Establishing yourself as a trusted advisor is the key to sustaining ongoing advertising sales success.
By Alex Yewdell
When working in advertising sales, it is essential that you establish yourself as a trusted advisor. This is the key to sustaining ongoing sales successes, so you don’t have to rely on one-off contracts. But it goes far beyond simply selling and closing deals. To establish yourself as a trusted advisor, you must do the following:
Be Knowledgeable & Honest
Sure, you must have a firm understanding of what you are selling—but that is just the tip of the iceberg. You need to have a complete understanding of the industry you are serving. Why would a prospective company be interested in advertising with you? Does it even make sense for that company to market their products or services with you? If a company might not be a fit, tell them—and then help steer them in the right direction. If a potential advertiser comes to you with interest in a marketing avenue that you know is not going to deliver them the results they are looking for, share this knowledge with them. This is where you start to earn trust that helps you build stronger relationships down the line.
Play the role of the advertiser.
That means putting yourself in their shoes. If you were marketing their products or services, where would YOU spend their advertising dollars? To be able to do this well, you must understand what your advertisers are selling. By coupling that with a comprehensive understanding of the marketing opportunities you are selling, you will be able to connect them with the best possible package for their needs and goals.
Sell for the future.
Setting your advertisers up for success should always be your goal. If an advertiser sees tangible gains with the marketing campaign you sold them, there is a high likelihood that they will be interested in spending their marketing dollars with you again. And as you know, renewals are always easier to close than new prospects. By selling with your advertisers’ success in mind, it will ultimately make your job easier.
Simply put, be helpful. Do what you say and say what you do. And above everything else, BE HONEST. If you don’t know the answer, say so. Don’t guess. Don’t speculate.