Because A Lot Of People Need Reminding, Here Are The Basics Of Selling Ads

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In an industry that is constantly changing, with new competitors popping up at an alarming rate, how does a seller rise above the rest, prove their value and scale their business?  Some opt out of selling entirely by outsourcing everything to a third-party.    

Some hunker down, lock out third-party companies, and handle 100% of their own sales efforts. 

And others use a variety of tactics, hoping that one option or the other will be a break away hit.  This approach generally only brings mediocre results.   

Obviously, every situation is different and no single solution fits everyone.   But there are opportunities and best practices sellers should always follow in order to lay the groundwork for future success, to stand out in a crowd and, at the very least, ensure that they have done everything possible to earn the business.   In this case, as in many others, the basics of selling will never fail you:

1)     Do your homework 
Nothing is worse than showing up to a meeting unprepared. This is the kiss of death.   Before you go into a meeting, know as much about the client as possible and know exactly what you want to achieve in the meeting.  Learn their language and be ready to speak to them about their challenges, their competition, their customers and their goals.  Be prepared for anything.  Ask yourself all the possible questions and be ready with reasonable answers to keep the meeting moving in the direction you want. 

2)     Relationships matter
Establishing a relationship can help in more ways than you can ever imagine:  Getting tipped off to a deal before it happens, gaining early access to learn more about a client strategy, or simply getting that call back helping you cut through the noise.  More importantly, building a relationship helps to keep the conversation honest so you know exactly where you stand and therefore know if you are on or off the buy.

3)     Buyers always want the sizzle, but they need the steak
Most buyers want to be sold something new, but without the risk of being first.  This is a nearly impossible task, but as sellers it is important to provide buyers with programs that will wow the client and deliver on the key objectives at scale.  Most sellers focus only on the wow and forget to ensure that the program scales. So even if the results are amazing but the program didn’t scale you can forget about the renewal.   

In my experience, the best sellers follow the above steps, achieving success most of the time.  As a seller in this complicated digital environment, you must stay focused on what you can control, always be prepared and build relationships that enable you to cut through the clutter. 

Don’t forget that even if your relationship gets you the meeting, the proposal will win you the deal and you won’t get another chance if you don’t deliver and reach the goals of the campaign.   What other tips do you have for digital sellers to help them close a deal?

The views expressed here reflect the views of the author alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of 24/7 Real Media, its affiliates, subsidiaries or its parent company, WPP plc.