Get Relevant or Get Lost! 4 Ways to Increase Your Relevance to Drive Ad Sales

Get Relevant or Get Lost! 4 Ways to Increase Your Relevance to Drive Ad Sales

The Oxford English Dictionary defines “relevance” as “the state of being closely connected or appropriate to the matter in hand”.  This definition extends and expands to the world of ad sales.

Relevance in ad sales is NOT about learning a prospect’s favorite vacation spot from Facebook. That is often seen as “creepy”. Relevance is recognizing that you need to create a customized ad sales experience for each client.

Ad sales relevance is proving that we, as media sales professionals, have done our homework and that the ideas we are presenting will benefit our clients in robust ways. Let’s explore four ideas to prove relevance to our clients as we strive to book more meetings and close more business.  

IDEA #1:  Stop sending generic ad sales prospecting emails. 

Recently, in one of my ad sales training workshops, I shared the example of a major player in the social media space. A member of their team sent me a 700-word email as the initial point of contact from their sales team. Why did I open it? The subject line was “Free Food?” Ok, you got me on that one. Then, the body of the email went on explain the features, advantages, and benefits of their product. The email was all about them; it was super boring and really contained nothing to benefit me. Emails without relevance to me are dead to me. I deleted it and I expect to be assaulted via email for the next two weeks, because some ad sales automation system has been triggered to attack in response to my opening of the email. Crap.  


IDEA #2:  Send super relevant prospecting emails.

The best prospecting emails are short and contain three elements to draw in the prospect.

A.  The subject line needs to present a solution to a specific potential problem or something specific to the company. For example, “new idea to cut your shipping costs”.

B.  The body of the email needs to be VERY relevant and should prove that you did some research before you sent it. For example: “Hi Bob. Before sending you this email I did some research on Bob’s Shoes. I noticed on your web site that you offer free shipping to all customers. I have a unique way to save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars on those costs. Could you set aside 20 minutes on Thursday to discuss this with me? I promise to not waste your time.”

C.  I like to include a link a short promo video that explains what you have to offer. “Bob, here is a very short video that explains what we have to offer.”

Idea #3. Do your homework.

Prospects appreciate media sales professionals that prepare for a meeting. No matter how much as sales training you have had… the longer you have been selling the more likely it is that you will make an ad sales call and “wing it”. Wrap your head around the technology at your fingertips and get your intel on the company in order before you fire off that first email. The more relevant you can be to the prospect, the better. Now, keep in mind, be careful making huge assumptions about a

IDEA #4: Be authentic.

Contributing Editor Geoffrey James said that to be authentic is to “effortlessly practice the fine art of listening, and to have the courage to speak the truth”. I agree. I also feel that the opposite of authenticity is arrogance. There is a unique difference between the two. To be authentic you need to be aware of your product and how it will impact the client. This is based on research and listening. Arrogant ad salespeople prepare to debate with clients. You are not preparing for war. You are preparing to guide a client toward some type of success. I truly feel that the less you sell the more you will sell. Buyers in 2017 hate to be sold, they hate it. Authenticity is hard to fake. Be open to criticism and make appropriate changes as needed to your prospecting process and your ad sales pitch. If you do not have an ad sales coach, hire one! My coach sees things that I would never see. Don’t wait for your company to hire you an ad sales coach – do it yourself. High achievers seek guidance. I can get you access to some top-quality ad sales coaches, just reach out. ( Authenticity in your ad sales emails might look like this… “I know that a lot of ad sales people have probably wasted your time in the past. I am not one of those people”. Or, “my goal is not to sell you something. My goal is to present you with some solid ideas worth considering”. Or, “I promise to not give you some huge sales pitch”. Or, “I have several clients like you and they are seeing great results”. Or, “I have enjoyed the privilege of walking many clients like you through this process”. Ask a colleague to check your emails for authenticity.

Again, relevance in ad sales is NOT about learning a prospect’s favorite vacation spot from Facebook. That is often seen as “creepy”. Relevance is recognizing that you need to create a customized ad sales experience for each client. Sure, it takes a TON of work, but generic ad sales prospecting typically yields generic results. Step up your game. Get to know LinkedIn inside and out, spend time setting up Google Alerts for your prospects, use tools like Winmo or sign up for online ad sales training.

One thing that all ad sales superstars have in common is their unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Those that are rockin’ and rollin’ are true seekers of new methods, techniques, and theories.   To be a raging success you need to have knowledge in your back pocket, so that you can leap before you look and not fear what is below.

Remember, if ad sales were easy, everyone would be doing it.


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Ryan Dohrn is an award winning ad sales training coach, a nationally recognized internet sales consultant and in international motivational speaker. He is the author of the best-selling ad sales book, Selling Backwards. Ryan is the President and founder of Brain Swell Media and 360 Ad Sales Training, a boutique ad sales training and sales coaching firm with a detailed focus on ad sales training, internet consulting and media revenue generation. Ryan is also the Publisher of“>Sales Training World.

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Ryan R. Dohrn


360 Ad Sales Training and Strategy

Brain Swell Media LLC

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