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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Are Transactional AE's an Endangered Species?

prepare for direct new business development

As I look into my "crystal ball," I foresee a future where the transactional salesperson is an elusive and rare creature. Have they all been completely wiped out by Artificial Intelligent (AI) computer networks where all advertising buying and selling occurs? Probably not, but I do know they will be an endangered species. In the future, AI networks and computers will be placing a larger and larger percentage of ad schedules. And even for the business that is placed the "old fashioned" way, we'll have a need for fewer transactional sellers. And those sellers will probably be covering not just clusters, but states and regions for your media group.

I know that no one wants to admit it, but advertising sales are changing at an unprecedented rate. The way that companies have done business over the last five years will not exist in the next five years.

But, it's not all bad news. Media companies that want to grow revenue in a marketplace where 50-90% of their revenue is handled by computers or an endangered species transactional sales rep, will have to find people who can call on small and midsize businesses and develop new business. So, while we wait on our computer overlords to takeover transactional business, we should probably prepare for the days of direct, new business development.

Here are three tips to get you ready for our new media world order:

1. Identify Better Target Accounts

Let's be honest, some prospects are just better than others. How do you know which ones to target? Easy. Put them through the target business profile. Ask these three questions:

  1. What is their dollar potential?
  2. Do you have access to the decision maker?
  3. Is this prospect a good fit for your product, your audience, and yourself?

If they don't pass this test, move on to your next prospect.

2. Don't Give Up

The average salesperson gives up after three attempts at connecting with a new prospect. The average prospect won't respond until a minimum of seven attempts. See the problem? You need to be persistent and focused. You need to make those seven attempts within ten days for the most impact!

3. Nail Down an Assignment

When you conduct your needs analysis, you must uncover the desired business results that your target account wants to achieve. If you don't know what your prospect wants to accomplish, it's almost impossible to present a solution. And business owners buy solutions, not products!

These three steps will help you find more accounts and sell them! You will grow your new business and increase the number of accounts that you actually have a semblance of influence on where and how they spend their advertising dollars!

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