The late fall, particularly around the holidays, is typically a time of year when most media sales people get lazy. The reason for this is pretty simple. Over the course of many years, most sales people have come to the conclusion that no advertising decisions are made in December. While for the most part this conclusion is actually true, I have found that the season between Thanksgiving and the first of the year is actually great for building relationships, bridging decision gaps and getting my personal sales life in order.
Let's discuss 10 ways that media sales people can end the year strong, and use this normally slow time of the year to your benefit.
1. Take advantage of the lazy sales people in your market or industry. Because most media sales reps become lazy after Thanksgiving, it's an opportunity for you, as a successful and highly trained media sales person, to seize the day and take advantage of this lazy cycle in the life of most media sales people. This is the perfect time of year to build very strong relationships. So, the first step to hear, and to recognize, is that you're not going to be lazy and you're going to seize the day! I have found that most advertisers actually take my calls this time of year. So, use it! Rather than send a Christmas card, drop off a holiday candle to a client. Perhaps you can bring together three advertisers for a holiday lunch to discuss industry trends. Perhaps you can record a holiday video that thanks clients for being a customer. All in all, use this time of year to your advantage when it comes to building relationships.
2. December is a great time of year for advertiser education. Most people will disagree with me because of holiday parties, etc. I find this to not be true at all. It may be too late for a live gathering, but not for a webinar or conference call. Here is how to attack this correctly. Create a list of the five most common objections that you received as a media sales person this year. Then create advertiser education programs to meet or address those five needs. Hosting a webinar with Gotomeeting is easy and costs less than $100.
3. Get with your key advertisers and collect several success story scenarios. These are success stories you're going to share next year in an effort to be able to move the ball down the field closer to a touchdown with new advertisers. Looking for advertisers with very specific success stories in various industries or categories that you serve is important. Remember, generic success stories are fine, but if you can find success stories that are highly relevant they're always going to be more meaningful to your advertisers.
5. Attend a personal growth seminar or read a personal growth book. It is a common fact that most sales people do not read even one business book per year. Don't be one of those statistics. Instead, make sure that you expand your personal growth into the new year more educated than you've ever been before. Maybe ask for a Kindle for Christmas. (hint)
6. Look for inefficiencies in your sales process. Take a moment and write out in detail your complete sales process. Start with lead generation and conclude with advertiser retention. Be very detailed and look for areas where your inefficient and you can improve. You may want to share your process with your supervisor or a colleague. Ask them for constructive feedback. Very often an outsider will be able to give you a great opinion that will help you identify where you’re weak or where you are strong.
7. Expand your networking horizons. Look for opportunities on the national or local scale to get involved with associations, networking communities within your industry, or your local market. Networking is often snubbed by media sales people because it takes a lot of time. Bah hum bug. Look for new opportunities to meet new advertisers or key decision-makers and put the ball in motion before the end of the year.
8. Look for ways to add visuals to all of your sales material. Because we know that 86% of people are visual learners it is important that all of our sales material contains strong visuals. Take a close look at all your sales material and figure out ways you can use visuals to better get your points across. You may need to actually go online and find strong visuals from stock photo websites like Istock.com or others to better create sales sheets with visual appeal.
9. Practice your presentation skills. Very often veteran sales people and rookies alike do not practice what they present. This is a fatal mistake that often leads to many lost sales. The very best actors will rehearse daily. The very best athletes will practice daily. Begin to schedule time in your day to practice your presentations. It is always best if you can practice your presentations with a live person that can give you constructive feedback. Remember the tasks you hate the most are often the ones that will bring you the greatest rewards.
10. Clean up your CRM tool. Your customer relationship management database is critical to your success. However, most sales people do not ever clean up their database. This is a great time of year to re-categorize, delete old accounts or trade accounts with other sales reps within your company. We have all heard the saying garbage in garbage out. In the sales space a bad database or a cluttered database will not allow you to achieve optimum sales success.
This is a great time of year to get things done as a media salesperson. Take these tips to heart and find one or two that you can sink your teeth into. Then, block out time on your calendar to make them happen.
About this blogger: Ryan Dohrn is an award winning ad sales training coach, a nationally recognized internet sales consultant, international business speaker and is the President and founder of 360 Ad Sales Training, a boutique internet revenue consulting firm with a detailed focus on ad sales training, internet consulting and media revenue generation. Internet consultant and business speaker Ryan Dohrn travels the globe teaching media sales training classes and offers detailed coaching help to business owners and media companies looking to make money online.
Ryan R. Dohrn
360 Ad Sales Training and Strategy
Brain Swell Media LLC
Follow him on Twitter.com/ryandohrn for daily tips and advice.