Advertisers today have more strategy choices than ever before to market their products and services. No matter the size of the niche you serve, the sheer number of media channels available to an advertiser to market their product grows every day. If you are an ad sales rep trying to sell your magazine’s media packages, standing out from the rest of the shouting takes some extra effort.
So what makes YOU different from every other ad sales person that walks in the advertisers’ door today? This is a question that you should be asking yourself before each and every advertising sales call.
Almost every time, advertisers will tell me that they bought media because they really liked the salesperson. It’s not necessarily just a personality contest. But knowing your strengths and offering your insight to your customers can set you apart from the pack.
Ask yourself: What makes YOU different? Likable? Why would an advertiser buy from you personally? What is it about you that would make them want to buy your media offering?
I pride myself in having at least three or four differentiating factors that separate me from every other advertising salesperson.
Of course, there are media factors and personal factors. A media factor would be that your magazine is #1 in a prime market or has the largest circulation. But if we know that advertisers are more likely to buy if they like us personally, then being #l in the market is less important than a personal quality that your customers value, like your attention to detail, creativity, or genuine thoughtfulness.
Here are 4 easy ways to help you determine how you are different from every other media salesperson that walks through that advertiser’s door:
1) Start by creating a list of personality traits that differentiates you from other ad sales reps. The list should include personal and professional traits. Then, look at the list and ask yourself if any of these traits are also quite common with other sales people you know and cross those off the list.
2) Look for professional factors that are unique to you. For example, say you’ve been in the business for 10 years so you have unique insight on the market, so you have an established network of connections that might be of interest to your advertisers. Why do your customers stick with you? If your client retention is 75%, that’s worth mentioning too. Market your own unique track record as a professional.
3) Offer your marketing expertise. Everyone has a specialty, what’s your’s? Is it web marketing? Innovative media packaging skills? Event management intel from attending dozens of events? Connecting people for strategic partnerships? Share your knowledge with your advertisers.
4) Share your enthusiasm with your clients. How do you have fun in your downtime? Whether it’s sports, or pets or kids or knitting, the more the clients understand you, the more they will feel comfortable talking with you about what you can do for them.
If you recognize your strengths and authentically weave that into the sales conversation, your chances of connecting with an advertiser on a personal level will increase. If they like you and trust you, they will buy advertising from YOU.
More about Ryan Dohrn: Ryan is President of 360 Ad Sales Training, an internet & sales consulting firm focused on developing print and online revenue strategies for magazine publishers.
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!
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