Why Digital Is Not A One-Call-Close

Why Digital Is Not A One-Call-Close

When training traditional media advertising salespeople on how to sell digital, I find that the biggest hurdle is often what made them successful salespeople people to begin with – being able to get their message across quickly, devise a solution, and close the sale – often all in one meeting.

When you are selling a media advertising product that people are familiar with (i.e. radio, tv, print) and that is easy to understand, the one-call-close can work. But digital advertising has so many options, so many products, so many moving parts, that to put together a winning campaign you almost have to do a two-step process.

First, find out what the customer’s needs are and educate them about your digital products.

Second, come back with a comprehensive plan that pinpoints exactly what products the customer should use to solve his or her needs.

Because when it comes to digital advertising – local businesses are NOT making quick, gut decisions. As Borrell Inc.’s research shows, “Advertisers buy digital media based on data, while print and broadcast media are more of a gut decision.”

Why is educating the prospective customer about digital first, so imperative? One reason is that people don’t buy what they don’t understand. Secondly, as this chart shows from Borrell, Inc.’s research, many local businesses are flying blind trying to self-educate themselves about digital advertising. “Misfires and frustrations are likely to spur a stronger demand for marketing education and a greater level of consultation from marketing-savvy ad reps.”

That’s where a salesperson who comes in and first educates the advertiser and then sells, can become a trusted marketing partner.

We advocate a “WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, HOW” process for the first meeting with a potential digital advertiser.
WHO: Who are you trying to reach? Describe your ideal customer.
WHAT: What advertising have you done in the past? What worked and what didn’t work?
WHERE: Where does your customer live and work?
Based on the answers to these three questions you can decide out of your arsenal of digital products, which ones should you educate the customer about and explain in that first meeting? Then end the meeting with these two questions.
WHEN: When you like me to come back with a specific proposal based on what we’ve talked about today?
HOW: How much budget would you like me to use?

Based on your information from this first meeting we can put together a detailed and specific proposal for that particular advertiser’s needs which then you can go back to and close in that second meeting.

In the end its consultative salespeople that not only win the buy, but they set up strong digital campaigns that see long term success. Our numbers prove it. 70% of all our digital campaigns sold in 2017 have been renewed!


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