To stay abreast of the latest in ad sales training, I often listen in on fellow sales coaches to learn and observe. What seems so odd to me is the lack of common sense in what is being taught today.
The entire idea that you need the “perfect pitch” or you need to “perfect your pitch” is so off base that I am amazed that people still try and teach these age-old ways of selling. Pitching a product? Hugh? Ask yourself this… do you like it when a sales person pitches to you? If your answer is yes… seek help. If your answer is no, then you are pretty darn normal.
I find that advertisers are just normal people that are confused by a blizzard of advertising options being presented by poorly trained ad sales people looking to talk about the features, advantages and benefits of their media offerings and then get to the soft close and then the hard close! No! Most advertisers are “seekers”. They truly do not know what they want, what to do and they do not trust you enough to buy any of the media ideas you present. Even the “no-brainer” ideas seem complex and full of risk. I would ask you to consider this… how about having a good old-fashioned conversation with someone? Seem odd? It should not be and having a quality conversation is pretty simple. Ok, put away your iPad sales presentation or your media kit. Lets just talk.
First, you need to ask good questions. Here are three great ones I often teach in my ad sales training workshops.
1. What advertising have you done in the past that worked for you? Why did it work? Why did it not work?
2. How many times do you feel a new customer of yours needs to see your marketing message before they decide to do business with you?
3. If you could paint a picture of the perfect customer, what would they look like? Be specific.
You see, good questions lead to answers. Answers lead to follow-up questions. You need to listen carefully and respond accordingly. Most sales people do not listen, they wait to pounce. Weave in your product offerings as you talk. Be genuine. Be sincere and just talk. God forbid that you have a conversation with a client and not close them. Oh my goodness really? Did ad sales training guru Ryan Dohrn just say to not push for a close on a sales call? No. What I mean is this. When you host a great conversation filled with quality feedback, you ARE actually selling.
Your homework… come up with 10 critical questions to ask on every sales call.
Stop pitching and start hosting some great conversations.
About this blogger: Ryan Dohrn is an award wining 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.