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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

The Secret to Selling Digital Advertising

chocolate chipsEveryone has a Great Aunt Martha who safeguards her secret family recipe. She makes a special item— perhaps an out-of-this-world cookie—and brings it to every family gathering, causing relatives to rave. She goes on and on about the “secret ingredient” and years later, when the recipe is finally handed down, the family discovers there was no secret ingredient. Great Aunt Martha’s “secret” recipe was available to everyone all along: It was a recipe taken from the back of the chocolate chip package. The same is true with selling digital advertising.

Every day, I talk to sellers who treat the digital sales process like a top-secret family recipe. There is a lot of mystery and confusion about how to “talk about digital” with clients and prospects.

With pressure to hit digital budgets, sellers go on calls to “sell digital.” As a result, they talk to their clients about banners, streaming  and sponsorships. Occasionally, they get lucky and make a sale, but the majority of the time, this recipe flops.

What if instead of “selling digital,” we went back to the basics… just like taking that tried and true recipe from the back of the package of chocolate chips.

Our long-time clients already know the recipe:

Start with a solid needs analysis, incorporating several questions about digital. Identify the business challenges. Brainstorm. Be interactive—keep the client involved in the process by sharing a few hot ideas. Discuss the concept the client gets excited about, and enhance the idea using the client’s feedback. Build out that concept, using your digital and traditional capabilities. And, finally, present the proposal. 

In other words, the secret to selling digital advertising--the secret digital advertising strategy—is to use an interactive selling process and THEN incorporate digital!

Following an interactive process takes the pressure of “pitching digital,” or “pitching spots and ads” and puts the focus on hearing the client’s needs and creating a solution to address those needs. Selling media—or digital—is not a solution. The IDEA is the solution.

There is no secret recipe for selling digital. The “secret” is in using a process that has proven successful  for years. Whether selling time, space, spots, dots…or any new opportunity technology throws your way… success comes in the form of ideas and solutions, not media.



Kimberly Peek is a digital sales coach and online trainer at The Center for Sales Strategy

Topics: Digital selling digital advertising integrated media solution