So often people say, “In sales, listening is as important as talking.” I couldn’t agree more. While media planning isn’t selling in the traditional sense, it’s very much still sales. We all must actively pitch our services, ideas, and ultimately our plans to clients; we truly need to sell the merits of our recommendations. But more important, we need to make them want to buy.
Even with the best fact-based decision-making methodology, we need to make the client very comfortable with a plan or strategy. To do this, the client must feel like you’re providing them with exactly what they need. And to give them what they need, you must get them to tell you what their needs are. You must ask the right questions.
Sometimes you can determine what you’ll get from a vendor based on the questions she asks rather than the presentation she eventually gives you. Many times, asking the right questions early in a relationship not only arms you with information to create a successful marketing strategy or media plan but also gets the client thinking along the same lines as you. It helps the client look at success in the same way you do and aligns your priorities. It gets a client thinking about things you think are important early in the process.