How was your Halloween? All the ghosts and zombies made me think about how all too often, a qualified advertiser will just go dead, dead, dead.
They said they liked your idea and you agreed to send them a proposal. Now they are not responding at all no matter how hard you try. The deal and the business relationship seem to be stone-cold-six-feet-under-lifeless-dead.
So how do you bring them back to life? Here are 6 ways to fix this common ad sales problem:
- Did the advertiser actually want a proposal? Sometimes an advertiser will ask for a proposal as a way to shut you up or make your go away. This is a waste of your time. To avoid this situation, try to set up the next call to review the it when the prospect asks you to create a proposal. If the advertiser will not grant you a follow-up meeting, it is very likely that they are not very interested.
- Go back to your initial sales call. Did you make that advertiser feel comfortable enough with you that if they didn’t like your idea they could tell you—without fear of the hard sell? Talk about this on the sales call and make your prospects feel at ease. This is called managing expectations from the start!
- Examine your proposal follow-up process. Do you have processes in place for your follow-ups? You are forgettable to an advertiser if they feel no pressure at all to call you back. My follow-up pattern is a unique and varied message via email and phone, every other day. Don’t be afraid that you are being a pest. Polite persistence is critical to your success as a sales person.
- Did you negotiate against yourself? Do not give away the farm in an effort to re-engage the advertiser. If you are not getting a call back, begin a pattern of messages that target the potential obstacles holding your advertiser back. Structure your voice mails to be results-oriented. For example, “Hi Jim, I know you want to out-market Lasher Automotive and I feel like we can help you. If price is holding you back from moving forward with us, please let me know where I need to be on the budget and I will work hard to earn your business.”
- Avoid “just checking in” with cold advertisers. The very nature of “checking in” is a waste of time. Call them with a purpose. Be sure to vary your message and keep track of the messages you left and sent in your CRM.
- Use competitive angles to your advantage. If you see your dead advertiser’s competition doing something solid in the marketing space, call your dead advertiser and point it out. Then, offer a solution with your ad programs to fix their problem.
Above all, don’t take the “dead” rejection personally. Your clients have their own pressures and deadlines and often lose interest just because they are overwhelmed. Try my six suggestions above and analyze how you can take this knowledge and apply it to your sales life today.
P.S. I just launched my 12 week sales challenge. It’s a wonderful opportunity for sales people to challenge themselves! Ryan’s 12 Week Ad Sales Challenge
About this blogger: Ryan is the President and founder of Brain Swell Media and 360 Ad Sales Training, a boutique internet revenue consulting firm with a detailed focus on ad sales training, internet consulting and media revenue generation. He is an award winning ad sales training coach, international business speaker and the author of the best selling ad sales book, Selling Backwards.
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