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Confidence Sells Local Online Advertising

Stored in Advertising and tagged ,
CPM advertising

Account executives who sell local online advertising have a major advantage. They know the market better than their national competitors who are trying to invade their turf.

If they already sell traditional media — TV, magazines, newspapers, radio, cable and outdoor — they have an even greater advantage because they have existing relationships within the market.

They know their clients, their budgets, their needs and more.

But these same account executives have a major disadvantage that provides a lesson in selling local online advertising.

The disadvantage is a lack of confidence in selling online in addition to their traditional media.

The lack of confidence shows up in five problems that need to be overcome in order to gain the confidence in selling, which in turn builds confidence in the buyer.

Problem #1: Lack of Knowledge

I have known many traditional media people who rarely visit the sites they are being asked to sell.

It’s quite easy to tell among salespeople which ones will be successful with direct online sales and which ones won’t.

The successful ones talk about their Web sites in detail and what they like or don’t like about the sites. They also know their site ad positions, rate card and audience numbers.

The unsuccessful ones are quite the opposite. They don’t know their sites, the ad positions, rate card or audience numbers.

These simple, easily acquired pieces of information make a big difference in confidence.

Problem #2: I’ve Never Sold It Before

I am a big believer in small steps. An easy small step is simply having a conversation about the customer’s website.

Before calling on the client, visit his or her website and look at it like a consumer. Is the easy to read? Does it load quickly? In your opinion, is it effective in selling the product or service?

The conversation can be brief. Simply point out that you visited the site, what you thought about it (diplomatically of course) and ask if the client is satisfied how it’s performing.

Then mention your own site and compare notes.

The foundation is now laid for more discussion either during this visit or next time. Confidence for both the seller and the buyer grow by at least one notch.

Problem #3: No Time to Talk

See the answer to #1. Even a mention of the client site and your site can take only a minute or be a few passing comments at the end of the call.

Selling and marketing are very much about consistency is the message. If a conversation is brief or impossible, leave a flyer with the client. No call should take place without an online flyer.

Even a simple one-page PDF with rates, audience numbers and a screenshot of the home page can be put together in less than 30 minutes, posted on your site and reused over and over again.

Problem #4: The Other Budget

Traditional media people first and foremost have to sell traditional media and not online.

If they are exceeding their traditional media budget for the month, quarter or year, they are more confident and likely to try selling online.

If they are falling behind on that budget, the odds are good that they are under much more stress and far less likely to sell online.

As someone who managed sales people for many years, I would rather that account executive come back to the office with only an online contract rather than no contract at all.

Problem #5: Site and Ad Performance

The performance of the website and the ads on it can have a significant impact on account executive confidence.

A site that loads fast, reads easily and grows audience is destined to grow revenue. Growth by itself breeds confidence. I’ve seen it happen repeatedly.

A fast-loading site means fast-loading ads, which are much more likely to get clicked as a result.

More clicks will make advertisers confident and happy. Happy advertisers renew contracts and spend more money.

Confidence sells local online advertising for both the seller and the buyer.

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