Sales people lose sales when they are not trusted and respected, and they can’t communicate effectively with senior executives who have the final say. That is why tops ad-sales people need to bring value to the call; not about their media, but new information or new perspective about the prospects market.
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.
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.
Dr. Arvey uncovered research attesting to the benefits of face-to-face meetings while preparing a report: “Why Face-to-Face Business Meetings Matter.” Studies indicate 85 percent believe face-to-face meetings are more likely to result in breakthrough thinking; and 82 percent believe that meetings bring out the best in people.
Your customers have little time for you because they are under so much pressure to be productive. Only if you add value to their day, every time you meet, will you win time with them to build the relationship that gives you a leg up in the competition.
Open the Mind w keyThat is why I loved seeing new research on now b2b buyers separate winners from losers. The research directly supports the ambro.com Strategic Sales Tactics Training for advertising sales that we teach in customized form for media companies and publically through the Masters of Media Selling seminars with MediaPost.
The solution to overcoming fear of being wrong, is avoiding the need to be right. Journalists do this all the time by asking first the obvious, then the un-obvious question. Columbo, my favorite disheveled TV detective, would pose two conflicting sets of facts and ask questions trying to resolve them.
Smart advertising sales managers know that they can’t skip selling to the ad agencies and media buying services, but they must never forget where the power is; at the client. And getting client appointments is harder and more valuable than ever.
What gets the attention of clients? Certainly it’s not your circulation or your demographics. That is what they pay agencies to put in to spreadsheets. In order to be successful working at the highest level of advertising media decision making, at the client, you need to be adding value by contributing to their understanding of how customers make purchase decisions to buy their products. If you bring value to keeping up with the changing habits of buyers you will always be welcome in the executive suites of your advertising media customers.
It is the Path to Purchase that is intriguing to customers. It is not simple, rather it is nuanced. It is not static, but rather is changing with the changing media consumption patterns of consumers and business buyers.