It can be tempting to give in to the summer ad sales slump. It happens with a lot of companies because advertisers go dark as they’re out on vacation or busy with their kids.
So let me share with you nine things I do to avoid that slump. You can put these sales tips into play now to carry you through the sunshine months and wind up a better media sales person on the other side.
1- Rethink your sales math
To do this, I go back to my sales math. You need to know how many phone calls and emails you’ll need to send to a new prospect to get a meeting with them. And then, how many meetings does it take to get to a deal? Then, how many deals until you get to goal? That’s your sales math: your call-to-close ratio. Knowing this will help keep you focused during the summer months.
2 – Understand that persistence is the catalyst for luck
I’ve heard people say, “The more you golf, the luckier you get.” Well, you know what? The more calls you make, the more emails you send, typically that’s the catalyst for sales luck. In my book I’m working on, “Sales Trifecta,” I suggest finding success when operating on patterns of three. I also stress the power of three in all my ad sales training efforts. So I’m reaching out to people—by voicemail, by email—every three business days. This pattern of three works, and I use it in my approach to persistence.
3 – Focus on value-based selling
A lot of times people will sell based on the features, advantages and benefits of their product or service. Not me. I’m focused on value-based selling. Always focus on value-based selling. Every conversation I’m lucky enough to have with an advertiser, I’m thinking: What value do I bring to the conversation? Can I provide them better ROI or a better CPM or better customer service?
4 – Find a need and you’re guaranteed a sale
I’m asking, “What’s the lifetime value of a new customer to you,” or “If I could bring in just one new customer, what would they look like and what would their value be to you?” I might ask, “When you think about advertising in this industry, do you want a ‘presence,’ do you want to be ‘competitive,’ or do you want to ‘dominate?’” I’m trying to find a need. If I can figure out a need, I can guarantee a sale.
5 – Block out time for success
When your calendar doesn’t dictate your day, your inbox will. I fill my calendar with tasks which are super important to me – and that includes blocking time for new business development. Everyday, 11am and 4pm, I block it out. Why 11? Most people don’t book meetings before lunch. Why 4? Because most people don’t book meetings before they go home.
6 – Increase your non-sales touches
I want to be more than just the sales person – I want to be a consultant as well. So about half the time I reach out to people, I offer them some kind of value like advice, or relevant thought, or share a link with them to a video or an article. Remember, when you’re in a slump you need to be reaching out to people not only in selling ways, but in non-sales ways. This fits in well with a tip from my book, “Selling Backwards.” That tip is: I find that the less I sell, the more I sell.
7 – Rethink your email subject lines
Maybe there are some new subject lines you should be trying. Be looking at them if you’re trying to get out of a slump. I’m continually looking for ways to change around my subject lines, and I track them and test them. There are tons of ideas for effective email subject lines at 360adsales.com in a free webinar, “20 Tested Subject Lines.”
8 – Ask for referrals – whether you win business or lose business
Whether I win or lose, I always ask for a referral. If someone says, “I’m not interested,” I say, “Oh man, that’s a shame. I really wanted to work with you. Just out of curiosity. do you know of another business owner who’d really like this idea?” When you ask this, a lot of times they’ll give you a name just to get off the phone with you or get you out of the office. No matter whether you win or lose someone’s business, always be asking for a referral.
9 – Make sure you’re always updating your objection scripts
Here’s the idea: you should have a scripted answer to every objection you could potentially ever receive in your industry or market. Take a look at your objection script and ask yourself if it needs updates because if you can’t handle the most basic objections you get on a regular basis, odds are you’re going to end up in a slump.
To close, remember, if you’re not growing out there, you’re potentially dying out there (in the hot summer sun.) Use this time in the air conditioning to hone your media sales skills – and stay out of a sales slump. Remember, if ad sales was easy, everyone would be doing it!
About Ryan: Ryan Dohrn is an award-winning ad sales training coach, a nationally recognized internet sales consultant and in international motivational speaker. He is the author of the best-selling ad sales book, Selling Backwards. He is the President and founder of Brain Swell Media and 360 Ad Sales Training, a boutique ad sales training and sales coaching firm with a detailed focus on ad sales training, internet consulting and media revenue generation. Ryan is also the Publisher of Sales Training World.
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