Winning the Daytona 500 is just one stop on your quest to auto racing greatness. It’s more than going fast. It requires a plan. Race crews test and create a unique plan for each race and race track. As I travel and teach ad sales training, I’m seeing a lot of salespeople aren’t creating a plan. This is costing them race after race, or more precisely, deal after deal. I’m going to illustrate a potential plan for sales success using the acronym D.R.I.V.E.
1. The “D” in D.R.I.V.E. stands for Differentiate.
You need to quickly differentiate your product from your competition. If the only difference factor between two like products is cost, price will always guide the decision. Highlight what sets your product above your competition at all points of the process – while prospecting, hosting sales calls, closing deals, and when retaining your advertiser.
2. The “R” in D.R.I.V.E. stands for Run.
Today’s advertisers aren’t willing to give you much time. Many ad sales training companies will tell you to walk before you run. Not me. Run. You need to run or you will lose to those that do. Go to your next meeting prepared to present great ideas. Do not wait for your sales meeting just to go back to your office to come up with a good idea. Be prepared to run with great ideas that can be tweaked on the fly.
3. The “I” in D.R.I.V.E. stands for Invest.
Consultative selling is fine, but often means you gather information in meeting #1 and then prepare a proposal for meeting #2. Then you’re left chasing the advertiser for weeks. Come prepared to the first meeting with ideas, options, and pricing variables and get buy-in on the spot. Preparation is key to your sales success. Invest in the time it takes to come to sales call prepared.
4. The “V” in D.R.I.V.E. stands for Value.
Value is everything in sales. If you bring no value to the prospective advertiser, you bring nothing to the advertiser. There are three main things most business people want: to save time, to save money, and to make money. You need to quickly prove what value you bring to the table. Once you have identified the value you offer then you need to focus on the sales call itself. Cut to the chase and drive home value with your talk or presentation.
5. The “E” in D.R.I.V.E. stands for End Game.
Establish a follow-up protocol so your end game is crystal clear. This is the most important part of the D.R.I.V.E. sales process. At the point in the sales meeting when the advertiser says they need to “think about it” or “take the idea to the boss for approval,” you need to establish a follow-up protocol. It’s critical your follow-up process adheres to what I like to call the “Magic 48-Hour Sales Window™.” You have approximately 48 hours to re-engage the advertiser or risk losing them. This is why I don’t pitch new proposals on a Friday. Be on the lookout for my eBook called, the “Magic 48-Hour Sales Window™” coming out soon.
Ok, let’s wrap up. Any plan is better than no plan. Think about the components of my D.R.I.V.E. sales plan and figure out ways to adjust your own sales plan.
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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. He 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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