In our recent series, we discussed businesses that offer new technology to radio stations to help their business stay relevant in the digital age. Most station managers understand that investing in things like streaming, email marketing, updated equipment, and a variety of other new technologies can help improve their business. But radio executives want to understand exactly how these methods are supposed to help. And, rightfully so, since nobody wants to go out on a limb for budget approval for something they don’t completely understand.
For companies that are selling new technologies to the radio industry, an important part of the job is educating potential buyers about how and why your product will help their business. In this post, we’ll discuss some questions to ask station managers that can help you better understand their needs and alleviate any hesitation they may have with investing in your product.
How do you think our technology can help you solve your problems or help you grow revenue?
This is a great opening question for a couple of reasons. First of all, it identifies your customer’s problems and lets you understand what their true needs are — not just what you think they are. Understanding your customer is the most important first step for any sales pitch. If you don’t even know what they want, how can you possibly help them get it?
This question can also help you gauge the tech literacy of the person you’re speaking with, because it makes them explain how they think your technology works. Knowing how well your customer understands your product will shape the rest of the conversation. Everyone has different areas of expertise, after all. A digital sales manager might know just as much about email marketing as you do, but almost nothing about the hardware side of a station’s needs. Likewise, a more senior manager might be fully up to date in his research about emerging acoustic technologies, but may not be as experienced understanding social media and its importance as a marketing tool.
(Repeat back needs…) How important is this need? On a scale of 1 to 10, what priority does it have in terms of helping you achieve your overall goals?
Ask this kind of question as a follow up to your first. It can help your customer put their problem — and your solution — into perspective. They’ll see that you’re not just looking to make a quick buck, but that you want to engage them in a mutually beneficial way.
Are you currently using something to fill this need?
If Yes: Why are you looking for a new solution? What isn’t working and why? What aren’t you happy about? Are you simply not using it (which is common)?
If they’ve answered yes, these types of follow-up questions will allow you to drill down into the prospect’s needs and identify issues they’re currently having, especially with similar technology. For example, maybe the software interface they currently use is too complicated for most to use or the software doesn’t integrate well with other tools they currently use around the station.
If No: How long has this problem been going on? Are they looking for something now because a new problem has arisen, or is the station looking to change their direction altogether?
Now is the perfect opportunity to explain just how great your product is! Help them to understand how your technology will be an improvement over the solution they currently have, and why it would be the best possible solution. If they’re trying something new, there may be other ways that your business can help them that they weren’t aware of.
Who will be the primary user of this technology? And for the people who would be using this technology, what is their past experience with taking on new tools and using it / learning it?
For example, those in sales or marketing departments need technology that won’t have a long and arduous ramp up so they can do their jobs better without investing so much time that sales suffer. Is your product a simple fix that they’ll be able to adopt intuitively, or would it be a major overhaul of an existing system?
These questions will help you determine how your product will be used, and if your company will need to assist in providing any training or ongoing technical support. This will also help you to determine the level of involvement your company will need to offer a specific client when/if they move forward with your product or service.If you had this technology today, what do you think would prevent you from effectively using it?
A lot of businesses hear “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and take it to the extreme. They’ll use outdated, inefficient, half-broken systems far past the point of their usefulness because the time and money it would take to change seems too great. Help your customer understand the value of your technology, and how much better things will work with it. Change can be scary, but comparing the upfront costs to the eventual cost of not updating can really put the value of your technology in perspective.
Radio stations know that they need to adapt in order to continue to thrive in today’s market, but many are so used to the old way of doing things that they don’t know where to begin. Asking these questions can go a long way in helping station managers understand the value of adopting new technologies. By understanding their needs and showing them how your technology will help them meet their goals, you’re sure to get a positive response.