Despite the fact that the majority of sales staff always have a challenge on their hands when it comes to shifting a certain product or service, those in the business of advertising arguably have a much tougher task.
In an ever-changing industry where other forms of promotion and publicity are becoming increasingly effective, these men and women are usually given the job of selling something the buyer probably doesn’t need. On top of that, prospects probably aren’t listening and will usually say no regardless of what is being offered.
Constantly coming up against these obstacles can be incredibly frustrating, both for the individual and the business. In several cases, advertising sales staff will keep on preserving with the same technique, even if it isn’t getting them anywhere.
For this reason, those in advertising are always looking for new ways to sell television commercials, roadside billboards or some other sort of promotion material. Thankfully, there are several approaches and ideas out there, which could boost your advertising sales.
Change the attitude and improve the aptitude of staff
Managing to secure an advertising sale is solely dependent on one factor - the salesperson. They are the one who should control the process from start to finish, effectively communicating with the prospect, explaining the benefits of advertising and eventually closing that all-important deal.
However, if the individual does not have the right attitude or appropriate aptitude to complete this duty, sales will noticeable suffer. And even if your staff are performing at a commendable level, there is always room for improvement.
This can be achieved through training, which might sound like a tedious and uninspiring exercise, but will undeniably provide positive results.
The problem is that right from the get-go, numerous members of sales staff will be disinterested and disengaged with the whole training process. This is largely because age-old methods of teaching are typically used, which do nothing to enhance the skill set of sales staff who would much prefer to be at their desks.
However, there is another option. At Wranx, our training solution has been on used to increase the expertise of sales staff but not adversely affect their attitude towards learning. This is possible through our accelerated learning model, which features Gamification as well as desktop and mobile integration. That way, training can fit in with everyday operations while improving proficiency at the same time.
Revamping pitches and enhancing communication
As mentioned previously, a big obstacle that stands in the way of advertising sales staff is the objective-based opinion of prospects. More often than not, they will simply reject your advances and completely ignore what you have to say. However, they will have been trained to say no, even if the prospect shows an active interest and believes in the product.
One way to find out whether this is the case is to offer the client a free ad and note their response. Despite being presented with the chance to receive some complementary promotion, they may claim their budget is used up or can’t afford any advertising right now. So, in addition to changing your staff’s attitude towards advertising sales, you may need to alter the outlook of prospects too.
This is easier said than done and much harder than up skilling stubborn salespeople. Even so, there are a few techniques, which might just work. These include:
Understand the facts and use figures to your advantage - Even though conniving a client to buy advertising can be tough going, it is actually more difficult to get a customer to buy from that brand. Having this kind of knowledge, which you can pass on to prospects, will stand you in good stead and increase the chances of securing advertising sales.
Be bold and have a plan for the future - If you come up against a particularly headstrong client, be bold with your approach and ask questions like “Why do you not want to receive extensive exposure?” or “Why is our audience neither attractive nor important to you?” On top of this, believe that you will succeed and tell the prospect about your plans for phoning up and having meetings in the future.
Have a systematic process in place to guarantee results - Set-up a system where it is possible to find out important metrics about sales calls and messages, such as their time, date and content. By discovering what worked and what didn’t, you can develop a tried and tested process for sales staff for follow. In addition to capitalising on repeatable patterns of success, you can also save time and boost productivity.
Have an actionable and prompt plan in place for when a sale is likely - As soon as you get a prospect on your side, it is important not to waste time. Staff should know exactly what they can offer the client and must be able to move them quickly down the sales funnel. Therefore, create an actionable plan that your salesmen and women can follow, which satisfies the wants and needs of the client at the same time.
Understand the market and take advantage of current trends
Another challenge facing all advertising sales staff is the fact that online forms of digital marketing are quickly becoming the promotional tool of choice for several businesses. However, this does not mean to say that advertisers cannot jump on the bandwagon and take full advantage.
In fact, there are numerous opportunities to sell advertising online and by demonstrating an awareness and understanding of current trends, your clients will be more likely to make a purchase. Recently, the following have been causing a particular stir:
Native Advertising - This is where ads are seamlessly embedded into the web pages and social media news feeds of Internet users. Compared to traditional banner ads, these forms of publicity are proving to be much more effective and influential. Even though some people believe these advertisements interfere with their online experience, it is a great opportunity for brands to showcase content in front of the user’s eyes, which they will find interesting and entertaining.
Popularity of mobile - Mobile users are now much more important than those on desktop, as the uptake of smartphone and tablet browsing has exponentially risen over the past couple of years. This is putting greater emphasis on things like responsive website design and dedicated mobile apps, something advertisers can exploit.
Digital video - Mashable says “time spent watching digital video has more than doubled since 2012,” meaning that advertisers must take note of this trend and not solely concentrate on TV commercials. Advertising before YouTube videos and in the middle of on-demand content might be a little annoying, but this could well be a trend that is here to stay.
So, even though advertising sales staff face an uphill battle to sell publicity space and promotional materials, there are various ways in which performance can be improved. Along with increasing the expertise and adeptness of employees, it can be hugely beneficial to re-think the structure and content of sales pitches as well as developing a greater understanding of the changing face of digital marketing and online advertising.