Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Stewart was telling me about his first days of selling ads for his newspaper. “In looking through the files, I found some proposals that had been turned down by prospects. Even though I was new in the job, it was easy to see why they had been rejected. They looked like condensed versions of the rate card – never more than a half-page.

Recently, online retailer Amazon added Sunday deliveries in two major U.S. cities to its offerings. In a partnership with the U.S. Postal Service, Amazon began Sunday deliveries in New York City and Los Angeles in mid-November. It hopes to expand Sunday deliveries to Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Phoenix within the next year.

Traction is a key element in any business. Even the business of football. 

I was talking to Kyle, an advertiser who has been dealing with media representatives for many years. “I can tell a lot about a salesperson by what they say about their competitors,” he said. “It is extremely unprofessional to try to make sales points by trashing the other guys. In fact, negative comments reveal more about the critic than they do about the object of their criticism.” 

As we prepare to head to sunny Palm Springs, Calif., for the 2013 WCAA Conference, we thought it only appropriate to address the networking potential of conferences. If navigated correctly, you could meet potential colleagues, make valuable contacts and, yes, even land some new clients! We have some tips to make the most out of conferences:

The Flaw: An advertiser is concerned because her ad seems to blend in with the others on the page. She says, “There’s a lot of information in the ad, but it gets lost on the page.” 

A common obstacle salespeople face in their work is a distrustful client. But who can blame them? The longstanding image that salespeople are fast-talking and manipulative isn’t a made-up stereotype, it’s very much based in reality. These figures exist, but that doesn’t mean their sales techniques work or that you should adopt them. In fact, this archetype has become so prevalent that it makes consumers weary of being sold anything at all. Therefore, if you want to successfully sell your department’s advertising services, then it’s important to ward off habits associated with this distrustful salesperson image. According to Ali Luke’s article for Copyblogger, there are several ways you can lose your prospective client’s trust in an instant. We have them here, so you can avoid them during your next sales call.

I remember talking to a frustrated advertiser who was complaining about a certain media sales rep. “I was interested in his publication,” the advertiser told me, “and in fact, I had called him to set the appointment. But from the moment he walked into my office, he was insincere and sales-ey. He spent the whole time boasting about how great his paper was. After a few minutes, it was obvious that all he cared about was making a sale. He never made an effort to learn about my business. I couldn’t get rid of him fast enough.” 

In order to make your revenue soar, an informed and capable team of sales reps is a must. Regardless of how great your advertising services are, you simply won’t make sales without great salespeople behind them. It was under this premise that Russ Warner discussed some effective sales tips in his Huffington Post article, “Sales Tips to Make a Small Company Look Big.” He broke his advice down into three simple, but key, questions.

 

Success in sales hinges a great deal on appearances and first impressions whether you like it or not. Of course, landing a sale has everything to do with what you’re offering, what the client needs and the presentation itself. But even if all of that is on the up and up, most likely a client won’t trust you with their business if they don’t see you as a competent and professional individual. Therefore, a component of branding yourself as a successful and trustworthy salesperson has nothing to do with the actual business at hand, and all to do with you! We’ve got some tips to build your image in order to make sure your next sale sticks.

Marketing is not a one-note tune. In fact, most marketing textbooks feature meticulous descriptions of the Four P’s of marketing — four elements that work together in the creation of a successful campaign. If any one of the four is lacking, failure is a likely possibility.

 

Groupon, a well-known daily deals website, made headlines at the end of February when its CEO and founder, Andrew Mason, wrote a company memo regarding his departure from the company. The memo read, “I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding — I was fired today.” The casual tone he took regarding his ouster unsurprisingly raised some eyebrows, as did a few of the other decisions he made during his time at Groupon. However, some have interpreted Mason’s departure as a writing-on-the-wall moment for the daily deals industry. 

 

Last week, we discussed some ways to keep from becoming overwhelmed by work, and we’re always looking for more. With that in mind, we searched for the best apps out there to help you keep track of all your meetings, tasks and contacts. Smartphones are becoming almost ubiquitous with the average businessperson and they offer apps to simplify and organize your work life. No matter what your position is in the ad department, chances are you are constantly organizing and reprioritizing your daily, weekly and monthly tasks, meetings and leads. Wrapping your mind around everything that needs to get done can become a task in itself. However, we found eight apps that will help you manage your work and the stress it can incur. Read on below to discover the benefits and specs of these great apps that will help you keep your work life on track even when you’re on the go!

 

Professionals of most any industry are subject to stress, anxiety and being generally overwhelmed with work. Sales reps and ad mangers are no doubt familiar with these emotions as well. Managing workflow, keeping clients satisfied and sometimes losing a sale — all of this can contribute to stress and anxiety. Of course, some of it is inevitable, however, if there are ways to manage stress and anxiety, those methods should certainly be considered. Thankfully, CBS Money Watch’s Laura Vanderkam published the article, “Four Ways to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed” to help all professionals with managing their day-to-day work life. 

