By: Lisa Kamper
Advertising Sales is a profession and like all professions it requires a certain amount of skill. If you take the time to master the required skills you will excel in your profession. All skills are not equal however; while prospecting, presentation and of course closing are all skills that contribute to the closing of a sale. There are three key ingredients that I have found that are more important.
Relationship Building – it is important to connect with the person on a personal level to some point. It helps to have a conversation with someone that is not always about making the sale. Find out more about them as a person and what they like to do, perhaps you will find that you like the same music or like to cook. It allows you another point of contact. Perhaps you know a certain singer/band is playing in concert in a town near your prospective advertiser this allows you another opportunity to contact them; “So I heard that band we like so much is playing at your local amphitheater.”
Communication Style – This has become an important skill to learn in the advertising world. It used to be you either called or emailed the person you were trying to contact and connect with. Those were the two most popular options, however this has changed dramatically. Now with Social Media, there is Facebook, Instant Messenger, Snap Chat, the options are endless. Learning which mode of communication is vital in ad sales now. If you don’t learn their preferred communication choice or if you only consistently choose to use your preferred method you could call on them continuously only to find yourself leaving repeated voice messages. It could also resort in writing endless amounts of emails that never receive a response other than their out of office reply. It is important to educate yourself on all methods of communication and learn to embrace their preferred method. It will make for easier communication and potentially lead to a sale. People appreciate when you take the time to get to know them and respect their desires.
LISTENING – Yes, I did put this in call caps for a reason. I would classify this as one of the biggest mistakes that sales people do on a daily basis. Listening to the potential client is not done enough in the industry today. Certainly, it is important to educate the potential advertiser about your product. However, it is more important for the potential advertiser to have the opportunity to tell you about their product and what their vision is for marketing. After all if you don’t know who they want to market their product to, what method they want to use, frequency, budget, etc. then how can your prepare the best proposal that is custom to their needs.
These are three things that I have used over the past 20 years; they have helped me in meeting and exceeding budgets, building trust and credibility in the industry and also making some great friends along the way.
Here are some websites I frequent for great tips from other sales professionals:
EyesOnSales – www.eyesonsales.com
Media Sales Today – www.mediasalestoday.com
Photo Credit: Google Images – https://www.google.com/search?q=free+images+on+google&rls=com.microsoft:en-US:IE-Address&biw=1600&bih=775&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=93QYVMytBpHisASjzYDYBw&sqi=2&ved=0CD0QsAQ