Chris Overby (@CMOverby)

Effective Prospecting for
Media Sales
Connect with Us: #EffectiveProspecting
Hanna Gnann (@FinnishChick)
Chris Overby (@CMOverby)
Hanna Gnann is the Local Sales Manager for and WRAL Mobile where she helps
increase branding, awareness and sales of local
businesses through online and mobile marketing.
Before joining the team at 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.
William Ammerman 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, 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
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
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
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
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
John Hammond 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
Lisa Jeffries
@LisaAtWRAL 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
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.
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
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
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
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
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!

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