Don’t lie… & other top sales tips

Selling advertising is not easy, but your chances of success will be greatly increased if you follow these simple tips…

By James Evelegh

Don’t lie… & other top sales tips
Caroline Ackroyd of Crosby Associates (on the left) and Steph Cope of the Publishing Software Company.

What is the secret of successful ad sales? That question, which every publisher would like to know the answer to, was the reason I was in Manchester last week to talk to Crosby Associates’ Caroline Ackroyd. The interview was part of a sponsored content article we are running in the next issue of InPublishing magazine for the Publishing Software Company (whose Advertising Manager and Contact Manager software Crosby uses).

Having chatted with Caroline, who has worked in ad sales for over twenty years, I have nine tips for ad managers.

Encourage your team to:

  1. Never lie: quite apart from the ethics, they will get found out.
  2. Build trust and relationships.
  3. Listen, and that doesn’t just mean keeping quiet when the prospect is talking.
  4. Pitch to the right person. This might not be the PA or receptionist, although these people can be useful sources of information if handled well.
  5. Be passionate about what they’re selling.
  6. Not take ‘no’ personally.
  7. Document all their communications in the contact management system. This will help them refine their sales pitch. It also means you can pick up the thread when your sales person is sick / leaves or gets hit by a bus.
  8. Let your contact management system take the strain. If used properly, the system will remind a sales person about all the things they need to do on any particular day.
  9. Not to hound or stalk prospects.

In turn, your sales team has a right to expect a happy working environment where everyone’s input is recognised and rewarded, where your publishing product exceeds the promises your sales team has made on your behalf and where your wider publishing operation is a pleasure for their advertising clients to do business with. In short, make it easy for them to sell.

Do all these things and your ad revenue will grow…