10 Secrets of Ad Sales Superstars

Shweiki Media Printing Company is excited to announce that they’ve once again teamed up with Ryan Dohrn—founder of Brain Swell Media, Publisher of Sales Training World, and creator of the 360 Ad Sales Training system taught to over 4,000 sales people around the globe — to present a must-watch webinar on ten traits and practices of sales superstars from around the world that—when adopted and practiced consistently—lead to sales success.

1. Always Be Prospecting for Ad Sales Leads

One prospecting strategy that one should keep in their arsenal is a “Big 50 Prospecting Plan.” Successful salespeople know their numbers. They have a number of prospects that they’re going to work in an effort to close a certain amount of business, and that’s a useful strategy to adopt.


Here’s an example of an often successful prospecting technique:

  1. Work 50 brand new prospects in a 30-day period, including people that are already active in the marketplace, new business owners, and people with a marketing director.
  2. Work 50 in an effort to get 10 quality meetings scheduled.
  3. Of the 10 quality meetings, typically around eight proposals will arise.
  4. From the eight proposals, often around four deals will be closed.


2. Work Just as Hard to Keep Ad Sales Business as to Get Ad Sales

It’s important to focus on maintaining really good customers, as retention is crucial. Here are some ways one can take care of clients on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis without using a sales-y approach:

  • Share business articles with advertisers, no strings attached
  • Invite advertisers to seminars, webinars, events
  • Give away branded swag to keep one’s logo and brand in front of clients at all times.


3. Always Pitch to the Decision Maker When Possible (or Equip Liaison to the Fullest)

In a media ad sales space, typically one often can’t pitch to the decision maker. If one wants to be the best in their company, in their market and in their industry, they should understand how to equip the marketing director to take one’s information to the next level. To do this, one should start by by communicating to the gatekeeper—if they are interested in the product—what tools they need to gain their boss’s interest. One of the main problems with media kits today is that they are often designed for a broad audience, when salespeople should deal in specifics.

It’s important to find out what the decision maker prefers—analysis, images, email, PDFs, powerpoints, videos, etc.—and utilize that format to increase the chances of getting the signature.


4. Remember Advertisers Buy When They’re Ready—Not When Salespeople Are Ready to Sell

This is important, because as a salesperson, one’s timing is usually bad. To remedy this issue, number-one sales reps usually plan three to six months ahead of their deadline. It’s also important to remember that too much pressure isn’t a good thing, and putting people under the gun typically doesn’t work out. By planning in advance (say four to five months out) one can: save the advertiser money, design a more effective campaign, and relieve pressure the pressure of selling on a deadline.


5. Ask Good Questions

One should consider what go-to questions salespeople typically use and change it up in order to stand out from the pack.

Here are some useful questions to ask:

  • Who do you feel is your harshest competitor?
  • If we could create the perfect ad, what do you want to result from that ad?


The right question can separate one from media sales counterparts while boosting the prospect’s interest.


6. Know How to Sell Competitive Angles

Most sales reps gather leads by looking to see what businesses are advertising within their choice medium. The reason that this doesn’t work well is because one always appears to be late to the party. Instead, one should choose an advertiser that’s running ads within one’s medium and call on their biggest competitor, resulting in what could be called “competitive chaos.” By selling a competitive angle, one is working with knowledge that promotes instant leverage. It’s as simple as calling and saying something along the lines of “Hello, I’ve noticed that your competitor is really marketing hard. I feel that I have a way that could potentially grow your share of the market.”


7. Become a Time Management Master

Blocking out time and scheduling carefully is a good way to ensure patterned success. This can be done by identifying and blocking out time for the four or five very important tasks that need to be done every day. To become a time management master, it is imperative that one respects the calendar. An efficient calendar is the most basic management tool to keep one consistently on track.


8. Manage Advertiser Expectations

A big part of managing advertiser expectations is to avoid over-promising and underachieving. Many salespeople go into a sales call with a pitch that their media team can’t back, while those that are the best in their companies are awesome at managing customer expectations from the get-go. One should consistently let the advertiser know what they can come to expect from one’s service. By staying in contact and delivering on one’s promises, one can boost retention rate tremendously.


9. Teach to Sell

There are currently more advertising options now than ever before. That makes it important for salespeople to be educated, be good conversationalists, and be able to teach whatever they do. At the beginning of a meeting, a salesperson should ask the advertiser to rate their knowledge of marketing on a scale of 1-10. By gaining insight into the advertiser’s knowledge base, one can then construct the conversation in terms that the advertiser can understand and teach them along the way. Advertisers will always buy more if they accurately understand what one is selling.

10. Paint a Picture of Potential.

Great salespeople understand that they need to paint a picture of potential, which means to means to always under-promise and over-deliver, while also letting the advertiser know what just might happen if they run an ad. The best way to paint a picture of potential is to relay a success story, which should involve growth as a direct result of a placed advertisement. One shouldn’t focus on things sold, as it’s too specific. Instead, one should look for solid business success stories that will make sense to one’s advertiser and get them excited about how they too could succeed with one’s product.

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Ryan Dohrn

Ryan Dohrn, CEO of Brain Swell Media LLC

Ryan Dohrn is an Emmy award winning TV producer, has overseen over 3,000 Web site builds, is a nationally acclaimed speaker, has been featured in USA Today, on ABC, CBS and FOX TV stations, on Forbes.com and has personally impacted millions of dollars in online and related media revenues for media companies large and small.

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