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.
Woody Allen said 80% of success is showing up. When it comes to successful media selling that is a good place to start. And it’s harder than ever to “show up.” Prospects don’t call back, or say they don’t need to see you. Client-side contacts say to see the agency who you already know hasn’t called back for weeks. How can you “show up” in our fiercely competitive world of media sales?
Attending and utilizing tradeshows for sales is a key skill for almost every kind of advertising sales person. If you sell national trade advertising, the trade shows in your industry are a key source of content and of leads, as well as a place to meet your prospects. If you sell local TV or radio or newspaper advertising attending the local “home-show” will be a source of leads and a great place to chat up potential customers.
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.
“One of the biggest problems of publishers and advertising sales staffs today is falling behind the customer.” Leading advertisers are moving as fast as they can to keep up with the changing information habits of their customers. But most publishers are more focused on selling what they have, the way it’s been sold in the past, than thinking about how to sell new services or sell advertising in new ways. So publishers and advertising sales executives are falling behind the perceived needs of their customers, the advertisers.
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.