In my world, process is everything. The fact is most sales people thrive better within a solid structure, knowing the expectations and organizational framework. Personally, I recognized long ago that I am a “roll with the flow” kind of sales guy and that sometimes a lack of structure kills my ability to be a raging success.
So I created an ad sales call process. As I looked to improve and refine how I hosted my sales calls, I looked for a simple, repeatable pattern of success. I found that pattern when I changed my typical sales call into small, defined segments.
I soon realized I could host a really solid sales call in 10 minutes or less. Because most sales people lack a process when they make sales calls, this simple approach really boosts confidence and creates a systematic plan. Plus it also stops those endless, meandering, boring sales calls that result in little more than a request for a blind proposal – that often goes nowhere.
In my ad sales training workshops, I teach “The 10 Minute Ad Sales Call.”
We start by breaking up the 10 minute call into five segments. Each segment is 2 minutes long. (Now, just in case you feel that 2 minutes is too short, please hold your breath for the next 2 minutes. Ready..set…go.) Each 2-minute segment serves a unique purpose.
#1: Personal connection: There are lots of ways to make a personal connection with your prospect. If you are stumped, check out LinkedIn or even their website or Facebook page for common ground.
#2: Sharing success stories: Collecting and sharing your 3 or 4 best success stories of other advertisers that have worked with your media is very important. You can demonstrate what worked and what would work well specifically for the prospect.
#3: Ask critical questions: Sales people are usually masters of controlling the conversation – only when the advertiser appears sleepy do they stop talking! To be effective, you need to stop talking and start listening. Be sure to identify 3 critical questions that will help you get the information you need to present the prospect with the best strategy.
#4: Presenting your perfect pitch: Yes, you haven’t pitched products until this point in the conversation. Really. And you only have 4 minutes left. Be specific and weave into your pitch all the things you have learned so far on the sales call. Your pitch should be tight, simple and ROI focused.
#5: Closing the Deal: 90% of sales people are afraid to ask for the order. Don’t over promise. Instead, paint a picture of potential and ask for the business. (This is a critical 2 minutes of the 10 Minute Sales Call!)
So how do you become a master of the 10 Minute Ad Sales Call? Practice. Grab a stopwatch and start the process toward success. Think about it–you will be able to confidently promise your clients that with only a 10 minute call, you will not be wasting their time. Everyone has 10 minutes for a good idea or conversation, don’t you agree?
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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