You’ve spent days preparing the perfect sales pitch. This pitch is undeniable! No one could possibly turn down the tremendous “value” you are about to serve to your soon-to-be big ticket client. You have already spent the commission check mentally and you know for certain that this is going to be a “low-touch” client who you may never have to call again except to sell them more of your brilliantly lucrative ad space. In fact, you won’t even need to do that. They’ll call you begging for more! After all, you even set up a WebEx conference call. What more could they ask for? Pretty pictures, nice prices – done deal. You just scored a quiet client for life.
First, a disclaimer – this post is not intended to insult or offend the advertising sales professionals of the world. Sales is a difficult career. I know this. I tried it. Truth be told I wasn’t strong enough to make a career out of it. Kudos to the professionals who are good enough to make it.
Now, I’m the “buyer”. I jumped to the other side of the fence, but let me tell you, the grass isn’t always greener. I’m equally as frustrated on this side at times because I can’t find what I’m searching for. After all – isn’t that the very principle behind our business here at Oneupweb? Make sure your clients can find what they’re searching for? Once found, make sure it’s easy enough to obtain. Then, keep checking. Right? It’s our mantra here at Oneupweb: “Simple, but it works”.
Salivate Advertising Sales Professionals, I am about to tell you what we, the Media Buyers, are searching for.
A Complete and Current Media Kit – Please note the words current and complete. Easy enough? Put it on your website and do everything in your power not to make it a 356k download. Much like sales professionals, we too like to prepare for the phone call.
The Demographic of your Audience – I do not care that you had 3 million page views last month if you can’t tell me who any of them were or what they did when they got to your site. (Unless I am trying to market toilet paper.) Why would I? Think about it. If I have taken the time to narrow down a specific revenue target, job title, purchasing discretion and shoe size, why would I want to pay money to broadcast my company to people who don’t fit that demographic? I’m not asking you to twist your demographic to match my target audience and I surely don’t want to spend an hour talking about how a hobby sportsmen may very well be the CMO of a $200 million dollar company. I just want to know who your audience is… and please forgive my lack of understanding if you are unable to tell me who they are.
Loyalty – I could probably list this without explanation, but I’ll explain. You rely on me, I am your client. Without your clients, sales goals go unmet, your commission check is lack luster and you soon may be out of a job. Likewise, I rely on you to keep my job. Make a phone call when needed, respond to questions with answers, contact me in advance of the deadline for the perfect issue that is directly in line with the goals of my company – not after the fact when you’re trying to sell me (your old reliable client), remnant space. Not happening.
Value – Value does not = $ discount. If you really need to know what a potential client sees as value, feel free to read the three points above, and if further clarification is still needed, ask me. Sell the real value of your advertising space and services. You have the audience clients are after, you deliver top notch service, you know your product, can answer questions and help advertisers figure out new and creative ways to reach out to those elusive potential clients. That’s value. While a 50% discount is welcome, it is of absolutely no value if you can’t meet set expectations and deliver measurable results. And if for some reason you don’t return phone calls, congratulations, you have found a way to offer negative value.
A Proactive Approach – I had a brilliant Sales Director in a previous position and he taught me the simplest, most effective sales tactic I know. Always call your clients before they call you. If something is wrong, don’t wait for them to find it first and then call you. Why? Because now they’re angry. Call them! Now they may be a bit angry, but they are secretly grateful that you’re looking out for them and you are well on your way to building that sacred client relationship. Look at the campaigns of your clients; work with your production team to make sure things are correct. No one expects you to do this every day, but do it once or twice. If you do it for the first time and everything is going well, send your client an email to let them know that all is well. I can assure you they will be impressed.
Simple, but it works.