Effective Prospecting for Media Sales Connect with Us: #EffectiveProspecting Hanna Gnann (@FinnishChick) Chris Overby (@CMOverby) Hanna Gnann is the Local Sales Manager for WRAL.com and WRAL Mobile where she helps increase branding, awareness and sales of local businesses through online and mobile marketing. Before joining the team at WRAL.com four years ago, Hanna sold advertising on mobile phones before smartphones existed, and yellow page ads back when phone books still made it inside the doorway. She is slightly obsessed with technology and emerging media, to the point of pursuing a Master’s degree in Technical Communication from East Carolina University. Hanna is a mom, a wife and a Tar Heel. Chris Overby is the Sales Manager for the CBC Digital Elements team at WRAL. He is a Raleigh native and attended Millbrook High School and NC State University. Chris has worked in local marketing for the past 15 years, the past 10 with Capitol Broadcasting Company. In that time he has met with thousands of small business owners and marketers. DO YOUR HOMEWORK William Ammerman WRAL.com Director of Sales and Marketing • • • Invest in paid tools that provide you metered market data about your industry o Who is spending money on your product and service? Remaining current on business news in your industry o Subscribe to and read industry trade publications o Also read general press (ie: Triangle Business Journal) regularly to keep an eye on business news Know your competition o And know who their customers are Marian Bell Sales Marketing Director • Daily email newsletters from business publications, such as Triangle Business Journal or even WRAL.com, write about new businesses coming to the area, retailers opening up, new franchises, new real estate projects, etc. o Students who want to go into sales should definitely subscribe to these newsletters to find out what’s going on in the area to increase their knowledge of the area and for lead generation. Gordon Buchanan Account Executive • When Prospecting, it is helpful to find businesses that are active online o If they are doing Pay Per Click, are active on social media, and have a respectable website then they are more than likely aware that the internet is a useful tool, and thus are good prospects. Reagan Fisher Account Executive • Reading reviews on non-objective internet sites can tell you a lot about a company and its practices o If a company has poor online reviews that are not addressed by the owner or manager, it tells me that they do not care about their online reputation. o When prospecting online, reading the reviews will tell you a lot about the kind of marketing they do. If they could care less about their reputation, they probably are not the best prospect. David O’Neal Account Executive • Always research a prospect via social media (if possible) prior to a clients needs analysis (CNA) o If you know what their hobbies and interests are outside of work (Facebook), or where they went to school/what their professional experience is (LinkedIn) then it can help you to find common ground between the two of you and build rapport. Chris Overby SMB Sales Manager • Build an ICP (Ideal Customer Profile): Figure out the commonalities that link your best customers and seek prospects that fit that profile o For local advertising it is often characteristics like: local decision maker, currently spending money on advertising, specific demographic target (college students), local retail, etc o When evaluating potential prospects, run through this mental checklist and see if there are any warning signs (national agency, never advertise, B2B, homeowner demographic) Laura Stillman Sales Manager • Read the paper everyday and look for business trends, grand openings, new businesses under construction, events taking place that might create opportunities o Be knowledgeable about the market, and the local news in order to open doors and provide insights to your prospects! o Of course, you can look for ads while you’re there. o But you’re really trying to find out about things that are GOING to happen, not what has already occurred. Chris Weatherly • @CWWeatherly CBC Audience Network Sales Manager Plan ahead and prospect around major annual events (holiday shopping, Mother’s Day, back to school shopping, football season, spring cleaning, summer vacation season, etc.) o If you want to prospect advertisers for a back to school shopping campaign, don’t wait until the summer to start reaching out. o Start making contact months in advance and get on their radar. o That way, when they begin formalizing their plans, you will be ahead of the game. TAILOR YOUR APPROACH Dante Genua Account Executive • Try out new approaches on prospective clients that you feel you are less likely to close o It’s good practice and will prepare you better for clients you are more apt to close. Hanna Gnann Local Sales Manager • The best time to cold call prospects is 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. o 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. is second o 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. is the worst KeAndrea McLaurin Account Executive • Try to reach out to decision-makers only o The decision maker is more than likely the person who makes the rules and can overrule decisions regarding products or services. o