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Media: It’s OK to sell in a crisis

What do you do with your sales team during a global pandemic? Mothball them? Stop talking to clients and prospects? Certainly not, says Spread the Word Media's Martin Maynard.

By Martin Maynard

Media: It’s OK to sell in a crisis

In a crisis, the role of the media sales team is critical. Sure, it may not be the right time for the hard sell, but it is the time to strengthen and build upon those client relationships we have all spent so long developing.

Is there anything sales can do in the face of this global pandemic? You bet there is! This is an opportunity to:

1. Spearhead communications.

Many of your customers will be feeling anxious about what lies ahead. Be proactive, reach out to them, and, as appropriate, make sure to: listen, support, share, update, reassure. Be available, increase the amount of time you spend communicating with clients and try to arrange live video chats when possible. Importantly, be human, be kind.

2. Earn the ‘trusted adviser’ status.

In a crisis, some marketing budgets will be hit hard. How can you help? Is there a product / service / skill set / resource you can offer for free at this time? We overuse the term ‘added value’ in media sales but a crisis is the ideal opportunity to turn a cliché into real action, and to demonstrate that we are building relationships for the long term.

3. Champion innovation.

There’s no such thing as business as usual in a crisis. You may need to innovate to survive. Your clients’ purchasing habits will change; share these observations with your internal teams and use these insights to deliver new (or updated) revenue generating products and services as rapidly as possible.

4. Drive sales.

It’s OK to sell in a crisis. In the topsy-turvy world we inhabit, a crisis for one customer will inevitably spell opportunity for another. Don’t be afraid to put out special offers and package deals; you never know, you may just get a ‘yes’.

5. Be the optimist.

All crises end. Share the success stories you are hearing about. Discuss how you can help now, and once the situation has eased. Would flexible payment terms help a customer to bridge the gap until the worst has passed? Know your customers, be alert to their individual needs and always deliver exceptional service.

People who choose to work in media sales are by nature hardy, quick to adapt to new situations, innovative and optimistic – perfect for any crisis!

"...extensive experience of working in the media and publishing sectors..."

About us

Spread the Word Media (StWM) is an independent sales and marketing agency based in Hampshire serving clients throughout the UK, Europe and US. StWM has extensive experience of working in the media and publishing sectors. We work with clients on an ad-hoc basis, or as an extension of their sales and marketing team to deliver fresh ideas, targeted strategies and measurable outcomes.

+ 44 (0)1730 719 600

Twitter: @StWM_UK