Monday, July 20, 2009
There’s nothing more frustrating than having your selling efforts cut short by a receptionist that won’t give you the time of day, so here are three ways to gather information at an account where the receptionist is screening your call.   

1. Call before 9 a.m. at lunch or after 5 p.m.
While most receptionists start work at 9 a.m. and end at 5 p.m., managers often start at 8 a.m. and are still in the office after 6 p.m. So call before or after regular working hours and usually there is no one there to screen your call.

2. Ask for sales
Phone any company and ask for sales and they’ll put you through instantly. When a salesperson picks up the phone, all you need to do is ask for their help. “Good morning, my name is Peter and I’m with Best Publishing. I’m in sales like you. Would you mind if I asked you a few brief questions?”

You’ll find that most salespeople will tell you anything you’d like to know because they haven’t been instructed to screen calls. They’ll not only tell you who the marketing manager is, they’ll also give you his direct line.

3. Call accounts receivable
If your target company doesn’t have a sales department, ask for accounts receivable and the receptionist will usually transfer your call instantly. Once again, accounting has not been instructed to screen calls so they see nothing wrong with answering your questions.
Monday, July 13, 2009
When you contact a prospect after sending a media kit never say “Did you receive our media kit I mailed last week?” or “Have you had a chance to look at our media kit?” because the prospect will often turn your question into an opportunity to brush you off by saying “No” or “I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet, so call me back in a few weeks." As you’ve probably noticed, when you call back in a few weeks, you usually get the same response.

So when making a follow-up call, don’t ask the prospect about the media kit; instead, make a short presentation that piques his interest and set up an appointment.         
Monday, July 06, 2009
As I’ve already mentioned, stop sending media kits. But if you must send a media kit, then at least stay in control of the sale by not including a rate card. 

Here’s why you must leave out the rate card:

1. When a prospect receives a media kit he always looks at the rate card first and if he feels that the posted rate is too high, he’ll immediately dismiss your magazine from further consideration. In other words, he will not study the media kit and look for benefits that could justify the price

2. To be successful in ad sales, you must meet with the prospect and make a presentation that shows the benefits of advertising in your publication. Including a rate card in your media kit makes it difficult to get an appointment. After all, the prospect now has all the information he needs to make a decision, so why should he waste time meeting with or even talking to a salesperson. When you send a media kit without a rate card, the prospect must call you to get this information and that gives you an opportunity to sell. 
Monday, June 29, 2009
It seems that a lot of account executives don’t get the “sell the client, tell the agency” concept. They believe that the ad agency is their friend and if they schmooze and mollycoddle, they’ll be rewarded with an ad campaign. Well, if your publication happens to be the one that the agency has selected as part of their media plan, building the agency relationship is time well spent and calling on the client would not only be unprofessional, but most likely a fatal mistake.

But what if you represent the majority, one of the many publications that the agency has rejected? What if you’ve been faithfully sending your media kit to the agency but your magazine never makes the cut?  Do you continue to beg at the agency's door, in the hope that somewhere down the road your fate may change? Or do you take control of your sales and earnings by calling on the client?

While the answer is obvious, many salespeople resist this course of action because they fear that calling on the client will piss off the agency. In some circumstances they are right. If you just had a meeting with the agency and they said "No," and you follow up by contacting the client, the agency will become irate. They don't like it when someone calls on their clients.

But you can avoid this situation by taking ownership of the client, by calling on the client before calling on the agency. Doing so gives you the right to continue to deal with the client even after you've met with the agency because it is your client. Also keep in mind that clients have a lot of influence over agency decisions. While you might find it impossible to convince the agency to embrace your book, if the client likes your magazine, the agency will quickly add it to its media plan. So always try to call on the client first. 
Monday, June 22, 2009
What are your prospects looking for? They’re looking for solutions to their business and marketing challenges; they are not looking for advertising. They want to work with someone who can make suggestions and offer new ideas, preferably an expert in their industry and they’ll gladly pay a premium to anyone who can increase their probability of success and reduce their risk of failure. They want to work with a specialist who understands their industry’s unique problems.

So instead of randomly calling on everyone who would benefit from advertising in your publication, focus your selling activity by calling on one industry at a time.

By calling on prospects in the same industry you will quickly become familiar with common industry trends and challenges, you’ll learn to speak the industry jargon, and you’ll uncover their specialized advertising and marketing needs. In short, by talking their language, you’ll be perceived as the industry expert your prospects are looking for.
About Me
Peter Ebner
Peter is a professional sales trainer and marketing consultant with over 25 years of industry experience. He is author of several books including Grow Rich Selling Magazine Ads. He can be reached at (905) 713-2274 or on the Web at
Most Recent Blog Comment
Pardee says:
I'm with Todd and Ad Girl on this one. A complete media kit including rate card is best. In fact I t...
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