Ways to keep the new customer sold

June 5, 2013

By Bob Berting
Sales Advice
Steve, your high-powered salesperson has just told you of his latest sale—a 13-week contract to Frank, owner of Frank’s Bakery. This had been a tough sell, and Steve is proud of his accomplishment. Now, as you might expect, Frank is going to carefully check the response to his advertising in your paper, even though Steve has sold him on the idea of a creative campaign to tell the story of his business and that readership will be like a snowball, slowly building as time goes by.


A predictable reaction from other media

In the days following the first ad of the 13-week program, Frank is inundated—not by customers—but by a cable TV person, two radio station people, and a salesperson from the local billboard company. All these people say their medium can do better in reaching Frank’s audience, both in numbers and cost. By the time Steve goes back to Frank the next week, Frank has developed some doubt about the wisdom of the 13-week contract.


Steve needs help

to counteract the competition

Keeping communication lines open and active between your publication and Frank are imperative to offset competitor claims, which are frequently aimed at undermining Frank’s confidence in your publication. An excellent device to help the situation is a monthly newsletter about the paper’s news features, success stories about your advertisers, information about upcoming promotions, and community events sponsored by your publication. Although the newsletter could be sent electronically as e-mail, it might have more impact as a printed piece delivered by mail. Another valuable service in the newsletter is to provide source material from trade association publications devoted to retailing and marketing. Your subscription to these publications will help you further understand the inside aspects of the advertiser’s business.


What about a marketing seminar for all your customers?

You can achieve a huge public relations hit by sponsoring a seminar for your inactives, regulars, and prospects. The end effect is to have your customers far more receptive to your salespeople and less inclined to look around at other competing media competition.

Here is a good agenda for such an event:

• The psychology of advertising.

• How to build a great campaign.

• How to develop a good marketing plan.

• Understanding media advantages and disadvantages.

• Nuts and bolts of good ad design.

• Small group workshop exercises.


Advertising is war

Would a general fight a war without knowing the size and composition of the opposing forces? Advertising salespeople with inside information about their competitors’ strengths and weaknesses are better able to understand their own and adjust their selling strategy accordingly. Being at conventions, trade shows, seminars and other professional meetings can afford you a perfect opportunity to talk to your competitors. Don’t be afraid to do this because you might want to have a trade out some day. The bottom line is that you present yourself and your publication in such a way that you effectively counteract other media competition. © Bob Berting 2013


Bob Berting is a professional speaker, newspaper sales trainer, and publisher marketing consultant who has conducted more than 1,500 live seminars, tele-seminars, and webinars for newspaper sales staffs, their customers, print media associations and trade associations in the U.S. and Canada. Bob’s advertising sales record in the industry is impressive. For 15 years, he averaged two cold contracts a week and sold 20 shopping centers on yearly contracts. He is the author of the best selling E-Booklet “Dynamic Advertising Sales and Image Power,” which can be ordered on his website www.bobberting.com. Contact Bob at 800-536-5408 or at bob@bobberting.com. He is located at 6330 Woburn Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46250.

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