With experience on both the ad agency and media sides of the business, I’ve learned some lessons about relationships between the two. There are often clashes between agencies and the media. In most case, the friction between these two key players in the marketing world comes down to two things: control and money. Both want more control of advertisers’ media placement decisions and both are in business to make money.

 

While new technologies continue to outmode face-to-face and telephone sales calls, it’s important that when you do make a sales call to potential and existing clients, you make it worth their time. In an interview with Inc.com, Jeffrey Seeley, the CEO of Carew International, came up with a few major mistakes to avoid during sales calls in order to make every call count.

As a sales rep, you have to have a thick skin and almost impossible confidence. Sales can be a touchy career that causes reps to toughen up to meet its demands. However, sometimes the key to sales and relationship building is more about softening up and losing the tough exterior to make your clients more comfortable around you. In Jeff Haden’s article for Inc., “6 Habits of Remarkably Likeable People,” he details the ways people unleash their inner charisma and likeability that puts others at ease.

 

We attended a webinar lead by Janet DeGeorge, the President of Classified Executive Training. The presentation, “What to Expect in Classifieds: 2013 (And How to Monetize It!),” addressed what classified reps and managers should be doing in the New Year to improve their revenue. She broke the discussion down into the three major verticals: auto, real estate and recruitment. We brought back what you need to take away from DeGeorge’s presentation to adapt in your own office this year!

Reviews are vital to a business’ success nowadays, which puts those who review businesses in a unique and important position. Consumers have the ability to trump up or derail a business’ public appearance significantly, yet some consumers still receive substandard service. Self-proclaimed, “lifelong entrepreneur” Brad Newman, has developed something that can help tell a business that you mean business — the ReviewerCard. 

Thomas knows the power of storytelling. “I’ve found that the right stories help me sell more advertising,” he said. “After all, prospects are like everyone else. They like to hear stories and examples of things that have happened to other people. Thomas is right. Every sales person should have an arsenal of stories for a variety of purposes — to establish credibility, illustrate product benefits and answer objections.

“Recently I fired a great salesperson,” Stacey Alcorn wrote in the opening sentence of her article for The Huffington Post.  It took me by surprise, and I’m willing to bet your reaction was similar to mine. The success or failure of a newspaper ad department often hinges on the sales team. So why on earth would Alcorn fire someone she defines as a great salesperson? That is what she went on to explain in her article, “Firing Your Sales Force – Redefining Greatness.” As she noted, the sales industry has undergone a complete and utter transformation in the past 50 years, if not in just the past decade. It wasn’t so long ago that we would receive a knock on the front door and be greeted by a salesperson trying to sell kitchen utensils, make up or the like. Those days are past us, and now, with the help of smartphones, laptops and tablets, consumers go to the source for their purchases, often circumnavigating the salesperson. Although many salespeople, like the one Alcorn let go, may be great at their jobs based upon previous definitions — like the number of sales they can close — that may not be the case any more. Alcorn implored readers to redefine what it means to be a great salesperson and hire accordingly. She set up three key characteristics to look for when creating a sales team to be reckoned with.

The flaw: You’re meeting with a prospective client, but you seem to be communicating on different wavelengths. When you mention a key sales point, your prospect barely acknowledges it. And when he or she talks, you feel like the entire conversation is off topic. The experience reminds you of the two proverbial ships passing in the night, with neither crew being aware of the other. 

In mid-November of this year, a brand with a distinguished reputation as a staple of American life announced its intentions to liquidate the company after filing for bankruptcy not quite a year earlier. This company is Hostess, the maker of products that have become more than dessert treats — they have become fond memories of Americans for nearly 80 years. Although the company’s many products, including Wonder Bread and Twinkies, have been taken-for-granted regulars on the shelves of grocery stores all across the country, that alone was not enough to keep the company going. Now that Hostess has been relegated to become another bit of nostalgia for American consumers, it’s time to see what business lessons we can take from its shortcomings. Huffington Post’s Joseph F. Coughlin investigated just that in his article, “Hostess Twinkies and Three Lessons About Brand and Innovation.” 

The 2012 REALTORS® Conference & Expo was held in Orlando. It offered real estate professionals the chance to learn about some of the best new advice for marketing homes, getting referrals and dealing with their current markets. It also provided many networking opportunities, as well as the chance to peruse various vendors. One of the most informative and illustrative sessions at this year’s conference was “Powerful Advertising” by Ian Grace. In his talk, Grace discussed the problems of traditional advertising as well as tips and tricks to solve those problems. Many of his suggestions caused light bulbs to turn on in the attendees’ heads, as his advice was both attractive and strategic. Although he brought many strategies to the table, the intent was the same throughout: to sell homes you need to tailor your advertising to the lifestyle that home could provide, instead of focusing on the specifications of the house.