Are you giving your customers enough? In tough economic times, marketing costs are among the first to be cut. It may take some extra convincing on your part to avoid this.
Here are some ways to offer or show value to your prospects:
Giving them access to a large and / or specialized community.
Providing them with useful and / or entertaining information not necessarily available in other places.
Saving them money through solutions your product or company provides.
Using your contacts to help them build their own relationships.
Think internally. Were there any personnel changes of note within your company? …
If your ad sales funnel is full but selling ads has become more difficult, it’s a good time to assess the factors that might be stunting revenue growth. Factors like the economic impact on industries and changes in technology have certainly caused shifts in the ad sales landscape, but there are some other possibilities that could also be making an impact.
Price is a common reason people don’t buy: not just when selling ad space but when selling anything. If you are not making sales, price should be one of the first things you look at.
Start by seeing how your …
Myth: Bringing on an ad sales team will increase our budget.
Fact: Not necessarily.
Many outsourced advertising sales teams are paid on commission, depending on the contract you negotiate. This means that they get paid for what they produce. Certainly, an in-house ad seller can be paid on commission, but there is still the cost to pay for insurance, benefits, equipment, etc. Those are fees that are not incurred bringing in outside ad sales team.
Additionally we have access to tracking and analytics tools, trade memberships, CRMs, marketing automation and advertising databases that are accessible for the client’s use without them having to …
Is it more cost effective to bring in an outsourced advertising sales team or sell ads in-house? If advertising sales is a part of your association’s non-dues or your business revenue generation strategy, perhaps you’ve asked yourself that question.
Ad Sales and the revenue earned outside of membership dues is the lifeblood of most organizations, particularly professional associations. To truly be beneficial as a revenue generator, an advertising sales program must increase sales while at the same time decreasing (or at the very least not significantly increasing) cost.
Research has shown that outsourced lead generation provides 43% better results than in-house. Associations …
In sales, perhaps more than any profession, first impressions can make or break your potential to get your desired outcome. A client’s initial reaction to seemingly minor things like your body language can peak their interest or scare them off. It can build your credibility or make you come off as sleazy and untrustworthy in your ad sales presentations. It can get you closer to earning your next ad sales client or you closer to the front door.
Here are a few of our suggestions for making introductions that impress:
Show the gatekeeper some love: The receptionist or assistant to the …
As, ad sales professionals we tend to have a love/hate relationship with discounts. Certainly discounting is an effective sales method. It is an easy way to boost sales volume quickly. It is a great way to garner interest or motivate a buyer to at least try your product. Inversely, it is also a quick way to cut into profits or commission margin. Like any other marketing or sales technique, discounting should be done with a strategy that keeps ROI in mind. Here are some discounting dos and don’ts:
Discount Often: Customers will be less willing to pay regular prices if …
Are you a skilled ad salesperson or just a lucky one? One might argue that skill and luck are one in the same. There’s an old saying that luck is when preparation and opportunity come together. Skilled ad sales people make their own luck. Have you ever had a colleague that seems to always have good solid opportunities fall in their lap, while you really have to work hard and grind for it?
Think of sales as farming, you don’t plant a seed today and come back tomorrow looking for a bunch of big, red juicy tomatoes. Sow today, and if …
Pitching prospects in person is always the preferred sales scenario. However, occasionally due to circumstances or budget, this is not a feasible option. Fortunately, technology has made video conferencing a useful and increasingly popular alternative. All you need is a web cam and maybe a microphone and you can essentially sell to anyone from anywhere (well, assuming they have a computer as well). Most require very little tech ability, so even your most computer apprehensive coworker can look like a superstar to the prospect you’re trying to win over. These are a fantastic way to offer product demonstrations, tutorials, sales …
Feeling burned out yet? We can’t blame you. Ad sales, or any sales for that matter, can be high-pressure and fast-paced. You’re always prospecting, cold-calling, mail-merging, presenting to would-be clients, negotiating and (hopefully) closing deals. And that was all before lunch time. Plus with your smartphone, tablet, and laptop you’re always accessible, which means you can still work even when you’re not at work. And, oh yeah there is that sales quota you have to make, but no pressure. So, it’s easy to understand how a salesperson eventually becomes tapped out. Energy and enthusiasm is key in ad sales. (Seriously, …
When was the last time you checked the third or fourth page of a search engine results page (SERP)? You probably don’t very often. Most of us check the first, maybe the second page, and rarely go further. Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo understand this and develop algorithms to ensure quality content ranks and not the spammy sites. Ranking is determined by a variety of factors. Most use top secret algorithms that weigh a variety of factors including links to your site, social media mentions, content and depth of your site. Search engine pages have ten results pages …
