Seven top tips for countering common SME objections
You have to understand and acknowledge SMEs (small and medium enterprises) preconceptions about traditional advertising before you can counter them. They’re a tough crowd to pitch to, but with these top tips you’ll have them struggling to find a reason not to sign up today.
Traditional advertising isn’t for us
With the typical price of a per page ad in a trade journal running at £3200, it’s no wonder only one in 20 SMEs consider it important. But not all forms of traditional advertising are created equal: explain how you can offer smaller ads or recurring spot discounts. Make your pitch SME-specific, follow our building a 10 second SME pitch guide
Traditional advertising has no impact
Assess your customers needs using our guide. Get to know their business and its customers so you can explain how your audience overlaps with their target audience. It could be geographic or demographic; whatever the link, use your listenership or readership stats to show SMEs who they’ll be reaching and why that matters to their business.
I don’t know if I can commit the time
Regular and consistent advertising builds a sense of familiarity and trust between small businesses and their potential customers. That’s one of the big selling points of local press advertising: it reaches the right audience, regularly. SMEs don’t have to commit huge amounts of time to their campaign once it’s up and running because keeping the messaging consistent is the key to its success.
We can’t afford it
Small businesses are vital to the economy and government, big businesses and other investors all know this. Banks are losing their monopoly on small business funding. All over the world there are growth voucher schemes, enterprise initiatives and crowd and peer-network funding circles. Help SMEs find the funds they need to grow their business and pay for advertising; help them see the link between advertising and revenue.
There’s no way of measuring my return on investment
Suggest ways for SMEs to monitor their sales and enquiry rates to help measure the metrics they want. A recent study has shown that for every £1 a small or medium-sized company spends on advertising, the growth in turnover is approximately eight times as great as it is for larger firms and finds that the return on spending £1 on advertising is £2 in sales.
I don’t know where to start
Small businesses won’t have a dedicated advertising executive. Some might be lucky enough to have a general marketing manager, but most entrepreneurs avoid advertising because they don’t understand it and don’t want to waste their money. So offer advice and education. Don’t just sell a slot: educate, sell and support.
But can I just use social media
Social media has its place in a marketing strategy but unless a small business owner can commit to it full time, they’re not going to get the results they want. Finding the right audience is incredibly difficult on such a global platform and SMEs have to fight against not only the competition, but also every other voice screaming for attention online. Traditional advertising, on the other hand, is targeted. Explain that with advertising, you get what you pay for. Pay nothing and you get nothing.
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