ARGH! Is it just me, or are clients just not committing these days?! It’s crazy how far into the year it takes before advertisers are willing to commit to next year’s program. Back in the day, I’d have everything wrapped up for most of next year by now.
Like me, you probably have a TON of prospects you need to contact over the next 2 weeks. The key is ORGANIZING AND PRIORITIZING your calls. Here are some of my tips for keeping clients on track for making solid commitments for next year’s program:
1. Target: First, create a list of your top 25 clients ranked in order of the amount they have spent with you in the last two years. Call them and make sure they understand how much you appreciate them. Find out what’s new in their business and look for ways to have their goals fit perfectly with your upcoming annual program. With your help, customize (together) their own new program. (Plus they’ll spend more advertising dollars with you.)
2. Rate: Prioritize by the size of the prospect within your CRM. I use a really simple A, B, C, D system. “A” is for the larger prospects with big budgets and “D” is for the small fry that only have budgets for tiny buys. You can fill in with your own criteria for your “B” and “C” accounts. Note: The”A” accounts should always get more of your time and effort than the “D” accounts. These categories will help with defining your time management for each prospect.
3. Segment: After I prioritize, I segment my A-D categories further. You can do this by dividing prospects into product and service categories. I usually have about 20 or 30 of these product/service categories. This makes it SO much easier to identify which category a current advertiser is in and who their competitors are—who also should be advertising with you. Plus, I use this segmentation to create very targeted, personalized email efforts.
4. Face the unknown: Grab your hand-brewed utopian coffee or squeezed-by-bunnies carrot energy juice or whatever–Diet Coke is my clarity drink– and call that brand new prospect. Sure, cold calling can be unnerving, but it doesn’t have to be. This is when it’s so important to make sure you do thorough research on their company culture and history, website and products, etc. It’s a good idea to talk with your editor and see if they know anything about them. Need more ideas? Here are cold-calling ad sales tips from the pros.
5. The Friday Factor: When I call clients on Fridays, guess what? I get more responses. Some studies say Mondays are out, Wednesdays and Thursdays are best. Shed the herd mentality. Here’s more on the Friday Factor: Media Ad Sales: TGIF!!!
Taking the time to research and be prepared always pays off. So don’t panic that next year is right around the corner. Make this last quarter your most productive quarter. Try these tips to get your advertisers to commit…today!
More about Carl: Carl Landau is Grand Poobah of Niche Media. He is a media/event guru, SF Giants fan, podcast host and part-time blogger. His 15 minutes of fame took place in the mid-eighties when he launched his famous, “Buy an Ad, Get a Cat” ad campaign. He has long since patched things up with the SPCA.
Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Check out the all new Super Niche Media Event in Charlotte, March 27-29, 2017!
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