Peady’s Selling Engagement sponsored by IRD Prospector
“If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less” – Eric Shinseki (former US Army Chief of Staff)
Media sales is part of a fast moving business, a business that has radically changed in the past 10 years and even more so in the past five.
The process of selling media
How dramatically has that changed?
ï Salespeople are no longer the exclusive sources of product knowledge or pricing.
ï Salespeople now find their prospects are much further along in the buying cycle.
ï Salespeople utilise tools such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Google and email to connect with potential customers.
ï Skype and phone calls are often replacing face-to-face meetings.
ï There are vast amounts of relatively objective and free online resources that customers (and potential customers) can source.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
ï Making contact with the decision maker(s) is harder
ï There are often multiple layers of decision makers and influencers
ï The sales cycle now takes considerably longer
ï CRM software such as Salesforce or Landslide together with other pipeline measurement / management tools mean accountability is more focussed
ï The competition is tougher, hungrier and sometimes simply better
Question is, have you adapted to these changes? There’s plenty to come.
A core change in approach
To use an old phrase – everything has changed but then again maybe nothing has changed.
Today’s customer expectations are simply an evolution of change. But, the principles that sustain the best sales professionals remain the same.
These key principles are having deep knowledge about the customer and the customer’s business. The only way to uncover this knowledge is via solid upfront research, face to face meetings, asking strong relatable questions and listening, really listening to the responses. Then crafting a genuine win-win solution.
Perhaps today’s selling style is more like “I’m good at understanding what you do and here’s how I can help you”.
About the author
Stephen Pead is a media industry veteran of 30 years with significant experience in direct sales, sales management and general management. He is based in Sydney and specialises in helping SME’s market their businesses more effectively and providing training for salespeople and sales managers.
He can be contacted at [email protected]