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“Great speakers - great ideas - great networking. Worth every dollar!” said one
of the many attendees who attended the SNA/Blinder Revenue Summit late last
month. Watch your inbox for upcoming webinars that will expand on the dyna-
mite revenue generating ideas shared at this gathering.
Top ten in ChiTown
What does a two hour revenue session
and more than a dozen presenters
equate to? A lot of great ideas.
The 10 Best Ideas to Increase Your
Revenue Tomorrow was a jam-packed
session filled with new ideas as well as
some ideas that have been presented
in the past, but with a new twist.
As a matter of fact, there was some
tough criteria for this session: The
ideas had to be easy to implement,
have substantial revenue potential
and have a new angle. Below is recap
of a few of the ideas that were pre-
MOTHER OF ALL SALES CONTESTS
Presented by Patti Hannan, VP of
Advertising, Oklahoma City (OK)
Idea: The company used a sports con-
cept to rally the troops to sell digital
(ie sales managers were team owners;
digital AE’s were coaches).
Goal: 100 days worth of selling to get
to $1.5 million in revenue. Other goals
included aggressively prospecting for
new business, selling audience rather
than product and having fun. Four-
legged calls were made as well as 100
presentations in 100 days.
Result: $2.4 million in revenue;
increase in digital by 36.5% from the
TACTICAL 360 SELLING
Presented by David Cate, New Media
Director, Kingsport (TN) Times News
Idea: “There’s a lot of noise going on”
with mediums beating on businesses’
doors. They decided to leverage their
talent, trust and history in the market
and create a digital agency.
Goal: Use their talent as sales strate-
gists, marketers, business managers,
graphic artists, etc. to create a “holistic
view” for the client
Result: $1 million in digital – 10% of
their total. Examples of programs
include a racing microsite and contest
(85,000 people have played the game)
that generated $30,000 in revenue;
microsite development for Kingsport
Chamber of Commerce that includes
a revenue share with other ads placed
on the site; videotaping cooking
classes for Food City and using social
networking tools to promote.
Presented by Doug Dixon, Sales
Manager, ThisWeek Community
Idea: To move beyond banners and
Goal: To package the microsites with
print to create a comprehensive pro-
gram for the client. Examples include
cable company selling OnDemand
type of services through the microsite.
Package includes a preview of the
movie trailer and print promotion.
Facebook Facelift – site that lives
within business fan page on Facebook
to showcase business features.
Results: A client on the Facebook
program grew their fans from 85-450
in a few weeks; Facebook minipages
priced at $700 and up . The cable com-
pany program brought in $32,000.
For the entire presentation deck
that also included daily deals, self-
serve advertising, QR code promo-
tions, telesales opportunities and
more, go to www.suburban-news.org
and click “Conferences” and “SNA/
Blinder Revenue Summit”.
Among the many insights Mike Blinder,
president of the Blinder Group, offered par-
ticipants at the SNA Revenue Leadership
Summit last month in Chicago, one in par-
ticular continues with me.
Blinder, who led the summit and was
featured during a live on-site webinar spon-
sored by the Poynter Institute, shared his
playbook for building effective relationships
with clients. The big thought for me during
the three-day conference was perhaps one
easily forgotten, but one of the most basic
“What do you have for me today?” Blinder
says, first role-playing as a newspaper
“Nothing, unless it’s a good match,” he
responds as a sales consultant.
And there it is: The past, present and
future of sales described in a brief exchange
where the solution-seeking consultant wins
Blinder, however, goes a step further. In his
A-to-B problem-solving strategy, he describes
A as “the situation as it is now” and B as “the
situation as it should be.” You put yourself
in the middle, he tells the audience. “I call it
the sandwich. You are the solution.”
However, not every solution or sales
consultant works best for our customers.
And with that Blinder adds, “They are not
rejecting you. They are rejecting your ability
to grow their business.”
And then, as if the clarity of the moment
wasn’t enough, a comment Blinder made
earlier reminds why we are consultants first.
It’s our advertisers who are in the business
of getting results. We are in the business of
getting solutions into action.
Blinder again role plays, but this time
as the sales consultant, asking the client,
“If I were your best customer, how would
you describe me?” We should ask, “If I were
your best sales consultant, how would you
Several years ago, I led a discussion at a
newspaper industry gathering about building
and hiring capacity. I focused on the value
of building expertise. Capacity building is
among my favorite endeavors. While you
can tack “capacity” onto anything, it’s really
about ability, vision and potential.
The key question is: do we continue to
develop capacity or hire greater capacity?
After Blinder’s session, he and I discussed
capacity as it relates to sales. He spends a
lifetime educating sales executives and I
appreciate his “gritty” view which includes,
“I’m not here to make a presentation – I’m
here to do a deal.”
It’s the consulting that gets results for
customers, helping them navigate the path
to their most profitable customers. It’s not
about the sales executive’s most convenient
path to a sale. Our sales executives must
think and respond differently, and the very
best do, as Blinder strongly suggests.
The best have the entrepreneurial capac-
ity to noodle opportunities in the market
place with advertisers. They are solution
We get a false sense of building sales
capacity when we urge our sales execu-
tives to reach higher and sell more, without
a vision or commitment to build sales force
expertise. How do we respond when even
greater entrepreneurial and consultative
capacities are required?
Here’s one way. We must embark upon an
honest evaluation about real or perceived
capacity and expertise. Creating a capac-
ity score for your sales force, going much
deeper than revenue goal-setting exercises
and sales initiatives, would look something
Consider your “street warriors” – a tag
Blinder bestows on the very best – in what
I have determined to be five key capacity-
Each is a window into the vision, motiva-
tion and heart of the successful sales consul-
tant and by extension the sales force.
In James Belasco’s and Ralph Stayer’s
1993 national bestselling book, “Flight of
the Buffalo,” they write, “Vision focuses.
Vision Inspires ...Vision is our alarm clock
in the morning, our caffeine in the evening.
Vision touches the heart ... Customers help
you see the vision.”
And, most important, the authors con-
tend, “Vision flows from extensive contact
with customers ... There’s no substitute for
direct feedback from the people who make
So what would our customers say about
our sales consultants? We again might ask,
“If I was your best sales consultant, how
would you describe me?”
From my view, building strength in the
above five capacities has an impressive up
side and builds expertise. It is the difference
between desiring results and getting desired
results. It’s time to get “gritty” and, and as
Blinder says, “You don’t make money. You
Your feedback is always welcome. Reach
me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
help kick off
JOHN M. HUMENIK
SNA Board of Directors
N M. HUMENIK
Building sales capacity
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