I was watching my 11 year-old son the other day. He was slowly blowing up a red balloon. I could see what was going to happen. There was an explosion looming, I just knew it. As the balloon neared the verge of total expansion, I cringed. POP!
Now picture this: You have a meeting with a prospect and chit chat about the weather. Then you take a deep breath and present all you have to offer. The advertiser starts out on the edge of their chair and then as the presentation builds, they sit back further and further as you ramble on and on about the great marketing options they have to grow the advertiser’s business. Blah, blah blah…..and the expression on the advertiser’s face looks like it will…..POP!
Here is the problem: Sales reps go through some type of ad sales training and start making sales calls. Armed with their new pitch, they show up……and then blow up.
How much hot air can you bluster on a sales call before the advertiser’s attention floats away? Instead, try these tips from my ad sales training:
Prepare: Did you research the prospect via their website, Google, LinkedIn and Facebook? What do you know about them personally and professionally? You have exactly 7.5 seconds to connect with your prospect. Look for points of interest or business connections you share. What new products and services do they offer?
Opportunity: You need to quickly identify what problems your advertiser has and then determine what marketing opportunities you can offer that will solve their problems.
Ask great questions. Not about the weather. Questions like, “If I could bring you even one new client, what would that mean to you?” It is only after you identify their problems that you can present solutions that help them. Ask about specific products, promotions or ideas.
Patience: First, in a world where advertisers have more options than ever before, you need to be patient and find out what you have in your tool kit that will solve their problem. This may even take more than one sales call.
Second, be patient once you have presented the proposal. If possible, I would try to use a package approach on the sales call. One way to avoid multiple follow-up calls is to set a time to review the proposal before you leave. Having patience and being persistent will almost always win out.
What’d we learn today?
1. Prepare so that you can be relevant. Don’t be generic.
2. Seek the opportunity to find out the clients’ problems and offer marketing solutions to fix them.
3. Be patient and persistent in the final steps of the sales process.
Stop the POP!
More about Ryan Dohrn: Ryan is President of 360 Ad Sales Training, an internet & sales consulting firm focused on developing print and online revenue strategies for magazine publishers.
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