Everyone who sells advertising is in a hurry to sell advertising. That’s what we’re there to do, right? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. If you come on too strong about how great your magazine or website is, then your prospect is going to try to get rid of you fast! And they won’t be taking your next call in a hurry, either. The truth is that the most important goal in your first magazine ad sales call with a client isn’t to sell them an ad right off the bat – it is to establish a relationship with them!
Here’s what you want to accomplish with that first call to a prospect:
Connect: #1 thing is I want them to like me. I do this by showing interest in THEIR product, THEIR COMPANY, and THEM. People love to talk about themselves and are much more engaged when they’re doing the talking. (The flip: You need to be authentic and care about what you are doing. It doesn’t work any other way.)
Learn: Prove to the prospect that you did your research. Study up in advance and know what their products and services are and who their target audience is. And here’s a crazy idea: how about giving them a creative marketing idea? (Hint: advertising in your magazine does NOT count as a creative idea.)
Engage: Ask good, thoughtful, probing, open-ended questions. Get them involved in the conversation.
Determine decision-makers: Who are the other people in their organization who might be involved in the marketing decisions? Find out how you can help.
Prove it: What is the prospect most interested in? Prove that you have an audience that they should be considering. Come up with the next steps with them.
Then follow up!
So the goal of the first magazine ad sales call is to build some sort of rapport with your prospect and prove that you are genuinely interested in them and their company. Start building that relationship with them. Once you do that, selling them an actual ad program is the easy part. Share with us and other niche mags what good questions you have learned get the best results with prospects on Facebook or Twitter.
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! 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!