He/she also is the person who allocates money, set budgets, issue POs, sign checks, etc. o It cuts out the middle man and you’re working with the person who actually has the money and can spend it! Adam Weyne Director of Sales • • Make face calls as often as possible and don’t make the mistake of hiding behind emails or the phone o It’s the laziest mistake we make in this business. When a phone call comes in for me and I don’t recognize the number, welcome to my voicemail. If it’s a salesperson, you better make an impression on the phone within 5 seconds or you have lost me. Conversely if a salesperson shows up at the front and I’m in my office, I will absolutely meet them STAY ON TOP OF YOUR GAME John Hammond WRAL.com National Account Manager • Just as you would block a consistent time in your calendar for daily workouts, it’s just as important to book a consistent time in your calendar to prospect every day o Set aside a couple of hours daily, preferably in the morning, to make phone calls. Lisa Jeffries • @LisaAtWRAL WRAL.com Marketing Manager Not all prospecting requires day-to-day manual labor. What are the outlets already available to your organization that perhaps you’re not making resourceful use of to generate leads? o Don’t assume that no one in your audience is in need of advertising! o Do you have a lead generating form on your website? o Do you have an email list with subscribers that you can send a dedicated message to about your advertising products? o Are you using unsold inventory on your website to promote your advertising sales? (This goes for all mediums’ unsold inventory.) o Are you looking at the businesses that post on your Facebook page/send you tweets/comment on Instagram as a way of generating exposure for themselves? Rebecca Journigan Account Executive • • Bottom line is that your success is reliant on, first, the law of numbers. The more people you call on, the more you are going to close. But, more importantly, know your product, audience and need that the prospect has. o Address the need with a solution using your products but if you can’t, tell them that! o We will have a solution 98% of the time with our products BUT, sometimes it doesn’t match up. In that case, we move on and free up time for the next 10 prospects and have gained in the process! Summer Meares Account Executive • Keep your eyes and ears open at all times o If an advertiser is on the radio, tv, online (paid search or banner ads) or billboards, they are paying to be there for a reason: branding, lead generation, etc. REVIEW, FINESSE & BUILD YOUR BUSINESS Kendra Hill Account Executive • • • • • • Learn to love the word “no” o prospects that are a “maybe”, “call me in a month”, etc. waste more of your time Stay organized o Take notes on clients Earn trust o Which takes time - lunch or coffee is great way to build rapport Be honest and sincere Also ask “why?” o Be curious And most importantly… don’t give up! Michelle Honeycutt Account Executive • My absolute best advice for prospecting is in asking for referrals. o If I have a client that has had success with us, I ask if he has a friend or business owner that would benefit from WRAL-TV or WRAL.com. o I know it sounds simple but it never fails! Conley Kenney Account Executive • Strike while the iron is hot o Make it a habit to contact your referrals within two business days or less. o Don’t allow your potential clients to fall through the cracks. Robert Thompson Account Executive • Keep a track record of the people you contact. Review it often and see if there is a pattern to the types of people or companies with which you were most successful and least successful o o o o • • o o Try to figure out the reasons why you were successful or unsuccessful. Were there any common elements between the companies or people in each group? Did you have the benefit of specific industry knowledge? Do you get along better with a certain type of person and that type of person was in the top group? Are you intimidated by a certain type of person? Learn about yourself through this exercise and grow from it. Seek out more people or companies like those where you had success o Find someone who might be doing better with the companies in the group where you where you were less successful and ask for some tips and suggestions. It sounds obvious, but the most successful people have learned where best to focus the majority of their time. Study yourself and play to your strengths Adam Weyne Director of Sales • • Prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process because it’s where the life of sale starts o I used to think that calling on 100’s of leads and playing the numbers game was the path to excellence. o My closing ratio might have been 15% but I made so many calls that it didn’t matter, as long I was closing business. I now believe quality of the prospect trumps quantity o We have so many competitive tools at our disposal, and so many solutions for clients, that making 100’s of calls is just plain inefficient and impractical. o I also struggle with energy sometimes on the phone. So the bottom line is qualify your prospect before you invest a lot of time into making calls. o Think about your return on investment of time, because time is the most valuable asset we have as salespeople and we don’t have enough of it…ever!