“20% of your account list is going to disappear every year no matter how good you are. So you’ve got to be looking for new business every single day.”
I was given that information by an experienced media salesperson when I was a rookie.
I’ve never seen the 20% figure confirmed in an actual study, but my years on the street have convinced me that it was probably low.
- Businesses get bought and sold. I lost a long-time client when a rural car dealer sold his store to a mega-chain and retired. I did a good job for them—the billing is gone anyway.
- Marketing directors come and go. They get promoted. They get fired. They hire agencies, and they fire agencies.
- Good relationships go bad, sometimes for reasons completely out of your control. An AE I know lost an HVAC client because her boss—the station GM—didn’t pay his bill when the company fixed his air conditioner.
Attrition happens to every seller, even the ones with big comfortable lists. It’s time for sellers to resolve once again to seek out new business regularly.
Here are some things to consider:
If you work in a small market, it may seem like there’s nobody left to talk to. That’s not true—a search engine can demonstrate that the math is in your favor.
Google “How many businesses are in [Your Town]” and look for the listing from Manta.com. Manta is a business search engine that can give you a quick raw number.
You’ll likely find many thousands. Not all of them will be good advertising prospects. But many are.
In volatile economic times, no account list is safe. A new business mindset is crucial to your success, as is cultivating an abundance mentality.