Overcome the 5 Roadblocks to Ad Sales Success!

Check out sales expert Ryan Dohrn’s tips on how to overcome the 5 roadblocks to magazine ad sales success.

What better time than President’s Day to take some time to think about the big questions? For example, is there something that is preventing you from exceeding your ad sales goals, but you can’t quite put your finger on what it is?

One of the biggest problems I see in my ad sales training workshops is salespeople passing off their arbitrary patterns and random habits as a “sales process.” Ad sales randomness seems to be the new normal. I read hundreds of blogs posts each month via Twitter.  Many “experts” push agendas like… “Reinvent yourself daily” or “Commit to nothing except change.” Really?

I have found the exact opposite to be true. Commitment equals greater results in business (as well as life and love!)  So let’s remove the randomness–and roadblocks–from your sales life.

Here are five roadblocks and how you can overcome them:

1. Not knowing your call-to-close ratios. Do you know your call to close ratios? Don’t just say yes or just offer up some imaginary ratio. Do you really know how many calls you need to make to get to a meeting? Then how many more meetings you need to host to get to a closed deal? This is how I work my numbers each month. I work 50 clients to get to 10 meetings. From those 10 meetings I present 8 proposals. From the 8 proposals I normally close 5 deals. To beat this roadblock you MUST intimately know your call to close ratios.

Note: Not sure where to start on #1? Here is a free video to help.

2. Not focusing on total sales touches. It takes 12-15 touches to get a potential buyer to respond to what you are trying to sell.  Most sales people give up after 4 attempts. Have you tried drip marketing?  Drip marketing is your ability to slowly and consistently place your sales marketing information, or message, in front of a potential buyer.  Create email and voice mail templates that vary in length, tone and subject matter.  Understand that an immediate response is probably not going to happen.  Use videos in your emails to boost interaction. Increase your touches to beat this roadblock.

3. Not being realistic when you try to make changes. Most sales people are unrealistic about the amount of time it will take to see a change in their ad sales results. In most cases, once you commit to making a change to your sales process, it will take a minimum of 30 days to see the results.  There is no “quick fix” to a sales problem.  When someone hires me as a sales coach, one of the first questions I ask before we get started is how committed that salesperson is to the journey of becoming less resistant to change. To beat this roadblock, be patient.

4.  Procrastinating. Most sales people wait until a deadline is looming to get serious about selling. Clients buy when THEY are ready to buy, not when YOU are ready to sell.  One of the keys to sales success is starting early and understanding your buyers’ purchase cycles.  In sales there are two types of people; hunters and farmers. Both are needed. One is not better than the other. Identify your sales personality and adjust your time frame for it. Farmers need more time to nurture the seed. So, if you are a farmer, plant early. If you are hunter, don’t wait until the last minute and go in for the kill. Recognize your style might not fit the client. To beat this roadblock, make plans to work hard months in advance, not days before a sales deadline.

5.  Not seeking out training. Most sales people lack sufficient ad sales training to put best practices in place.  (So, this point is a bit self-serving—but training really works!) What are you doing as a salesperson to grow your skill set?  Most serious sales professionals are looking to improve daily.  Do you read sales blogs or watch videos?  What about hiring a sales coach?  How about attending a sales training workshop or conference?  The reality is that most salespeople are waiting for their company to pay for the training or coaching.  Why wait?  Your investment is in yourself! Even if it’s in small ways, it benefits…you.  To beat this roadblock, commit to training.

Where do you grow from here?  Pick one of these five and commit to overcoming it for a minimum of 30 days.  Next, find an accountability buddy that help you stay on track.  Don’t know anyone? Hire a sales coach. I have seen literally hundreds of salespeople commit to eliminating randomness and overcoming roadblocks. I know you can do it too.


Ryan_New_Headshot More about Ryan: Ryan Dohrn is an award winning sales coach and ad sales trainer. He is also an international motivational keynote speaker and the author of the best selling sales book, Selling Backwards. Ryan is the President and founder of Brain Swell Media, a boutique sales training and sales coaching firm with a detailed focus on sales training and coaching for media and technology companies.


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