How to Prepare for the CNA
In order to conduct an effective customer needs assessment (CNA) conversation with your advertisers, you need to prepare before each and every sales call. Advertisers don’t have time to educate you on their business. It’s up to you to educate yourself as much as you can before you pick up the phone or walk in the door.
The more that you know about your advertisers before you begin, the better-positioned you will be to help solve their challenges. After all, if you don’t do your research in advance, why would advertisers believe you can drive results for them?
Here are some areas you definitely want to know about before you go:
- Their website. Do they have one? What is on it? How do they maintain it? Do they actively drive traffic to it? Is it mobile-friendly?
- Their products and services. What products or services are they trying to sell? What is the variety of items or services they are trying to market? Is there anything new they’re trying to push?
- Their social presence. What is their social media presence like? What channels are they using? How many fans and followers do they have? How often do they post? Does it look like they have a strategy? Does it seem to be an effective one?
- Their emails. Does the advertiser send emails regularly? When they do, what is their message? Where are they driving people?
- Their competitors. If you can, search for what businesses in the same category are spending on advertising in your market. How much are they spending, and how are they allocating it? This information will help you understand what these advertisers value and what audience they are trying to reach.
- Their calendar. Do they have any upcoming events? Pay attention to seasonal opportunities, holiday-related celebrations, major sales, openings, and so on.
- Their history. What kind of advertising does the advertiser already do? Have they worked with your company in the past?
Once you have done this preliminary research, you will be able to avoid asking questions that waste an advertiser’s time. Questions like, “What sort of landscape services do you provide” or “Do you currently have an email mailing list?” make you look unprepared and unprofessional.
Questions to Ask During the CNA
Once you have done your research, you can focus on the questions that will be valuable, like the following:
- What is the amount of your average sale per customer?
- Does this average sale vary between your different products or services?
- How many leads does it take for you to convert a prospective customer into a sale?
- What would you like to know about your prospective customers? (Are they homeowners, how old is their roof, do they need financing, etc.)
- What sets you apart from others in your industry?
When you invest time in the CNA, you’re making an investment in the success of your campaign. By learning what your advertiser values and needs, you will have the tools you need to pick a winning campaign. And when you can provide a solution to your advertiser’s problems, they’ll be eager to invest in your campaign.