Lately a bunch of people have been randomly poking around my son-in-law’s cul-de-sac, at all hours, glued to their phones, probably looking for a Dragonite or a Mew.
Of course by now most of us know why–it’s the wildly popular Pokemon GO mania. Everyone walking around, hoping to find their next stardust.
This latest craze made me think of how some salespeople are constantly bumping around too–looking for ways to help their clients, but not always sure what they’re looking for.
And although it’s important to keep your clients up-to-date with helpful information, that isn’t enough! An ad salesperson needs to offer their clients solutions to their problems.
So what are some ways to determine what a client’s problems are in the first place? Next time you have a conversation, engage them and ask probing questions:
- Ask your client what issue they think is their biggest pain point. Is it targeting new prospects/ customers? Retaining existing customers? Competition offering crazy deals? Talk with your client about what marketing and sales efforts have worked and what efforts haven’t–and why. Their perceptions on this are key.
- Encourage your client talk about what are they good at (their internal company perception) and what are they not so great at regarding marketing and sales. What is their focus area for improvement? Where do they need to see results by next quarter? Show them why reviewing your data can lead to new questions and better answers.
- Ask your client to identify different markets of interest. Together, rank them by importance. This will help you better anticipate and provide solutions to their growth plans.
It’s easy to get people talking about what they care about. Your most important job in the beginning of the sales process is to listen. Based on the answers you get from these probing conversations, you can then start working to provide your clients solution-based ideas—with your advertising!
More about Carl: Carl Landau is Grand Poobah of Niche Media. He is a media/event guru, SF Giants fan 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 Niche Digital Conference in Denver, Sept. 19-21!
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