Creating a List of “Most Likely to Buy” Prospects

One of the biggest factors in a Media Sales Pro’s success is focusing their efforts on the prospects most likely to purchase advertising. Filling your sales pipeline with “most likely to buy” prospects is key to creating a large number of mutually profitable, long term business relationships and building a successful career as a Media Sales Pro.

The prospects most likely to be responsive to sales and marketing efforts on behalf of your medium are:

1. Direct Competitors’ Advertisers

For example, if you work with a coop direct mail product, direct competitors’ advertisers would be comprised of businesses placing direct response or coupon advertising with cooperative direct mail and coupon focused competitors. Examples of these competitors include: Ad Pages, Community Impact, Local Community News, Register Tapes Unlimited, RSVP, Valassis/Red Plum and Valpak.

2. Indirect Competitors’ Ads With Offers or Creative Appeals Suited to Your Medium

If you work as a Media Sales Pro for a coop direct mailer, businesses placing direct response or coupon advertising with print media competitors that are not coop mail would be these type of prospects. Only the businesses that are in categories known to do well in your medium would be prospects.

3. New Businesses in Proven Categories for Your Medium

New businesses need to advertise. While new business owners are often easier to sell (even if the media is not a fit) be careful to know your media outlet and only target the new businesses it can drive customers for. It is ideal to reach new businesses as early as possible, long before they open with a door flyer, social media message, sales letter, phone call or all of the above. Being observant in your local territory for “coming soon” signs and on local chamber and media social channels for “coming soon” announcements is a great way to catch become aware of new businesses. The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts also publishes lists of new corporation and sales tax permit filings.

4. Former Advertisers in Proven Categories

Some former advertisers may not have been a fit for your meduim. However, if they are in a business category that your medium is known to work well for, they are great prospects. Finding out the reason they did not renew and proposing a “win back” program to get them back in the envelope can be highly effective. The reason they stopped advertising could be as simple as being “orphaned” by a rep who left. They likely ran a test program that did not deliver the results they expected either because reasonable expectations were not set and agreed upon or the reach, offer and/or frequency were not optimized to maximize results.

5. Chain Stores Advertising with Your Medium in Other Markets

If a business concept is executing a successful campaigns with your type of medium in one or several other markets, it is likely that the location in your market will do well with you. Better than a spec ad, you can show these prospects actual successful ads that other locations in their chain are currently using to grow their businesses.

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