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very great conversa-
tion begins with the
right headline, the
right hook. To show that you
understand the needs of your
client you want go beyond the
small talk and create an instant
personal connection. Because,
after all, if you have been in
sales any length of time you
learn that people not just want
to buy the product that you are
selling them, but they want to
buy into you because they like
working with you.
The path to a good sales
connection is – know me, like
me, trust me, buy me. And, too often in local ad sales
we are going from “know me” to “buy me” too quickly.
It should be about starting with that great conversa-
tion starter – having a great conversation building the
relationship and trust. Then the selling comes easier.
We really want to take the time to research conversation
starters before we get a phone call out or before we send
an email out.
Too many sales reps identify themselves by name
and then say they want to talk about the prospect’s mar-
keting budget for the upcoming year or that they have
some marketing ideas for them. That’s too generic and
usually puts the prospect in a defensive mode.
All business owners have mailboxes full of these
voicemails. To stand out from the crowd you need to re-
search some great conversation starters so that you way
you will sound that much more genuine and more like
a marketing consultant and less like a local advertising
rep in the eyes of these local advertisers and business
First thing should be finding personal referrals and
then knowing what to do with them. The second thing is
that we want to identify marketing problems that local
businesses are unaware they even have and how you
can help solve them. And finally, sharing marketing
research and ideas are a fantastic way to get a conversa-
tion going with any local business owner.
I’ll cover the first thing this month and dive into the
others in upcoming issues.
Gathering Personal Referrals
Identify and get referrals through your connections
on LinkedIn. You want to always be collecting new
contacts on LinkedIn. This is one of your most impor-
tant tools in breaking the ice with new prospects. Take
a minute to connect with the business owners you want
to approach. In this way, you won’t be unfamiliar to
them when you first reach out. But, what if they are not
on LinkedIn or don’t connect back? You’ll need to find
another way in.
Try by asking your current clients. Your current
clients probably know other business owners, even
outside their business category. They may be involved
in a merchants association or the local chamber and
know many in the SMB community. Ask your client if
you could email or phone their acquaintance using your
Putting It in Action
When you send an email to someone you don't
know and they have been referred to you by someone,
go ahead and put in the subject line "Referred by [the
name of the mutual connection.]"
Think about all the emails that you receive every day.
Which ones do you read first? Think about the impact of
the personal referral in the subject line if it is somebody
you don't know - this actually puts you in the express
line of their incoming emails. It adds a little bit of social
pressure because your mutual connection may ask
them if they followed up with you. So, this is something
that is built in to this kind of referral usage and not
ignored by the recipient. In addition, this gives you re-
course to follow up with either directly that person or a
mutual connection with that of your email connection.
If you are phoning, and whether you are directed
to voicemail or not, you can start with "I have been re-
ferred to you by Jane Doe at Doe’s Gift Shop, I am Peter
Conti, from Local Media Association."
When you phone or leave a message, right away you
have to immediately disarm that prospect, because they
have no time. Put out there the name of somebody that
they know, or that they have a potential relationship
with - let the prospect know right away. Always put that
referral name out there before yours.
NEXT MONTH – Identifying marketing problems.
More on this column’s subject can be found in our Ad-
vanced Digital Sales Certification Course and our new
Advanced Business Development Course ($125). For a
sample of the course go to - http://tinyurl.com/AdvBiz
Sales & Marketing
Don’t Skip the ‘Trust Me’ Part The path to a good sales connection
is – know me, like me, trust me, buy me.
And, too often in local ad sales we are
going from “know me” to “buy me” too
More is Pawsible
Help your advertisers get their paws on digital solutions that will extend their
audience reach. Look beyond the backyard to the big world of e-commerce
opportunity. Together we can sniff out the possibilities, helping you and your
clients increase revenue opportunities.
For details and registration on upcoming June and August webinars,
be sure to keep an eye out for LMA’s upcoming e-newsletters.
303.571.5117, ext. 24
Use the QR Code below
to register now:
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