I’ve been talking to more and more publishers lately about the challenges with getting client meetings. Yes, it’s definitely a tough environment and has been for a while. Media buyers are busier than ever, and they don’t want to make the time to talk to your sales reps.
What if instead–your clients and prospects called to meet with your sales rep? What if they sought your salesperson’s expertise on a consistent basis?
It’s possible…but the challenge is that most publishers position their sales reps as just that, typical sales reps. What your organization and your customers need are marketing consultants.
Here is my action plan. This is not easy, but it’s necessary for the future of your business.
How to Transform Your Reps into Expert Marketing Consultants:
- Make sure each of your reps has a focus, whether it be product-based or industry-based. Once that’s established, it makes the rest of this easier to execute. Generalists will have a harder time.
- Make a list of the top blogs specific to your rep’s target audience. 10-15 is a good number.
- Start commenting on those blogs. Nothing sales-related. Always be helpful.
- Start the content process. After your rep has a good feel for getting involved in social media, the blog comes first. Set a schedule. At least twice a week is a good start. After a while and when ready, start telling your customers about your rep’s blog.
- Start distributing the content through their Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.
- Continue for 6 months, then review. If the above is done consistently, the following will begin to happen.
- Sharing relevant information: The rep will begin to position themselves as a marketing and/or industry expert. People will start spreading their content.
- Invitations: If the content is relevant, valuable and consistent (which it should be – you are content experts), the rep will start to get invited to present on webinars and in-person events.
- Expert Consultant: Customers will start to rely on the rep as a source of expertise by calling/emailing for advice on a regular basis.
No, this is not Fantasyland…it can actually happen. If you stick to the process, it WILL happen.
Once it does, just think of how your sales process will change.
More About the Blogger: Joe Pulizzi is Founder of the Content Marketing Institute. He is an author, speaker, and strategist for content marketing and created the annual Content Marketing World Event, coming up soon in September. The event draws attendees from all over the globe.
Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years, including the upcoming Niche Digital Conference this fall in Nashville. 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! Plus, Carl Landau – Niche Media’s Grand Poobah – just launched a blog all about creating and marketing targeted events – blog.NicheEventNation.com Check it out!