Early adopters of online advertising have a depth of skills, knowledge and experience that will make it easy to for them understand a product and a market.
The odds of getting quickly to “yes” or “no” for such a sale is high.
Recent adopters will lack that foundation and will require patience and consultation take could take weeks, months and sometimes even years (yes, even years) before finally landing the sale — or getting “no” for an answer.
Online salespeople need their own depth of knowledge and experience to answer what may be tough and insightful questions from the early adopters.
They also need that depth for what will sometimes be naive questions — and a lot of uncertainty — on the part of the recent adopters.
Anyone trying to sell online advertising needs to take at least five steps before getting started:
- Know the site.
- Know the products being sold.
- Know the inventory.
- Know the audience.
- Know the website’s advertising rates.
Know the Site
t is not enough to visit the site being sold and understand that it has certain channels or sections.
It is often necessary to know the three major metrics on a monthly or quarterly basis — unique visitors, visits and page views — as well as the seasonal variances, the major sources of traffic, the growth rate of site visits, etc.
Does the site get a lot of traffic from social media? If so, that knowledge becomes a selling point with a client who is social media focused.
If the site is trending down, the ability of campaigns to deliver the promised impressions is put at risk.
If the site is trending up and growing faster than competitors, it becomes another selling point with the client.
Know the Products being Sold
The odds of a sale just dropped quite a bit.
A salesperson who doesn’t know all of the essential details about a particular product such as banner ads, sponsorships, directory listings, classifieds or other products should avoid bringing them up in the first place.
Better to focus on knowing one or two products thoroughly than six or eight products only vaguely.
Know the Inventory
ne way to help ensure a successful close is by checking beforehand to see that all needed inventory is available.
One of the more embarrassing moments is for a sales rep to land a nice contract and go back with an ad insertion order, only to find out that not enough inventory is available.
In that case, the ability to serve the requirements of the contract is seriously in doubt.
The usual answers are either to extend the term of the campaign with the client’s permission or refund some of the money.
Know the Audience
Credible audience reporting software these days will provide extensive detail about the visitors to a site.
Those details should include geographic and demographic information that will help the client understand the target that he or she is trying to reach.
A simple example is a site trying to land an account with an advertiser who has a local customer base.
If that site gets substantial traffic from outside the local market, the prospect is either not a good fit or the campaign has to be tailored to reach only the local visitors.
Know the Rate Card
uestion the rate card on a regular basis. No rate card numbers remain valid over a lengthy period of time.
Is the site’s competition selling CPMs that are quite a bit lower? Has the economy deteriorated and as a result advertising expenditures are in decline? Are clients consistently saying that rates are too high?
Be assured that clients will often say that rates are high. What matters is whether price becomes a consistent objection and the major reason why a deal isn’t closed.
In the rapidly changing online world, rate cards should be updated quarterly rather than annually.