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Sell what people Buy

If you work in media sales, are you selling what your customers want to buy?  You may believe it’s your job to sell media. That’s what you’ve been hired to do, and that’s why your sales goal is a big part of your weekly one-on-one meeting with your manager.  I get that. But it’s how you get there that matters. Business owners come to you, not for media per se, but for more customers, better awareness, higher traffic counts, to differentiate from a competitor, and more.  They use media as the vehicle to get them to their destination. But buying media is not the reason they buy media. Local businesses almost always buy media for a specific strategic advertising or marketing purpose.  They need ideas and tactics to run on your media. That’s what and why they buy.

Be good at advertising and you’ll be great at selling.

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4 Awesome Comments So Far

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  1. Stephen Heath
    December 6, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

    In our experience, what effect does the ego have on buying media. I have family members who buy up billboards, radio ads and TV spots for their remodeling business and it often seems to be more about stroking their ego than gaining new business.

    • Dave
      December 6, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

      People buy media for all kinds of reasons. We’ve all seen hundreds of ads that feature the family dog, the grandkids, the baby…you name it. The one, sometimes unintended consequence, of these ads is that they almost always lead to some feedback for the owners. People see the family in the ads and comment to the owners. At least it provides positive reinforcement to the business owner that somebody is seeing or hearing the ads. That said, it’s a rarity in my experience that these kinds of ads significantly move the needle. How much authority does an 8-year old have when he tells me I should buy a car from his father? I’ve told clients of mine that it’s their money, and they can spend if as they wish, but then tried to set the expectation for these ads in line with what I’ve seen in the past. It works occasionally…but it’s a rare occasion in my experience.

  2. Jose Huitron
    December 8, 2010 at 5:49 am #

    People are looking for a solution to their current situation and an answer to a question they have yet to find. Focusing on the message and relationships is important as opposed to the medium itself.

  3. Bruce Rasmussen
    December 13, 2010 at 10:00 pm #

    Totally agree – stop selling “products”, start building visions of “outcomes”, and the selling takes care of itself.

    Aligned with this however – let’s not just sell WHAT our customers want to buy, let’s also take note of HOW they want to buy. Buyer behaviour has changed considerably over recent years, and social media is allowing buyers to consult a broader range of peers prior to even thinking about having a conversation with a sales person. So – rather than throw rocks at them and say “buy from me, buy from me”, we EITHER need to be there when they’re ready to buy, or alternatively we have to have positively influenced those that they will turn to when they seek advice. This works both offline (seminars, conferences etc), but particularly online, given social media’s ability to instantly connect buyers to a group or expert peers willing to give advice – that they hadn’t met moments before.