Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Strengthening Your Customer Relations

Five tips to building and keeping relationships with advertisers
Here are five tips to building and keeping relationships with your advertisers. These tips find value in both face-to-face communication and online relations.

Creating and maintaining relationships with advertisers can be done in a multitude of ways. Actual connection and social media are two of the most predominate facets of communication in modern times. Often though, as the digi-era ages on, the reality of relationships becomes distorted. Some reps have confused the idea of digital intimacy for true intimacy. The ease and convenience of connecting to others online has given reps the idea that these relationships are more intense and more committed than they really are. These reps “run the risk of alienating the people who populate our daily lives in pursuit of intimacy with our online friends. We each have only so much intimacy to go around and we need to make sure we’re investing it for our own maximal benefit,” according to socialmediaexaminer.com. While I’m not suggesting neglecting the benefits of social media, I do recommend you proceed with caution, and remember the value in human interaction.

Below we’ve outlined five tips to building and keeping relationships with your advertisers. These tips find value in both face-to-face communication and online relations.

1. Listen. Listen to the needs of your advertiser and figure out what advertising platform will be the most beneficial medium to promote their product or service.

2. Teach. Teach your prospects about new technologies, including social media, mobile advertising, interactive ads or multimedia ads. Don’t be afraid to use social media to teach social media, and you mustn’t forget about video or audio advertising online or on a mobile device to bring the advertiser to a hyperlocal advantage over the competition. 

3. Give. If you have an advertiser that has stuck with you through the turbulence of the economic state, reward them. Give them a little something extra to show your gratitude. You can give them future purchase discounts, coupons from other advertisers, have a pizza delivered to them, drop off treats, any sort of gift or extra will help them feel like you’re going the extra mile to reward their loyalty to you, proving your loyalty to them.

4. Be Quick. You’re busy, they’re busy; everybody’s busy these days. So be quick. Once you’ve created a relationship with the advertiser, maintain it by respecting their necessity for expedience. Be quick to return all messages, show up for meetings early, but not too early. Most importantly, be respectful of their time. One easy way to do this is through social media communications, on sites like Facebook, to send quick messages back and forth, you can even use the chat feature if the client so desires, but get a signed agreement before chatting them.

5. Be Real. Give your prospect a realistic view of who you are as a sales rep and what the newspaper’s values are when selling advertising. “Small business owners have the advantage over their big corporate brothers by being more personal and the ability to pay attention to details,” Rod Kirby of Rod Kirby’s Success Center says.