I am going to suggest something crazy: Objections are actually good in the digital ad sales process. I say this because almost every sales call will have some. It’s going to happen. And those objections can teach you a lot about what your prospect really needs.
So if we can’t avoid objections, we CAN learn how to handle them well.
We all know that sales is all about building relationships. You begin that process by listening to your customers challenges and empathizing with them. Only then can you show them how you will help them solve their problems….. and ultimately earn their trust.
Common objections from Clients: (I bet you can add some!)
- “No money.”
- “Too expensive!”
- “Not ready, timing isn’t right.”
- “We tried your magazine before and it didn’t work.”
- “You don’t cover our product/service.”
- “We ran a banner ad once on your website and didn’t get very many clicks.”
The real objections are fear of change and/or internal politics, or needing approval from someone else, or they don’t really trust you yet—the list goes on. But understanding these underlying concerns upfront can help you be better prepared for when they do give you the inevitable objection.
Here’s how you can respond:
- Show gratitude. Thank them for bringing it up!
- Empathize with their objection. This builds trust and demonstrates you really want to understand.
- Answer the objection with a probing question. Ask open-ended questions and learn as much as you can about what the advertiser wants.
- Show them the value. Show them the value of your product through CPM, impressions, leads, etc.
- Be prepared with data! Show them data through market research, SOM, etc. (You will never win if you don’t have solid, accurate data.)
So instead of dreading your customer’s objections, remind yourself they are GOOD. Objections allow us to do what we do best—sell!
Editor’s note: The media landscape is changing fast and advertisers want you to step up your offerings — more digital, more data, custom programs, lead gen — and the ROI. And you’re likely doing all this with the same size sales team (or smaller)! To hone your super sales skills further, Camp Niche is a one-day intensive for ALL niche media sales publishers and teams.
This article has been updated since first published April 17, 2016.
More about Nancy: Nancy works for Aviation International News as Associate Publisher and Ad Sales Guru. She also co-teaches Camp Niche Ad Sales Training. She’s a B-to-B publishing vet and previously worked at Petroleum Engineer, Oil & Gas Journal, and Electric Light & Power and been involved with aviation publications for the past 20 years.
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