the business. The advertiser said, “Let’s do it!”
We talked for a few more minutes about the logistics of launching the campaign. Then I thanked the client for the order and prepared to head back to the car.
That’s when my manager spoke up. “Hang on,” he said. “Can I ask you one more question?”
I winced inwardly, worried that continued conversation could put the deal in jeopardy.
“Sure,” said the client.
“What else are you working on that we could help you with?”
The marketing director thought for a moment and replied, “Actually…there is something we might want to talk about.”
For the next 15 minutes, we discussed a venture they planned to promote, with potential nationwide implications.
We kicked around a couple of ideas in general terms and agreed to meet in two weeks to map out a plan.
An additional revenue-generating relationship is within reach because my manager was smart enough to ask one more open-ended question.
Many years ago, a mentor told me, “When you close a deal, don’t talk your way out of the sale. Say thank you and get the heck out of the client’s office before they change their mind.”
To a large extent, I have followed that philosophy and felt it served me well. But now, I’m wondering if I’ve missed additional opportunities along the way.
Sometimes an advertiser has another problem to solve—and it just hasn’t occurred to them that you can help solve it. You won’t know until you ask … “What else are you working on that we could help you with?”