In the next two months, at least two major broadcast groups will introduce their OTT solutions, and more will be coming quickly. In Sarasota, where our company is headquartered, it appears that Comcast is already on the street with a solution. Plus, I know that 3 major television broadcast companies are already selling OTT right now!
Here’s my prediction. There may be 6-8 sales staffs selling OTT solutions in your market in the next year—maybe even sooner in larger markets. If we’re not careful, it will be very easy to turn this huge opportunity into a commodity sale of lower margin products.
How do we keep that from happening?
I’d argue that there are 4 things on which we’ll need to focus. If you succeed with these, you’ll see an impact with your digital products, as well as your traditional ones.
Here are my four:
- Our future will depend on having more and more AE’s who are truly customer-focused. That’s WAY more than AE’s who care about the client — which is nice, but not even close to being enough. Customer-focused means they’re focused on client RESULTS. An AE can’t do that unless they practice in-depth diagnosis selling, so that they’re truly able to sell the “hole” and not the drill bit. At Jim Doyle & Associates, we teach that the difference between customer-focused sellers and product “peddlers” is the amount of time they spend in the diagnosis part of the selling process. Customer-focused sellers spend nearly twice (2x) as much time as peddlers in determining what the customer’s issues are. To be very clear, these conversations are about business challenges and opportunities, not just advertising!
- Training in these products must be on steroids. Think about your best Digital sellers. They’re almost always the ones who eat, drink, and sleep digital. Their knowledge becomes a differentiator. It’s what impresses clients, especially if that knowledge is combined with customer focus and passion. So, getting our people up-to-speed on how OTT works, and in what ways, is critical to helping a client get the best results. If there are 6 sales teams selling OTT, the ones who do that best will win. Knowledge is POWER.
- I think this means that our industry will need to hire smarter people. Smarter might not just be about IQ. Being able to really understand customer needs and then matching up the CORRECT solution(s) will be a lot harder than it was when we were only selling a couple of products. This is a big issue, at a time when attracting great people is one of the most significant hurdles we face.
- As you might have figured out by now, I’m calling for a serious UPGRADE for many sales staffs. You can’t do that overnight. But you also can’t ignore the under-performers on your team, who clearly don’t have the skills for this new business. Start your upgrade with them!
What if you don’t do anything about these 4 points? Just imagine the sales staff that’s the opposite of what we’ve described—product peddlers (the opposite of customer-focused), who are selling “stuff” without any real sense of the challenges a client faces or the best way to solve those challenges. That sales staff won’t be able to do anything to keep our products from becoming a commodity. And that scares me.
I’ll add one other item to my list.
Zig Ziglar used to say, “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Relationships of trust… relationships built on a “generals to generals” basis… will also be more important than ever.
It’s my absolute prediction that the sales teams who build the highest level of trust with their clients will win in the OTT space.
We’re building a new TV business. It excites me. Let’s make sure our sales staffs are as good as our new product options. That’s easy to say, harder to do. Engage now and don’t allow this new OTT opportunity to be commoditized!
Have a GSM or GM meeting in your future? Why not have Jim Doyle or John Hannon speak to your meeting about how to turn your sales staff into a Sales FORCE? We promise powerful, thought-provoking content customized to your company’s needs. Contact Jim Doyle at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 941-926-SELL.