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.
Your opening lines, whether your prospect answers the phone or you leave a phone message, must be smartly specific to that prospect and that business. When you can cite a specific data point about that business, the prospects ears immediately perk up. It’s a data-driven version of a warm call.
In our world of ad-sales, the important stuff is how well you understand your customers and how you can help them compete better by delivering perspective and solutions that will drive their sales.
The top sales professionals ranked the effectiveness of five sales strategies. The top-ranked strategies were “Getting customers to emotionally connect with you” followed by “Tailoring your sales pitch to the customer’s needs” and then “Asking questions that show your expertise.” The two lowest ranked strategies were “Showing the value of your solution” and “Driving the topics of conversation.”
There used to be “a thing” called “over-exposure” that was thought to apply to some celebrities, particularly in relation to product endorsements. It made sense that if a particular person was seen to be endorsing too many products it would tend to put pressure on their perceived veracity, implying that their opinion could be bought, and perhaps bought cheaply.
Lately — okay for decades — digital advertising’s spread from supporting content to supporting every sort of amusement, game, software application and yes, keeping us in touch with friends, and their friends, and their friends, has so multiplied digital advertising that it, too, is over-exposed.
Data is sexy when it drives profits. Publishers can profit most by bringing their own data to the point of sale. Sales people can learn to develop custom data sets for advertisers that adds value to the publisher’s impressions, driving greater advertiser loyalty and revenue.
Client-centric selling means building your sales argument from an agreed upon assumption. If the client or prospect doesn’t agree with the assumption that your persuasion is based upon, then why would they agree with your conclusion?
When you are selling advertising, start your conversation with your prospect by asserting what you know about their business, and what you believe they need. If you are right, they will agree and tell you more. If you are wrong, you need to know that. If you are well-prepared they will be impressed with your knowledge, and listen more attentively.
As a media company manager, you talk all the time about how fast the media business is changing around you. Do you spend enough on helping your sales force stay up-to-date with new media, and new tactics to win in todays hyper-competitive advertising sales market? US companies spend 1.75% of sales compensation on training. That would translate to $1,750 annually for a $100,000 a year sales executive.
Research shows that persistence pays. Research targets were more likely to respond to requests affirmatively than expected by the requesters, and being told “no” by a target may increase their likelihood to say “yes” to the same request later.
Ziff-Davis is legendary in the magazine industry for it’s dedication to sales training and in particular for the structured selling approach it demanded of its sales people. Establishing shared agreement to a set of assumptions is the only way to persuade using logic. And logic, not likability, not sincerity, not guilt from accepted favors, is the only portable form of persuasion that allows a sales prospect to persuade their own superiors to support the purchase of media.