What makes you different from every other sales person that contacts a potential advertiser today? Again... what makes YOU different? This is a question that you should be asking yourself before each and every interaction with a potential client.
I think we all would agree that advertisers today have more choices than ever before to market their products and services. No matter the size of the market you serve the number of choices available to an advertiser to market their product grows each and every day. From normal traditional media resources to new websites to new marketing online ventures... the choices are endless and the sales people are non-stop. Over the years of managing sales people I've had the opportunity to follow up with hundreds of advertisers after the sale. The main thing that most advertisers tell me is that they bought media from our company because they really liked the salesperson. This is very common. So you need to ask yourself what makes YOU different? Why would an advertiser buy from YOU personally? What is it about YOU that would make them want to buy your media offering? I call this, in my Level 2 Ad Sales Training Workshop, your "D Factor"! What does that mean? Your differentiating factor. These are the things that make you different from every other media salesperson that walks through that door today to try to sell advertising.
I pride myself in having at least three or four differentiating factors that separate me from every other advertising sales person. Now, let me be clear… there are personal factors and media factors. Media factors like being #1 in prime-time or having the largest circulation are important. But, if we know that advertisers are more likely to buy if they like us personally, then being #l is less import when closing the sale. So, lets focus on YOU and your personal factors of difference.
Start by creating a list of personality traits you think makes you different from other sales reps. The list should include personal and professional traits. Then, look at the list and ask yourself if any of these traits are common with other sales people and cross those off the list. You're looking for things that are unique to you. For example you've been in the business for 15 years so, you have unique insight on the market. How about the fact that 75% of your clients have been with you for over 10 years. Or, perhaps you have a deep knowledge of web marketing. All of these things are potentially differentiating factors from other advertising sales people walking through the door today trying to pitch products. If you recognize that a lot of advertisers buy products or services from YOU because they like you or trust you, then you can structure your sales call to weave these differentiating factors into the conversation.
A lot of what I am talking about is personal. I talk in great detail about this in my book Selling Backwards. It is about your personality. I have worked with some sales reps with bad personality profiles. Let me be clear, I don’t mean that their selling skills where bad as much as their attitude, persona, outlook, etc where bad. Even when these bad people represented some really good media products they failed. What’s interesting is the fact that sales reps with a good personality even when selling inferior media products always saw more success. The good personality will win out almost every time.
We can’t all sell the #1 station in the market or the magazine with the most subscribers. Remember the differentiating factor between you and other media might just be you... YOU personally.
So, where do you grow from here? What do you do to become a better person or a better salesperson for your customers? The first thing to do is start out with the list that you created and figure out ways that you can personally grow that list in a more positive direction. You might consider taking a personal growth course or reading a personal growth book. Maybe start by reading The Relationship Edge by Jerry Acuff or The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chett Holmes. Google Tony Robbins and find an audio book you can listed to while you walk each morning. You might begin a monthly eNewsletter that is sent to your advertisers highlighting business trends in your market. Perhaps you organize a networking reception to introduce like minded advertisers. You might stop and talk with two or three of your very good advertisers and ask them what they really like about you.
Growing your personality profile is critical to your success as a professional sales person.
About this blogger: Ryan Dohrn is an award winning ad sales training coach, the author of Selling Backwards, a nationally recognized internet sales consultant, international business speaker, IT Sales Training expert 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
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