You might think that a super-star like Heismen Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers would just go to a meeting and clients would through money at him. But as the group discussed how to break new accounts and build the relationships and trust that leads to business, Johnny pointed out that in his experience it takes 7 “touches” to build a relationship to be ready to do business.
When it comes to publisher ad-sales strategy for programmatic, the objective is to realize the greatest portion of the “value” of an impression that it can. For programmatic ad-buyers their goal is to pay the lowest price they can for a higher “value” impression. Lets keep in mind that if the impression isn’t worth more than an advertiser pays, they wouldn’t buy it.
Getting ad-sales appointments for in-person or virtual meetings on the phone and/or online is the key first step. Without voice mail we’ll need new tactics.
All this is a preamble to this simple point: You better have a really good message when you ask for an appointment. If it works, you’ll win more appointments and ultimately win more business. If your message is so-so, you and your property will stay in the mental “circular file.”
As a result many media sales managers have a very difficult time with forecasting their company’s business. Will you be up or down next month? How much business should you be forecasting for 6 months from now? Management hates surprises, so the pressure is on.
The advertising sales process is particularly frustrating for inexperienced managers because the purchase-decision process at an advertiser or media-buying agency is so opaque. While one person may be identified as the “buyer” they are often not the key contact in terms of influence.
If you are not providing leadership to your customers you will be relegated to the commodity media file. You’ll be the company that occasionally receives business when it suits your customer-base. On the other hand, as a leadership media company you’ll drive new business, win greater market share, and expand your market.
Too often media companies feel pressed to ad in free pages or free digital impressions when that is really not different from lowering the price. Media companies would be far more successful with breaking those ties, assuming they have their media priced appropriately, by offering research.
Since traffic driven by postings to Facebook and Twitter tend to be one-and-done, why not capture the greatest revenue you can at the point of entry?
Today, advertisers want and need a complete solution. And advertising sales people need ad sales training on how to sell hybrid advertising packages where the value is greater than the sum of the parts. Like a hybrid car with two engines that work separately and together to provide higher mileage, a hybrid ad sales proposal provides the advertiser with coordinated media elements that may include premium display to build interest and brand trust and programmatic impressions to reach that same customer as they move through the purchase decision process.
If you view advertising sales as a purely transactional business, you won’t be building competitive advantage. When you invest in the three practices above your competitive advantage will build – one customer and one individual relationship at a time. Then, over time, your sales team will notice that they are more likely to get calls and emails returned and you win the close calls on business that might have gone to your competitor. You’ll win more renewal-business, meaning your new business wins can build the business rather than put you on a treadmill of win-lose-win-lose.