Are You Guilty of Ad Sales TMI?

In ad sales trainings, I am always asked for great stats that my students can share with their clients.  I normally ask…Why? And did you know that many people will be more confused after a stat than before?

The thing about statistics is that ad sales reps LOVE to share them. And when they learn some new data they go crazy! They start emailing customers left and right. Sharing info out into oblivion.

The problem is that advertisers really don’t need more and more statistics–it can confuse them.

When loaded up with brand new data, ad sales reps need to ask this question: “Will these statistics help me better explain why my magazine’s advertising is truly beneficial to my client’s business?”

If you find that you are sharing statistics because it helps you feel better about the case that you’re making to an advertiser–STOP! Sure if an advertiser has a specific question, a certain stat might help better explain.  But if you are using a stat only to better justify your selling position, you may be adding confusion (and boredom) to the conversation.

What about the competition’s statistics?

What if your competition is totally exaggerating and only a stat or some new data will show your prospect the truth?  Share it, but keep it simple. Don’t wildly throw statistics into emails or into a conversation. Instead, use them as the great tools they are when they’re used correctly. The goal is always to better inform and educate a customer.

Ad sales reps need to eliminate confusion, reduce risk and increase education.

If you think back to college or high school statistics class, most of us would agree that it wasn’t one of our favorite classes.  It’s important to recognize that advertisers probably feel the same way. Advertisers are real people too and may not appreciate a bunch of numbers to sift through.

Finally, what if you truly feel stats will help?  Great—-but keep it simple!  Share one or two stats that are directly related to the advertiser’s business. If you find you have a data king or queen in your sales meeting, then be ready to show them your straightforward and concise data. It’s quality over quantity.

And remember, if ad sales were easy, everyone would be doing it!


Editor’s note: This article has been updated from 2016.


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 and 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.


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