For most ad sales professionals, the 4th quarter signals the beginning of the end of your ad sales year. And even if your fiscal year does not follow the calendar year, by the time you add the holiday season and New Year celebrations into the mix, you are faced with a double whammy– that often brings ad sales to a slow crawl across the December finish line.
“No one makes decisions this time of year.” Not true! Let other ad sales people continue to believe this. In my ad sales training workshops I teach that most decisions to buy are made months before a deal is signed. If your ad sales process is to meet a new client, introduce your product or service, and get a signed deal after the first meeting, you are already doomed. Instant ad sales are rare. Use this time of year to sell strong, so that when the client’s new budget is approved in the next fiscal year, you have the sale primed. (DO NOT wait until a budget is approved to start the ad sales cycle.)
This is a great time of year for ‘meet and greet’, or ‘lunch and learn’ type meetings. I call these ‘non-ad sales meetings’, or ‘educational meetings’. Take advantage of the holiday spirit and plan meetings to drive knowledge, and to build relationships with new as well as existing clients.
Because many ad sales people feel that Q4 is a ‘dead zone’, they stop prospecting for new clients. Do not fall into this trap. While other ad sales professionals work their established client base and become dormant on new business, you should be driving up your phone call and email volume. This will give you a leg up on the competition. From an ad sales training perspective, this needs to be a part of your daily routine. Never stop prospecting.
As the days get shorter, so does our attention span. (Also, the gray skies as you drive to work are less than inspirational.) The way you feel about your product affects the way you sell your product. This can cause you to sound and act lethargic. As an ad sales coach, I often ask my clients this question… “Go back in time and tell me what excited you about your job when you first started?” Then I ask, “Go back in time and think about what got you excited to sell this product when you first started?” Try listening to upbeat music on the drive to work. Change your screen saver or desktop image to something positive or fun. Find that love you once had for what you do, and then re-ignite your ad sales flame.
Really? Sounds like a bummer? Just do it! In my ad sales training workshops, I am amazed at how out of date many CRM tools are as we dig deep on client issues. Having your data in good working order is so important, as you strive to be the best ad sales person in the land. Delete dead accounts. Trade accounts with others. Update outdated accounts. Do some CRM housekeeping.
Use some of your down time to read a good ad sales book or a great personal development book. There are lists of great books everywhere online. Check out: 27 books execs say inspired them the most. Or watch inspiring videos online about ad sales or management. Dig deep in boosting your personal growth plan. Maybe you need to create your own personal growth plan as well. Or maybe you need to hire an ad sales coach or enroll in an ad sales training program. (Hint. Wink. Blatant promotional plug!)
Who will be in your ‘Top 10’ list for next year? Create this list. Research the clients on this list. Place their names on a white board so you can see them every day. Develop an ad sales marketing plan for each client on this list.
October through December is a weird time of year for ad sales people around the world. If you let the gray skies and holiday madness rule your ad sales life, you are setting yourself up for a flat start to the New Year. As an ad sales coach I love this time of year. I get really busy. Need some inspiration on any of the above ideas? If you do, reach out to me or my team for help. Ad sales coaching is a great way to help inspire you to dig deep and find the quality results you have been seeking. Remember, if selling was easy, everyone would be doing it!
P.S. Listen to my podcast on this topic in iTunes or SoundCloud: 360 Ad Sales Training Podcast
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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