Selling New Digital Marketing Options With Success

8 ideas to boost your chances of getting a signed advertiser contract.

Around every corner is a new digital media marketing option. OTT, audio/podcasting, CCT, video, and more. These new marketing technology (MarTech) ideas are awesome, but as salespeople, we often have new marketing solutions dropped on us and we are expected to work our “sales magic.” Sure, there is a dream out there that we as sales pros would be involved in the total process of new media launches. But, let’s just live with the reality that leadership normally does not involve us in the origination of new marketing tools. It’s ok. To all the leaders out there, we recognize this as a fact and would love to be involved from the beginning. To my fellow media sales warriors, perhaps if we were not so negative about new ideas, we would be asked to be involved from day one. Just a thought.

So, you have been dealt a new media option like video or podcasting, how do we sell it quickly and effectively? I encourage you to consider these eight ideas for selling new media marketing options with success.

  1. Sell with visuals. Bradford Research tells us that 65% of people are visual learners. Yet, I observe that most media reps are phone- or auditory-based sellers. Meaning, we talk to tell. We do not show to tell. If COVID brought us anything good, it is the fact that almost everyone can participate in a Zoom meeting. Selling new technology requires visuals or, you are connecting with less than 35% of people in an optimal way.
  2. Stop designing sales tools for eighth-graders. It has been a common practice to design sales tools in such a simple way that even an eighth-grader can understand them. Have you met today’s middle school students? They can out tech most adults. When selling new marketing ideas like video or audio, take the idea and create sales tools to explain to your Mom. Love you, Mom. I truly mean this. Try to remove as much tech lingo as you can from the explanation and focus on the value that the new marketing options bring to the advertiser. Podcasting is great for thought leadership or education. Video is great for showcasing customer testimonials to drive new business. Video is also a great way to aid in social media advertising impact. Facebook tells us that video posts are viewed 30 times more than non-video posts. Never forget, in media sales, price is what an advertiser pays. The value is the benefit they receive from you. So, everything should be focused on value and/or benefit.
  3. As a sales strategy, try playing the “I have a new idea” game with your advertisers. This is a fun game that I use to sell new marketing ideas. The email looks something like this … “Hi, Bonnie. I have a new idea that I think you will really like. Could I have five minutes to share? I would like to share this with you first before offering it to others. Would Tuesday or Wednesday after 2 p.m. work for a quick chat?” Do NOT explain the option in an email. Do NOT attach a sales sheet. Do NOT try and explain the new MarTech over the phone.
  4. I love to sell new MarTech ideas based on F.O.M.O. The fear of missing out (FOMO) is real. Most people do not like to be left out when things are new. I will drive this fear home with an email that looks something like this … “Hi, Bill. I have an idea that would be perfect for you. Before sharing this idea with Jane Doe Realtor, Bob Doe Insurance, or Rex Reed Jewelers, I want to share it with you first. If you are not interested, let me know and I will move on to Jane. Thanks so much.” While we must be ethical in all we do in sales, we can also be point-blank, and this technique has sold a lot for me over the years. Just to be clear, though, you cannot use this technique more than once in most cases.
  5. Sell based on perceived exclusivity. The word “perceived” is important here. I am not offering exclusivity, but I am positioning my sales pitch as a near-exclusive offer. The email might look something like, “Hi, Julie. I have a new idea and we truly only have room for two companies to be involved. I feel like your company would deeply benefit from this idea and I thought of you first. What about a quick chat after lunch today?” Clearly, an exclusive offer would be best–but that is limiting in our business. However, the illusion of near exclusivity can be an extremely powerful sales tool.
  6. Play the “Could I get your advice?” game. This is similar to the “I have an idea” game. The email looks something like … “Hi, Jill. We are launching a new marketing idea and I would really like to get your advice on how we can best present it to business owners like you. Could I drop by tomorrow after 3 p.m. for a quick chat?” Advertisers love to offer advice. This is a great idea when you want to get buy-in on new marketing options. Or, on marketing options that are not selling. This is not a bait-and-switch scenario, though. I like to approach this conversation with a very open mind. Then, I can give feedback to my leadership as well. This is an even better idea to deploy before you set pricing or invest too much in the launch of a new marketing option.
  7. Go into every meeting with ideas and examples ready to go. I have been in the media sales and marketing business since 1991. Every successful sales rep I have ever worked with has never said to an advertiser, “What would you like to do with my media channel?” Instead, they have always shared ideas of how the advertiser can use the media option, idea, or channel to its fullest. Asking an advertiser to paint their own picture of potential is foolish. Lead them. Guide them. Help them be successful. You are a media sales ad-visor. So, meet in advance with your team to uncover ideas that you can present with the new media option.
  8. Get your client success path squared away before you pitch a new media product. There is nothing worse than selling a new marketing option, getting the advertiser excited, and then seeing the support team or client success team drop the ball. I have seen this happen over and over in my career. So much so, that when I worked as a Group Publisher, I once refused to sell a digital marketing idea until the client success team could prove that they were ready to roll it out and truly offer white-glove service to my clients.

Fellow media sales warriors out there, in the end, it is not so much about selling a new shiny object as it is about working hard to grow your relationship with your advertisers. “Mr. or Mrs. Advertiser, my goal is simple, to be a valuable extension of your team and help your business succeed.”

Never forget, if ad sales was an easy job, everyone would be doing it. And they are not. Maybe we’re all a bit crazy, but we have found careers that will feed our families for a lifetime!

Ryan Dohrn