The advertising sales executives I work with all share one problem: Customers have little time for them.
It is easy for media sales people to think their problems are unique. Of course it isn’t true. Since the 1980’s business has been getting more competitive and time for all workers and managers is at a premium. To put it another way, it is becoming hard as hell to get appointments!
This trend was first driven by the “barbarians at the gate” of corporate raiders who bought “fat” companies with low profits and slimmed them down by firing many middle managers thus raising their profitability. Then the trend was driven by the “Wal-Martizaton” of business as the giant retailer demanded ever lower prices from its suppliers leaving them no choice but to find new ways to be more efficient. Finally, globalization spread the low-cost strategy outside of Wal-Mart (and its competitors) doors to every aspect of American business.
As I write this, in 2014, American business is successfully bringing global manufacturing back to the US by using factory automation…technically adept workers running automated factories. If you see the connection with the media buying process these days you see where I am going. Media buyers are in such a rush they are automating everything they can.
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 on the competition. Hence the headline is “Connect, EDUCATE, Collaborate, Close.
That 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 publicly through the Masters of Media Selling seminars with MediaPost.
The new research reported by Mike Schultz, President of the RAIN Group, talked with 700 b2b buyers about what separated the sales people they do business with from the others. The top factor reported was “they educated me.”
If you are a sales manager, take a look today at your sales presentation, and the sales information you provide for your sales team. Does it include information that can add value for an advertising prospect to better understand his or her customers? Your media company is an expert on its market. Are you bringing that expertise to the sales call?
Contact us if we can help.