It is a very common practice in ad sales to look to your competitors for new sales leads. While I understand this strategy is common, unfortunately you are often late to the party when you call on them and ask them to run with you as well. Usually the results aren’t so…hot.
While writing my new book, I did a ton of research to expand on this idea and discovered an even stronger strategy that is really yielding solid results for my ad sales clients. I call it Competitive Chaos Selling and it takes the competition sales strategy one step further.
Here’s an example to illustrate my point: You are looking at a competitor’s magazine and you see ABC Inc. is running a full-page ad. Rather than do the typical and call ABC Inc. to explain why they should also run in your magazine, you call on the biggest competitor of ABC Inc. to run in your magazine.
Why? Simple. Let’s just say that ABC Inc.’s biggest competitor is XYZ Corp. With my new approach, you are calling XYZ Corp (after you have done through research and can back it up) and saying, “I saw ABC Inc.’s ad in Alphabet Magazine, and they are marketing hard these days. I have a way to give them a run for their money. Are you interested? Email me back and let’s chat.” Yes, you are stoking the competitive nature in XYZ Corp’s marketing director to get a meeting.
Are there ethical questions potentially in play here? I don’t think so. I am a big advocate of truth in ad sales and if you know what you are talking about, clients AND their competition will respect your integrity. It just takes some advance solid research. When calling on competitors of my clients, I only talk about past spends, I never talk about current spending or current issues/ideas.
I use this strategy on a daily basis with raging results. Remember, if selling were easy, everyone would be doing it!
More about Ryan: Ryan Dohrn an executive ad sales coach and has taught over 3,000 ad sales executives around the globe his 360 Ad Sales training system. You can learn more online at http://360adsales.com. Check out Ryan’s just-released new book, Selling Backwards.
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