Getting a referral on one hand is an acknowledgement of a job well done. On the other hand referrals are a gateway to high-impact lead generation with minimal overhead, high conversions, and typically shorter sales cycles. Traditionally, referrals funnel in from customers telling others about your services. These days, however, it’s also become more common to search online for referrals and recommendations. Industry forums, blogs, and social media can all be sources of information and feedback about your company and its services. These can be reputation makers or reputation breakers. This is how a reputation is built and it’s that …
Did you know a thumbs up or ok sign are both considered offensive gestures in some countries? Both signal agreement, but in the wrong context can be perceived quite differently. Believe it or not, body language could be coming between you and sales. Take notice of your and your prospect’s hand gestures, eye contact, body position, and unintentional facial movement. Good ad salespeople project confidence and enthusiasm about their product while showing interest in their product. It may seem like a lot, but that can usually be accomplished with simple gestures like smiling and making eye contact. Don’t be creepy, …
What happens to your ad sales leads when it’s clear they are not ready for your services at this time? Are they banished to the island of forgotten leads? Or are they cultivated and returned to the sales pipeline for follow-up somewhere in the future? B2B sales cycles can be notoriously long. Research firm SiriusDecisions found that over the past 5 years, sales cycles have become 22% longer and typically include three more decision makers. Adjust your prospecting time accordingly. Invest time in nurturing quality leads. Don’t assume a prospect who does not want to advertise right now is a …
Here’s a challenge for you. Describe your advertising and its most important benefits in 60 seconds or less? In sales this is called the elevator pitch. We call it a KISS – Keeping It Short and Simple. Theoretically the elevator pitch, or KISS method, is only beneficial when you have a really short time to persuade a prospect on how fantastic advertising with you will be for them. However, there are quite a few other good sales lessons you can learn.
First, it teaches you to narrowly focus on the most important benefits of your publication or website. Faced with just …
The Masters is next week, which got us thinking - many of the factors that contribute to a golfer’s success also lead to success in an ad sales presentation. So consider this, for a better golf game and more effective sales presentations:
1. Know the course – Every golf course is different and so is every prospect. There is no one-size-fits-all in golf or in ad sales. Familiarize yourself with the prospect’s industry. Know what’s going on in their company. Assess their needs and identify the benefits you can provide to fit those requirements before you pitch.
2. Remember that less is more …
During an early season episode of Mad Men, John Slattery’s character, Roger Sterling, offered up this pearl of wisdom about business:
“I don’t know if anybody’s ever told you that half the time this business comes down to “I don’t like that guy.”
The same can be said about ad sales, or any sales for that matter. This is a competitive space and in many instance there aren’t huge differences in the actual product or service that will be delivered. What differentiates a company or a salesperson and is often the deciding factor is likability. Top performing, and typically likable, salespeople understand …
Like anything else, sales databases need a little love and attention. They can get a little messy if not properly maintained. The less they are maintained, the less useful they become to your sales team. Contacts get old. People change jobs. Companies move locations and even shut down. Your database should regularly be updated to reflect these changes accordingly. For some companies, without a dedicated person to regularly clean and maintain the sales database list, this job falls to the sales reps. Reps should make an effort to clean their lists a minimum of once per quarter. Depending on how …
The concept of content marketing is when marketers offer information to educate or entertain their audience about their industry, product, or service. It’s less about being promotional and more about being a vehicle for teaching prospects about what you do and how they can benefit from your products/services. Association publishers have always produced content via their association publications , so this is not entirely new. Content marketing has evolved to where now the emphasis is on developing and distributing content on digital channels. Associations that had previously relied on reaching prospects through traditional avenues, including their print publications, can now reach …
Digital video can fall under the content marketing umbrella and continues to be a popular option for marketers looking to reach prospects online. In fact, nearly three quarters of media buyers have increased their budgets for video. This increase is likely attributed to the growing base of online video viewers. Eighty-five percent of US Internet users have viewed a video online. Twenty-five percent of those videos viewed were ads. While associations and B2B organizations were initially less inclined to adopt video as a marketing platform, our ad sales manager and sales reps are increasingly seeing more interest by associations and …
What is it? Native ads are digital ads that mimic the content on the site where it is found. Native ads have been controversial because they are easily mistaken for the site’s content which has been considered misleading to site readers. However, the similarity in design creates a less disruptive ad experience. So make sure sponsored content is clearly labeled as such for transparency.
Tactic: Research what types of sites your target advertisers visit and partner with their ad sales team to create content that will reach your audience. Here are some examples:
An in-feed ad: The website’s ad sales …