Developing the Need for Advertising

Developing the Need for Advertising

By Dave Baragrey

 

Before any business will buy advertising they must recognize a need that advertising can help them fill. Developing the need for advertising is one of the things that set apart the great advertising salespeople from the mediocre advertising salespeople. Great salespeople create enthusiasm in their clients for the results advertising can bring.

 

Too often, salespeople walk into a business and ask, “Do you want an ad this week?” Nobody wants an ad. What they want are more customers.

 

Top advertising salespeople set the stage for the customer to visualize more customers coming through his front door as a result of advertising in your paper. When the customer can visualize the results from advertising, you have created a need for them to advertise.

 

I know this all sounds like theory and hocus-pocus so let’s simplify the process and identify some effective ways to help your customers visualize results and help develop the need for advertising.

 

Build Credibility – There is no quick answer to this one. It takes time to build your credibility to your customers.

First, they want to know that you are dependable. Most advertisers are sick of having a new salesperson call on them every six months. Typically, customers do not offer this information freely to anyone who walks through the door. A salesperson must gain the confidence of the advertiser. This requires a consistent pattern of sales calls so they know you are there for the long run.

Second, build the feeling that the salesperson is there to help the advertiser, not just get into his billfold. The best results come from the salesperson bringing the advertiser ideas and marketing information. Businesses love to see information about local demographic and shopping patterns. They also like to see you walk through the door with a great ad idea for them to use. This shows them that you are there to partner with them and help them bring more customers through the door, not just beg them for money.

 

Ask Questions – A salesperson cannot fill a need through advertising if they don’t ever take the time to discover what the customer’s needs are. Find out what makes their business unique and popular. Ask them what they would like to improve in their store. Ask if they have days that are typically slow in sales. Do they have a line of products that offer good profit potential are slow selling? Are there nearby geographic markets (that you reach with your paper) that they would like to better develop? Is there a certain demographic that they would like to target? All of these things can be done with advertising. Take note of their answers to these questions and design an advertising plan that help them develop the results to what they need from advertising. 

 

Shut up and ListenThis rule is perhaps the most important. Salespeople talk when they are nervous. This is how they control the conversation. God gave you two eyes, two ears, and one mouth. That’s four devices for input and one for output. That’s a good ratio. How much listening do you do to your customers? They have good information for you, but you need to prompt them to talk and then shut up. Listen to their answers and then develop a plan to help them fill the need for their business. If you listen and respond, they will feel that you are there to help them and not just get into their pocket.

I had dinner with speaker, Denis Waitley one night. He told a story about when he was scheduled to meet with a meeting planner the evening before he was scheduled to speak. He was coming down with a cold and wasn’t feeling well but kept the dinner appointment. He felt sort of fuzzy and listened to the meeting planner throughout the meal without commenting very much. He mostly just nodded his head and said things like, “hmmm, that’s interesting.” On his way to the airport following the next day’s session, the meeting planner told him how much she enjoyed the previous evening’s dinner and what a great conversationalist he is. He had simply let her do most of the talking and just listened. The lesson was that is takes a good listener to make a good conversation. Two eyes, two ears and one mouth.

 

If you learn to ask the right questions and then listen, the customer will identify his own need to advertise.

 

Here is a quote to remember:

“A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something.”

Wilson Mizner, U.S. dramatist

 

Dave Baragrey is a business consultant and sales trainer for Publishers-Edge, a Special Section syndicate for print and on-line special sections, and consulting business specifically designed to help weekly and daily papers.

Websites – www.Publishers-Edge.com, www.Coupon-America.NET and www.SpecialSectionOnLine.com

E-mail dbaragrey@Publishers-Edge.com

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