I was just in the middle of 3 potential sponsorship sales last week. The same thing occurred with all of them. A loooong string of emails developed, back and forth and back and forth, with each potential client.
Ever start one of those never-ending chains and wonder how the heck you ended up where you are now, without a sale yet and with lots of extra confusion?
So I did something totally CRAZY in the 2013 ad sales world. I picked up the phone and called them.
Even crazier was the fact that 2 out of the 3 prospects answered—and were happy I called!
So what happened next? I sold both of them a program and saved a ton of time.
I believe the #1 problem ad sales people have today is they rely too much on email. I get the email prospecting thing. I do it myself. It’s easy for you and it’s easy for the prospect.
Here are 3 things I DON’T like about e-mail prospecting (that make phone calls SO EFFECTIVE):
1. Emails are not very engaging. Prospects today have many things happening at once and short attention spans. It’s hard to really capture a prospect’s full attention with an email. A phone call is almost a novelty now and is a chance to connect with your prospect and find out what their needs are – use leading questions that get them to talk about THEIR products and really listen!
2. It’s too easy to ignore and/or turn down a sales person via email. There is not much invested in the e-mail “conversation” from the prospect’s point of view. Plus, your email is probably just one of hundreds that prospect will wade through that week. A phone call is much harder to ignore, and once someone picks up you at least have a chance to introduce yourself. And again – phone calls are rare now, so they will remember talking to you, even if only for a few minutes!
3. Biggest reason–You should be selling custom programs. This involves a great deal of real-time discussion, trying to figure out the best combination of marketing components that’s going to work best for THEIR audience and THEIR product or service. This goes back to #1. A live conversation gives you a chance to ask leading questions and offer responses and solutions tailored for their needs.
So pick up the phone – in a phone conversation, you can actually pitch the idea of why they should talk to you and how a 5 minute efficient conversation will save your prospect 20 minutes of emailing back and forth.
Bottom line: A phone call can save both you and your prospect valuable time.
So grab that black rotary dial phone from the 1950’s and start making actual sales!!!
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