Following are 5 keys to building a successful media sales career. What they all have in common is how much these keys to success involve thinking. As Napoleon Hill says, “Thoughts are things.” Be careful what you think. Consistently focus your mind on the following golden nuggets and you will surely succeed:
1. Make up your mind that you are going to succeed.
It has been proven that the biggest factor in a successful sales career is not intelligence or industry knowledge. Though both are important, the biggest factor in sales success is optimism. A positive mental attitude and a successful self image will propel you to success.
2. Be an advertising and marketing expert.
If a customer is going to trust you with their advertising dollars and the future success of their business, they must have confidence that you have the knowledge and skill to help them. Become a lifelong student of marketing, advertising, media, consumer psychology, etc… You not only need to know your medium inside and out, you need to know about all types of media from broadcast to online to out of home. Become a true marketing expert and concern yourself with helping the client sell enchiladas, tires, roofs, windows or whatever they are selling….and the selling ads will take care of itself.
3. Sell after a prospective advertiser initially says no.
Most businesses are not ready and waiting for you to show up and sell them an ad. Many have been sold advertising programs in the past that did not deliver the results the sales representative led them to expect. Even when you know for sure that you can help the prospective client and communicate that with all your heart, you are likely to encounter resistance, objections, and attempts to delay making what you know would be a great decision that can help their business. Studying and applying proven sales tactics and the psychology of persuasion can help you effectively convince the prospect to make the right decision and partner with you and your medium to grow their business. You may have heard that the average prospect says “no” five times before they say “yes.” That might be true, but that doesn’t mean you have to turn into the prospect’s favorite pest and return five times asking for the business. All five “no’s” can and should occur in the same meeting that culminates in the start of a long term marketing partnership between you and your newest client.
4. Know when to walk away.
When you can not help a business with their goals, don’t make the sale. Our goal is not “making sales,” it is to help businesses grow sales and profits through effective, response oriented marketing. Having the ethics to walk away from a sale that is not a fit will empower you to fight harder and more believably to win a sale when it is truly right for the prospective client. When you know it’s right, sell hard and sell smart. The future of the prospect’s business and livelihood may very well depend on you and your ability to convince them to make a good marketing decision and forge a long term marketing partnership with someone like you, who can help them drive customer traffic with your medium and advise them of additional ways to grow their sales and profits.
5. Focus on what you can control.
While skill and hard work lead to sales results, you do not have ultimate control of outcomes. You do have ultimate control of what you do every day. Focus on how many prospecting “touches” you are performing and how many proposals you are presenting. If you focus on the quantity and quality of those two activities, the sales numbers will take care of themselves.