Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Ah, it’s that time of year again, the birds are chirping and the snow is melting; spring has arrived! What better way to celebrate the better weather than improving the scenery inside, as well! It’s easy to overlook as you begin to thaw out, but spring-cleaning your office can remove the crud and grime and improve your productivity.

I remember as a radio sales manager, I read research from a Radio Ad Bureau advertiser study that stated “clients hate the language ad reps use.” This was “eye opening” to me at the time, since I always enjoyed using “media speak” within the confines of the radio station, so why not show it off in front of clients as well? I was always using terms like: flight, spots, remote, copy, tag, donut, etc.

Did you know your managers, directors and executives are being advised to shake up the sales department this year? In 2010, both WCAA and SNA gave examples of veteran sales reps that had gotten a little too smitten with their clients, having a relationship where an advertiser could repeatedly deny upgrading and the rep was left with the same clients, same advertisements and the same revenue. These reps weren’t generating new clients, nor were they gaining any new revenue, two essentials for survival in today’s classified industry. Because week-after-week, month-after-month, they’re performance was continual, but in no way emergent, their territory took a shift.

“Tomorrow I’ll” holds an important lesson of optimism. Especially in these challenging economic times, sales people need to forget yesterday’s disappointments and move on to something with more promise.

“This year I’m going to lose 30 pounds and I’m going to make 50 sales calls a day at work.” New Year’s resolutions: year-in optimism turned year-end disheartening. Every year on December 31, as the clock draws near midnight, people around the world scramble to create their resolutions to make “this the year I should… (Fill in the blank).” This year, instead of waiting until the last minute (hey, didn’t you have a resolution to stop procrastinating last year?), make your list, and make it last.

One of the most challenging aspects of being a sales representative is learning to master the follow-up calls and callbacks. It takes talent to accomplish these facets, and things can make or break your success in sales. Follow-ups and callbacks need to be treated with delicacy and care.

Charlie Anderson is a sales consultant, trainer, motivational speaker and author. He started his career in the newspaper business; his family owned a group of newspapers in the Boston area. He now has close to 23 years of sales and entrepreneurship experience and spends much of his time consulting and training outside sales at newspapers across the country.

As a leader, you are responsible for  the well-being of your representatives.
If you have a struggling rep, its not uncommon that a director or manager decides to just forgo the struggle and let the rep go without “wasting everyone’s time” to train them in a method that would work uniquely. 

If you have a sales rep come to you saying they’re in jeopardy of missing quota, again, take the opportunity to lend a helping hand. Don’t turn your back on your rep, try these tips to help them gain confidence, achieve success and generate revenue.   

Most sales representatives, at some point or another in their career, have had to overcome a struggle of effective and comfortable prospecting. Here are a few tips and techniques to help ease the process of prospecting.

The first step to learning the secrets of success in sales is to accept the basic principles, as they are now, not how they were 10 years ago. The easiest way to embrace the changing market is to take the basics and grow.  Take a leadership approach to your s ales. Take accountability, forget the excuses and bring in the revenue! Here’s how.

In a company, even before starting, you’re supposed to be aware of the “dos and don’ts” list. It is essential to follow these guidelines because, although no one will spell out the list for you, people will notice when you violate one of the unspoken performance expectations. 

It’s the nature of a salesperson to strive to sell more and make more money. But the push to make money can make it easy to resort to a hard sell. However, that’s not always the most effective sales technique. It’s important to build a rapport with your clients, so you can be perceived as more than just trying to make a sale.

Four tips to be a better problem solver.

Motivation is internal. It begins and ends within your own perception and determination. It’s no one else’s responsibility to keep you motivated; you’re in complete control. As a sales representative, motivation is vital to your success.  Unfortunately, people commonly mistake motivation to come merely by the aide of a muse, an external inspiration.  Keep it in you and watch your sales soar.

People who know how to listen are able to communicate more efficiently. Most people think communication is simply about speaking and devalue the significance of listening. Listening helps people learn more, care more and ultimately become more social, as people want to be around them more, personally and professionally.

It’s that time again; it seems to sneak up without warning—your yearly performance review. No matter how good of an employee you are, it’s intimidating. But don’t be scared. You have the power and responsibility to manage your performance, and your manager’s view of your performance. Here are a few sure-fire steps to receiving the perfect performance review.

I was talking to Vic about the challenges of selling frequency. “In today’s economy, advertisers are looking for ways to trim costs,” he said. “Frequency is one of the first places they look. No matter how many ads they have run within the past year–a hundred or a dozen–they are putting everything under the microscope.”

The fear of cold calling is a painful struggle for many sales representatives.  It’s a silent, psychological struggle that occurs within. But, why the fuss? Is it rejection? Are you afraid you’re going to encounter rudeness on the other line? Do you worry you’re going to sound silly?  Usually, it’s all three in some sort of combination. Very few people are truly confident going to the phone, calling 200 people a day without hesitation to make a sale. Most have at least a fragment of resistance to cold calling; some go further with an emotional fear that causes them to completely avoid the classic technique all together. 

As a sales representative, you are the face of your newspaper. Advertisers look to you to gain trust in the publication. So what if you’re unprepared or caught off-guard? While this should never be the case, there are unexpected instances that can throw any sales representative off balance—that is if they don’t keep a tool kit with them. If you have a hammer and screwdriver, but need pliers, you can hammer and screw all you want, but you still won’t get the job done right. Now, I’m not saying go to your hardware store and pick out hammers and nails, but take that concept to the sales floor. Keep your essentials on hand in order to be prepared for hammering, screwing and plying. 

If you’re in sales, you already know that it’s far from a 40-hour a week job.  Sales is about getting seen, being heard, building relationships and ultimately, making money.  Luckily, we live in “generation gadget” where technology is creeping its way into each aspect of sales, marketing, advertising and pretty much every other facet of everyday life.  So with technology everywhere, how do you turn the craze into cash? You find the users—build the relationships, get seen, be heard and make the money. 

Incentive programs are a time-honored tradition in the sales industry. They have proven to help motivate employees to achieve higher results. But in today’s economy, can you really afford a monetary-based incentive program? Instead, think of new and creative ways to motivate your employees.