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Top 5 Ways Digital Sellers Blow the Sale

Top 5 Ways Digital Sellers Blow the Sale

As a trainer of all things digital for Vici, I have the opportunity to travel all over the country and meet talented sales teams in television, radio, and print.  My job is to teach “traditional” media sellers to become well-rounded integrated marketers who combine both digital and traditional marketing techniques to accomplish the end client’s sales goals.

A fascinating pattern I have witnessed over the years, involves the shift in the sales process itself when selling digital vs. traditional media.  It’s almost as if selling digital changes how we as sellers treat the end client- which should never happen regardless of what type of product you may be selling! Here are the top five ways digital sellers are blowing the sale- and ways to overcome these common pitfalls.


Mistake #1: It’s all about you.  Not the client.  Digital marketing is new and cutting-edge, which can translate to some as selling a “shiny object.”  Digital sellers are more likely to talk to the client ad nauseum about their cool new digital whizzbang, instead of taking the time to learn about the client’s personal marketing needs and goals.  This is a huge mistake.  Pitching a product shouldn’t occur during the fact finding phase with a client.  Focus most of the meeting learning about the client prior to pitching any product or service, no matter how intriguing it may be.

Mistake #2: Lots of shaking your head up and down.  Not enough note taking.  Sellers are over-worked, over-stretched, and only as good as their last sale.  Good sellers are taking 3+ client meetings a day and need to keep themselves organized.  I’m shocked every time I see a client meeting occurring without the salesperson taking notes.  I’m not shocked when a week later during a pitch a salesperson is scrambling to remember what was said.  You know an easy way to get a sale? Repeat back the priorities of the client to the client during the pitch.  It shows you care about their business.  It sounds simple, but this is more of a rarity than the norm in most client meetings.

Mistake #3: You are your client’s best friend.  I can’t state enough how important it is to have a great rapport with your client; to build a friendly relationship; even become friends outside of your business relationship.  But in a work-related meeting you need to break the ice, then start the meeting.  Take five minutes to chat about friendly topics, then talk all about the client, then a little about you prior to getting the assignment for your next meeting.  If you leave without the assignment, you are a friend, not a marketing expert.

Mistake #4: I don’t know what you’re currently doing, but here’s what you should be doing. As a marketer, our jobs are a little like solving a puzzle. We have to not only figure out how to attract new customers to our client’s business, but we also have to figure out how we fit into their overall brand strategy with other mediums. Cohesiveness between media makes a brand more appealing to the end customer because it makes the path to purchase more logical. Prior to even making a recommendation about any product, a great salesperson will ask: “in your current media mix, what are you doing both offline and online? What have you done in the past that has worked, and what hasn’t worked?” Doing this will not only give you valuable insight into potential pitfalls, but it gives you the opportunity to make thoughtful recommendations about media integration.

Mistake #5: Going for the close during your first appointment. Does that statement make you cringe like it made me while typing it? High-pressure one-meeting closes are very uncomfortable for everyone involved. If you were thoughtful enough to ask probing questions during your consultation, be thoughtful enough to leave the meeting with an assignment. Your assignment could be to start pulling sales figures for your client, it could be to start doing research on your client’s demographic in the area, or it could even be to bring them mock designs, case studies, or whatever your client needs as a next step. The best salespeople approach every account with a consultative viewpoint. It certainly pays well to have that outlook!

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