How to sell Advertising, Part 4

Think outside the boxI hope you enjoyed the videos from parts 1, 2 and 3 of this post.

Advertising isn’t dead. It is alive and kicking. What is dead is just advertising in old fashion mediums like print newspapers, TV and radio. Digital advertising is now a major game changer because in most cases you can target your clients a lot better – and have measured results to prove it.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t advertise in print, TV or radio – it just means you need to expand your horizons and consider other options.The problem that advertisers face is that clients are accessing information from more source these days. For example, in the past, you only had three major TV networks, and maybe one or two major print newspapers per city. Now there are literary hundreds of TV networks and channels to select. In the past, you had one or two print newspapers per major city. Now there are literary hundreds of digital newspapers, magazines, newsletters, websites and blogs to select. Not to mention social media tools, like Facebook and Twitter. In short, your audience is now more divided, so you have to be more selective in choosing the right platform to advertise in.

The biggest misconception that clients have is that digital advertising is just “banner ads.” Not true. As explained in the videos, many publishers are now realizing they must go beyond banner ads, and offer a social media mix for their clients. Examples would include running ads on Twitter and Facebook.

And remember, advertising isn’t just buying space – you are buying exposure.

I mentioned in my first post that I once sold classified and display ads for printed community newspapers for a now defunct company. It went out of business right before the internet became very popular. Would that company have survived if it had hung on a little longer? Yes – but only if that company had adopted some of the practices used by many publishing companies today.

But even if the internet had not arrived, would that company still had survived? Yes – but only if the owners had thought outside the box. In other words, rather than just focusing on newspaper advertising, they could have set up a small marketing firm within the company help their advertisers reach more clients. Examples would have included helping clients develop direct marketing pieces and campaigns, billboards on buses, car top signs on taxis, and fax campaigns. In short, my former employer could have acted more as a consultant rather than just a sales person.

Think about it. If clients are going to advertise in your community newspaper, doesn’t it make sense to create a one stop shop for all their advertising and marketing needs? I mean, would you go to one grocery store to buy fruit and another grocery store to buy vegetables? Of course not. The more you can offer a client as a one stop shop, the more money you will make. Let’s face it – people are busy these days. The more convenient you can make their lives, the better off both of you will be.

Advertising will always be around. You just have to adapt to the times.

How to sell Advertising, Part 3

In part 1 and 2 of this post, I shared with you advice from experts on how to sell advertising better.

In the video below, Spider Graham, Certified Sales Trainer and writer, outlines 5 rules to help sales people better sell and manage digital advertising campaigns for their clients. His main argument is that you have to act like a consultant to advertisers. Your job isn’t to sell just ads per se,  but to listen, guide and educate your clients on the best solutions that will help them gain sales. You have to ask questions and find out what is important to your client. In short, ditch the sales pitch and listen.

Here is his video –

Prof. Dr. Christian Belz, Director of the Institute of Marketing (IfM), in cooperation with Dr. Marc Rutschmann, make an interesting argument is that you need to stop advertising and start selling. In the “Little Green Bag” video from the University of St. Gallen, they argue that the old model called “World of Identification” which links positive feelings to consumers with the end result of that consumer purchasing your service is outdated. Why? Because people are becoming overwhelmed with too much advertisements and social media. The focus should be on customer activities and actions, they argue, under their “World of action” model

But this gets into the classic question – “Who was first, the chicken or the egg?” You see, while I agree that you should follow and measure customer’s actions to obtain sales, something had to encourage them to go to your company in the first place.

I would argue that advertising is still necessary to increase your name recognition and branding. But advertising alone is not full proof without helping clients solve their problems, and backing it up with good customer service.

Example: I knew of two hardware stores in the same community that roughly advertised the same way. But only one hardware store survived and the other went out of business. Why? Because the successful hardware had better customer service. Sure, advertising can bring clients to the door, but it’s still your responsibility to make sure they become satisfied and repeat customers, and spread the good word of mouth about your business.

You be the judge. Here is the video below from YouTube –

How to sell Advertising, Part 2

In part 1 of this post, I discussed digital vs. print advertising, and I shared some videos from experts about how to sell ads. Below are two more videos to help you.

Adam Lilling, Serial Entrepreneur & Investor, describes three things that companies are seeking when they are considering an advertising campaign – 1). Determine your reach, 2). Establish your immediacy, and 3). Identify your relevance.

Here is his video –

Ryan R. Dohrn, Ad Sales Consultant, outlines 6 ways you can sell more digital media to advertisers.

Here is his video below –

How to sell Advertising, Part 1

Is advertising dead? It really depends on who you talk to. As we all know, many print newspapers are having a tough time attracting advertisers. However, we are seeing more digital ads these days – not just for newspapers, but also for magazines, websites, blogs, newsletters and niche publications.

But don’t rule out print advertising just yet.

For example, as reported in DigiDay last year, many digital publishers are going back to print. However, the difference is that they are creating more niche printed publications with higher subscriptions fees but lower circulation rates. While many readers these days still prefer digital over print, there is enough of a demand for print that publishers (and advertisers) are willing to fulfill.

The key, as reported in DigiDay, is that publishers must offer high quality content in print to meet that demand.

Smart advertisers are beginning to realize that you need to cover your bases when it comes to reaching potential clients. While digital advertising will always be popular, you can’t ignore print either. As Ryan R. Dohrn, President/Founder of 360 Ad Sales Training and Strategy, points out in the video of part 2 of this post, you need to reach your target audience in “multiple ways on multiple days.”

I have never sold digital advertisements. However, I did sell both print classified and display ads for a small community newspaper publishing company in Silver Spring, MD several years ago. It was strictly an inside sales job. Unlike my colleagues who sold strictly display ads, I was always successful in selling both classified and display ads over the phone without any face-to-face appointments. However, I did visit a couple of clients (restaurants) and I was able to sell ads to them.

I had no formal training. No coaching. There was no marketing department.  I basically sat at a desk and made cold calls. My “prospect” list was The Yellow Pages. Sometimes we would look through other local newspapers and magazines and find leads that way. Despite my lack of training and good qualified leads, I was fairly successful at selling ads. However, I eventually quit the job because the publishing company was having financial problems. The company – and the building it was located in – no longer exists.

There are many experts who feel there is a future in advertising sales. In this post and a couple of others, I will share with you their advice on how you can successful sell ads.

Evan Carmichael has some very good advice for selling ads to small business owners. Here is his advice – 1). Target your market, 2). Reduce the risk, and 3). Helping with the creative.

Here is his video –

Below is a funny video from Niche Media on how to sell advertising in magazines. Here are the steps they advise you to take – 1). Pre-Call Planning, 2). Plan of Accomplishment 3). Approach, 4). Probing Questions, 5). Consulting Selling 6), Advertiser Goals 7). Unique Value Statement, 8). Trial Close, 9). Objections 10). Close, and 11). Confirm Next Step

Bob McInnis discusses how to eliminate upfront stalls and objections when making your first cold call to a client about selling advertisements.

Here is his video –