The key to your success in the world of media sales is increasing the number of meetings you are granted by prospective advertisers. Developing an effective prospecting process can make or break your media sales career. The absolute goal of prospecting is to get a meeting.
The goal of prospecting is not to sell anything
If you are selling during the prospecting phase you will greatly reduce your success. In the media sales and marketing business I have seen many prospecting plans from many unique angles. I have identified six factors in the prospecting process that will increase your chances of being granted a meeting with a prospective client. I call this my T.A.R.G.E.T. prospecting tool.
Use this tool every day in both writing prospecting emails and leaving voicemails for prospects. Here’s a breakdown into six segments for you.
“T” in T.A.R.G.E.T. stands for “Time”
Time is highly valuable to prospects, each and every day. The main reason that more prospects do not grant you access to present your ideas is because other media sales people have wasted their time in the past. It is imperative that you focus on NOT wasting their time in your prospecting emails and voicemails. Tell them that you realize others may have wasted their time in the past.
However, be careful not to sound like all the other sales reps that also emailed them that day. An often over-used phrase in prospecting emails is “your time is valuable” or “I want to be respectful of your time.” These two phrases are common and inauthentic. Instead, consider phrases like, “Hi Jim, I promise not to waste your time” or “I’m sure other media sales people in the past have wasted your time.”
“A” in T.A.R.G.E.T. stands for “Authentic”
Showing that you are authentic is critical in breaking the ice with someone you do not know. People who are authentic are not afraid to admit their faults and are more focused on others then themselves.
Instead, consider these phrases in your prospecting emails and voicemails:
- “This idea will benefit you because…….”
- “I’ve seen firsthand how this has benefited my other clients.”
- “I have three clients just like you that are seeing solid success working with us.”
Your authenticity is also further driven by your focus on all the points in the T.A.R.G.E.T. system I am proposing to you.
“R” in T.A.R.G.E.T. stands for “Relevant”
There is nothing worse that receiving an irrelevant, generic media sales email from someone you do not know. It’s amazing that companies still continue to use this approach as a prospecting tool. It does not work! Unless you email thousands and thousands of prospects, and even then it is hit and miss.
Instead, I want to prove quickly that I am relevant to my prospect by pointing out something from their website, company Facebook® page or their LinkedIn® profile.
Here are some suggestions:
- “Before reaching out to you, I was doing some research on your website and saw that you have recently moved into the aviation industry.”
- “While researching your company, I saw on LinkedIn that we both worked for ABC Company many years back.”
- “In preparing to contact you, I read on your company’s Facebook page that you’re promoting the XYZ product right now. “
Generic does not work. Relevant always wins.
“G” in T.A.R.G.E.T. stands for “Go”
This premise is simple: I want my email to be focused. We want them to move forward, and we need to ask them to do so. I am not suggesting that you be pushy. Consider phrases like, I can help you with ______. Can we chat for 20 minutes or less via phone Tuesday at 9am, 11am or 3pm EST?” It is important to understand that each component of the T.A.R.G.E.T. prospecting system is important.
“E” in T.A.R.G.E.T. stands for “Ethical”
Have you ever received an email with a great subject line, and then opened the email to discover that you were tricked? If you are anything like me, this makes you mad. I have never, ever applauded a media salesperson for tricking me. The subject line is often the ethical barometer by which you are judged – it sets the tone for your chances of getting your email opened or replied to. Check out a blog post I recently wrote called 10 Great Media sales Subject Lines. Some of my favorite subject lines include the date that you want to meet the prospect and the name of your prospect’s competitor.
Last “T” in T.A.R.G.E.T. stands for “Tick-tock”
What do I mean? “Tick-tock” like a clock. So when is the best time to send a prospecting email? What time of day do you think you should send an email to get a reply?
Since10am and 2pm are the most common times for meetings in corporate America, these would be two times to avoid. Your email will just not get the attention required to receive a quality reply, if any reply at all.
What times of day are predictable for fewer meetings? Many meetings are not booked at 11:15am since they will potentially interfere with lunch. There are also not many meetings booked at 4:15 because they can interfere with the end of the day. I have seen a dramatic increase in email opens and replies during these two times of day.
Do you sell to an industry working on a different schedule, like restaurants or contractors? Then you will need to alter your email prospecting send times to coincide with times that potential clients will be most attentive.
Let’s bring this TARGET to a final point
Increasing the number of prospect meetings is the key to your success in the world of media sales. Without that meeting, you do not have a chance to present anything. Developing a prospecting process can be the difference between success or failure in your media sales career. Emails and voicemails are one step of that process. Remember, if media sales was easy everyone would be doing it.
More about Ryan: Ryan Dohrn is an award winning media sales coach and offers media sales training to thousands of media sales executives each year. He is also an international motivational speaker and the author of the best selling media sales book, Selling Backwards. Ryan is the President and founder of Brain Swell Media, a boutique media sales training and media sales coaching firm with a detailed focus on media sales training and coaching for media and technology companies. He is also the owner and Publisher of SalesTrainingWorld.com an online portal for media sales training success.
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