Caution: This issue of Online Spin is NOT about Pop-ups (or, Selling From A Client Perspective)

It seems lately that everyone (including yours truly) has been having a great time venting his or her opinions about pop-ups. But really folks, there are other issues to deal with.

One is the state of sales presentations. For those of you in sales, please take this constructively from a wizened media pro who has seen more presentations than…

A few years ago, we were hired by the Wall Street Journal in a sales support role. They had issues that included loss or potential loss of business to TV media plans and a number of other objections that planners brought up during the sales process. We did a number of projects for them, all from a different perspective than they had considered before. That of preparing sales support collateral from a planner/buyer rather than seller perspective.

This came to mind a few weeks ago when a well-known network, in response to a specific query we made, came in to talk about our query. As I walked into the meeting, it was already underway. I proceeded to watch a rather lengthy presentation on the background of the network and why we should consider them. Lots of great statistics and claims aimed at bolstering their credibility. I almost walked out, but managed to stick around until they got to our question. They really had nothing prepared and could not answer the issues we brought up. They were relatively new to their jobs it seemed (one did not even have business cards) and could not deal with the questions we raised effectively. In fact, they did not even understand the topics we were raising.



What many sales people do not realize is that when an agency brings 3-5 or more people into a meeting, they are making an investment in the site or network making the presentation. We are there because we want to know how to solve the problems we have.

So, here are my suggestions:

Don’t start by presenting your boilerplate. Make it available on your site. Or, have it ready if the basics are questioned.

Consider the agency/client perspective:

  • Be aware of what accounts they have before the appointment. Worst case, ask when you come in.
  • Ask what the major issues are ahead of time. Worst case, ask when you come in
  • Try to put yourself in the shoes of the planner or buyer you are calling on. What do you have to do to help them sell your vehicle through to the client/creative group/remainder of the agency or whomever they have to go through to give you an order?
Most collateral and many presentations are sales oriented rather than customized for the planning or buying issues at hand. Yeah, I know, many agency folks just want to know how cheap something is and nothing else. If that’s the case, try to get to a higher level within the agency. But when you get there you better have something to say that can benefit the client from a marketing perspective.

I’ve spent a lot of time with print media. The good print reps look at data from sources like MRI and show how their pub delivers a higher concentration of the strategic target for the client. I know that the buyer is asking for a lower cpm. But do you even know what the strategic target is? And have you considered trying to figure out what alternatives they are looking at, and doing some cross tabs using AIM or @plan showing how your site does vs. the competition against the strategic target. Or, consider tapping into somebody like Tacoda Systems and the goldmine of data that they can provide for you that will help explain why you are different and how you dovetail with each client’s plan.

Take your sales pitch to a new level. Find out what the goals are. Find out what the strategic target is. Come in with something that makes it easier for the buyer or planner to recommend you.

If you don’t know how to do this, learn.

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