Have you ever had that awkward moment when you call a customer to talk about renewing an annual contract and they greet you with, “Wow, I haven’t heard from you in a while”.
While getting an annual contract signed is the prize for ad sales professionals, it also carries the risk of forgetting about the customer until next year. Those pesky monthly calls, to try to close advertisers in to the next issue when they are not on an annual program, actually reinforces that you are thinking about them.
Create reasons to talk to your best customers regularly.
So, am I suggesting that you don’t sell annual contracts? Absolutely not! I’ve written before about meeting with digital advertisers to discuss their metrics each month they advertise. Good or bad they need to know. I also make a habit of reviewing new creative with a client, whether it be print or digital.
What are some other reasons we can contact our regular customers?
- Send them by mail or email any article or mention that your editors have given them or their product. This does require that you read your content! They don’t always get a chance to read all the publications so help them out.
- Flag for them any article that you have read about a marketing subject that the two of you have discussed. If you need to, search for one.
- Check their LinkedIn profile monthly to see if they have posted, gotten a promotion or new job title, etc. Then call or email them congratulations.
- Call them to share some industry news or gossip. If you talk to your editors you hear things and sometimes running that by your customer can score more points than you know.
Every now and then just call them to say hello and make an appointment to see them in person. Believe me, as busy as they are, they do appreciate you making the time for them.
More about Nancy: Nancy has been in advertising sales and publishing management since 1980, starting her career with oil & gas B2B magazines then moving to aviation and aerospace in 1986. She is currently the Associate Publisher at AIN Publications, home to titles Aviation International News, Business Jet Traveler, Convention News, Airshow News and a dozen or so digital platforms. She attributes her success in advertising sales to the relationships she forges with advertisers by providing them honest recommendations and solid market data.
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