The Oxford English Dictionary defines “relevant” as “closely connected or appropriate to what is being done or considered.” This definitely applies to the world of ad sales too.
Being relevant in ad sales is NOT about learning a prospect’s favorite vacation spot from Facebook®. It’s about recognizing that you need to create a customized ad sales experience for each client.
As ad sales professionals, we need to prove to our prospects that we have done our research.
The ideas we present should benefit our clients in robust ways. Let’s explore four ideas to prove relevance to our clients as we strive to book more meetings and close more business:
1. Stop sending generic ad sales prospecting emails. Recently a major player in the social media space sent me a 700-word email as the initial point of contact from their ad sales team. Why did I open it? The subject line was “Free Food?” Ok, you got me on that one.
Then, the body text went on explain the features, advantages and benefits of their product. The email was all about them. It came off as super boring and really contained nothing to benefit me.
Emails without relevance to me are dead to me. I deleted it and expect to be assaulted via email for the next two weeks because some ad sales automation system has been triggered to attack because I opened the email.
2. Send super relevant prospecting emails. The best prospecting emails are short and contain three elements to draw in the prospect.
- The subject line needs to present a solution to a specific potential problem or something specific to the company. For example, “New idea to cut your shipping costs.”
- The body of your email needs to be VERY relevant and should prove that you did some research before you send it. For example: “Hi Bob. Before sending you this email I did some research on Bob’s Shoes. I noticed on your web site that you offer free shipping to all customers. I have a unique way to save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars on those costs. Could you set aside 20 minutes on Thursday to discuss this with me? I promise to not waste your time.”
- Include a link a short promo video that explains what you have to offer. “Bob, here is a very short video that explains what we have to offer.”
3. Do your homework. Prospects appreciate ad sales professionals that prepare for a meeting. The longer you have been selling, the more likely it is when you make an ad sales call, you wing it. Wrap your head around the technology at your finger-tips and get your intel on the company in order before you fire off that first email. The more relevant you can be to the prospect, the better.
4. Be authentic. Inc.com Contributing Editor Geoffrey James said that to be authentic is to “…effortlessly practice the fine art of listening, and to have the courage to speak the truth.” I agree. To be authentic you need to be aware of your product and how it will impact the client. This is based on research and listening.
The opposite of authentic is arrogance. Arrogant ad sales people prepare to debate with clients. You are not preparing for war. Remember that you are guiding a client toward success. Buyers in 2017 hate to be sold. Hate it.
So step up your game.
Get to know LinkedIn inside and out. Spend time setting up Google Alerts for your prospects. Use tools like WinMo or sign up for online ad sales training.
Also, be open to criticism and make appropriate changes as needed to your prospecting process. Don’t wait for your company to hire you an ad sales coach. Do it yourself. Coaches can see things in your presentation that you never see. (I can get you access to some top-quality ad sales coaches. Just reach out:( Ryan@BrainSwellMedia.com )
Finally, explore these four ideas about being truly relevant to your prospects and see if this approach helps you increase sales. And remember, if ad sales was easy, everyone would be doing it.
More about Ryan: Ryan Dohrn is an award winning ad sales training coach, a nationally recognized internet sales consultant and in international motivational speaker. He is the author of the best selling ad sales book, Selling Backwards. Ryan is the President and founder of Brain Swell Media and 360 Ad Sales Training, a boutique ad sales training and sales coaching firm with a detailed focus on ad sales training, internet consulting and media revenue generation. Ryan is also the Publisher of Sales Training World.
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