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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

5 Lessons I Learned as an Ad Salesperson and as an Ad Buyer

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I have had the rare pleasure of being on both sides of the advertising desk, both as an advertising salesperson and sales manager, and as an ad buyer at a marketing agency.

For 15 years, I sold and managed for radio stations in Dallas and Chicago and loved every single minute of it. Radio was my career, my hobby, my passion. I never thought that I would ever leave radio. Then one day, an “advertising guy” called me and wanted to take me to breakfast.

I spent the next 6 years as the Vice President of Business Development for a mid-size full-service advertising agency in the suburbs of Chicagoland. The ad agency side has been an incredible adventure. I had direct access to clients and had become the consultant that I was trained to be in radio. I worked hand-in-hand with the client as we grew their businesses together. No longer was I an adversary, but truly a marketing partner. 

Here are some of the secrets that I've learned from being on the “other-side-of-the desk”: 

Topics: Needs Analysis Sales media

Selling Integrated Solutions is Easier With Inbound Marketing

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It seems like a lifetime ago, but I was once the Associate Publisher at Competitor Texas magazine, a 80,000 circulation endurance sports magazine. Most of my clients were either running, cycling, or triathlon events or retailers and had a website but hadn’t started to build up a sizeable presence on social media. Most hadn’t even considered using digital ads to get visitors from related fitness websites to their own site.

It was a great time to be in the media industry, and we were just beginning to see the potential of integrating digital, social, email, event marketing, grassroots campaigns and print all together into one campaign. But we had one BIG challenge: how to effectively explain this new way of thinking to potential advertisers when many of these race directors still had event registrants filling out paper registration forms and mailing them in. They were certainly not embracing new technology or uses of media very quickly and were quite resistant to any change. So how to get through to them and show them how integrated solutions work? That’s where inbound marketing came in.

Topics: integrated media solution inbound marketing media

How a Local Radio Station is Using Inbound Marketing to Generate New Revenue for 2016

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From the moment I started working with the team at Zimmer Radio & Marketing Group, I had a feeling they were going to do a stellar job with inbound marketing. Then, once I met with them at their office in Columbia, Missouri for our Inbound Marketing & Sales Strategy Workshop, which kicked off our partnership, I was convinced.

Collectively, they “got it” and understood that because the advertising buyer’s experience has changed, the role of the media salesperson had to change too. As a LeadG2 and The Center for Sales Strategy Consultant, it’s always exciting to work with a company who not only wants the results but is also willing to invest their time and money to get the job done. And in this case, not only because they want to grow new revenue, but also because they care about their advertisers and the people they work with. They believe in educating them and being a true partner to small and large businesses alike. They understood that inbound marketing is more than a campaign here and there or a great keyword strategy. It’s about creating a conversation with potential and current customers. It’s about being a thought leader, making an impact in their industry, and reaching buyers appropriately in the sales process.

I’m not writing this article to simply brag about my awesome client (though they are pretty awesome). I’m writing this to let other media companies know they can improve the way they communicate with prospects, and they can get real, tangible results by implementing the right strategy and the right tools.

Topics: case studies inbound marketing media

The Media Salesperson’s Appointment Dilemma

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Media salespeople struggle now more than ever to secure quality appointments with prospects that might actually be ready, willing, and able to do business. The fact is that media salespeople are typically at their best when they are in front of a prospect, finding needs, and selling solutions. The challenge is that most media salespeople, after spending many frustrating hours cold calling, only find themselves going on one or two quality appointments a week. The system is broken and it must be fixed before even the most talented sellers will see better results.   

Topics: Setting Appointments Sales media

A 6-Step Process to Increase Your Media Sales Team's Productivity

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You've probably seen umpteen lists of ways to increase a sales team's performance. Trust me, I know. I have probably written a half dozen of those myself.  

But the more I work with sales teams, the more I've realized that what a sales manager needs is not another list of productivity tips and tricks, but an integrated process for increasing their sales team's productivity. This is particularly true for media sales, where custom solutions can require more involved sales funnels. Here's the process I've developed and implemented with success.

Topics: Sales media productivity

Insanity or Innovation? How to Navigate the Changes in Media Sales

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In case you haven’t noticed, things are changing in media sales. Almost faster than we can keep up with. More and more local accounts are now being handled by the national rep. Technical dollars, those that we have little control over and are basically bought just on your ratings, are declining. There is little a local staff can do with strictly technical dollars when the salesperson doesn’t even know what the out-of-town buyer looks like, much less have a relationship with him or her.

Topics: Sales media