Selling Digital: 4 Ideas for Presenting a Winning Solution Blog Feature
Steve Bookbinder

By: Steve Bookbinder on August 2nd, 2018

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Selling Digital: 4 Ideas for Presenting a Winning Solution

Digital Publishing | Sales Tips | Sales Meetings | presentation skills

What does it take to create and present a winning digital solution? What can you do to gain a competitive advantage over the “other guys”? 

The basis of building and presenting a winning solution comes from having a solid understanding of your customer’s business, priorities, and goals. What are they trying to accomplish?

Let’s break down how to present a winning solution by looking at 4 critical presentation strategies and tactics:

  1. Solution Set Selling
  2. Out-Research Your Competitors
  3. Prepare Your Best Answers:
    • What do you do?
    • What makes you different?
    • What makes you better?
    • Why are you worth the investment?
  4. Choose the right starting point

Solution Set Selling

Many publishers are already selling a variety of digital products and their offers continue to expand.  So, how much of each product and service should you sell? 

Asset Allocation, which is when you sell the right amount of each, is best achieved when you address the advertiser’s challenges in solution sets rather than cobbling together a bunch of individual products.

As an example of a solution set, let’s say the advertiser is trying to reach the people at the bottom of the funnel. 

We want to present a comprehensive multi-platform, multi-faceted approach that might include mobile and video, re-targeting and behavioral targeting, – all of the services that, combined, reach targeted people on platforms that get the most engagement, with targeting filters and ad units that produce the highest engagement. 

Simply naming the solution set a “bottom of the funnel” or “conversion set” suggests that you’re focused on the advertiser’s goal.

Consider creating a package of services or solution sets that represent your best possible, most complete, solution for these marketing challenges:

  • Reaching and converting the bottom of the funnel
  • Reaching and fractionally-converting the middle of the funnel
  • Reaching and engaging the top of the funnel
  • Generating social media follows
  • Generating new leads
  • Generating app downloads

When you discuss your solution sets, focus on the comprehensive advantages. In other words, don’t let anyone cherry pick the individual elements – the package works best when the advertiser does all of the components.

That said, be prepared to break down the delivery into a phase 1 and phase 2 so that you can sell them on the concept of the package without asking them to commit to a budget before you’ve proven yourself to them.

Out-Research Your Competitors

Before you begin your presentation, make sure you consider what your competitors are doing to prepare. Your job is to top them regardless of how much research they did.

To make sure you do that, let’s consider all of the following:

How does your prospect monetize website traffic?

Look at the advertiser’s site to find out how they monetize their site visitors. You can do this by determining which blogs, landing pages, and videos, etc., are most valuable to the advertiser.

Do they belong to any associations or trade organizations?

Determine which trade organizations your advertiser is a member of and check out that trade organization’s website.  What hot button issue did the keynote speaker at their last annual meeting talk about? Usually, you can find that speech as a resource on their website. Even if you only spend a few minutes viewing, it will prepare you to walk into your presentation knowing the hot button issues affecting companies in that industry or business and will provide you with a few “insider” terms and phrases to use.

What keywords is the advertiser targeting?

Identify all of the keywords your advertiser and their competitors are investing in on search engines. Then check out how well they rank for each word against their competitors. Not only will you be able to approximate how much budget is going to paid search, but you can see how competitive the entire category is. 

To find their meta data, right click on their page to see a pull-down menu…then click on view privacy source to see the page in HTML, which is how Google views it. Now look for the meta keywords and consider if their customers can easily find them on search engines against the widest possible range of relevant keywords? Knowing in advance that they are extremely visible or invisible on search engines will impact your sales pitch– either they need your help making their current search investment work better through media, or they need to do something dramatic with media to offset their weak search position.

Is the advertiser a franchise?

If yes, go to the franchiser's site to learn their co-op rules as well as their recommendations for a marketing budget for each franchisee.  The franchiser may be recommending their franchisees spend more money on marketing or spend that money in a particular way. Nationally and regionally, we can determine the media mix – how much of each media are marketers investing in? Is your advertiser under-marketing, vs their peers, in their marketplace?

What case studies will you share?

Research your own company. That means you need to come into each presentation prepared to share relevant case studies and success stories. This will help you paint the picture of what you (and your company) have done with advertisers who have similar goals. Emphasize how and why your solution works.

Prepare Your Best Answers

Be prepared to answer your prospect’s toughest questions by working out your answers in advance. Focus on crafting answers to these four seemingly easy-questions:

1. What do we sell?

Our elevator pitch must impress, not merely check the box.  The better this “first impression” is, the better your conversation will go because you’ve created the right starting point for the meeting.

2. What makes us different? 

Count all of your unique differences, by-degree differences and solution set differences.   Begin your answer with that number. With lots of competitors calling your clients and prospects every day, advertisers can easily get confused…now, you are helping them understand how – and how many ways - you are truly different.

3. What makes you better? 

Answer this question with a story about why similar advertisers are repeat customers.

4. What makes you worth the investment?

This answer should include how other advertisers rationalize spending with you. What have you done to run campaigns that are ROI+ where the client made more money than they spent?

With all 4 answers in your back pocket you are ready for anything.

Choose the Right Starting Point

When you are presenting a proposal, you are really selling 3 things:

  • What you’re selling – meaning your actual product, service or solution
  • How much you’re charging – which is the budget
  • When to deliver – which is our delivery or implementation timeline

Consider these 3 aspects of the sale, and ask yourself which will be the hardest one to close?

Ideally, you have already verified the information about their needs, appetite for your solution, budget, and timetable before the presentation. But look at the information you’ve learned up to the point of the presentation and identify which of these 3 things could stop the deal from moving forward, and start with that one. Otherwise, you’re going nowhere unless that one “closes.”

We can’t always assume that value first and then price and finally delivery timeline is the only order to address these 3 issues.

Key Takeaway

The digital media space is getting increasingly competitive and advertisers want trusted media advisers who understand their business, what they are trying to accomplish, and how to deliver an ROI+ partnership.

The bottom line: preparation, research, and effective questioning are the building blocks to developing meaningful relationships with your prospects.

When you focus on these fundamental skills, you’ll be delivering highly personalized presentations to qualified leads only.

With the proper preparation and armed with the right information, building and presenting a winning solution is easier than you think!

Unsure of whether you’re collecting the right information during your research process? Check out our Information Gathering worksheet to help you refine and improve your process.

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About Steve Bookbinder

Steve Bookbinder is the CEO and sales expert at DMTraining. He has delivered more than 5,000 workshops and speeches to clients all over the world and has trained, coached, and managed more than 50,000 salespeople and managers. Steve continuously refreshes his training content to reflect his latest first-hand observations of salespeople across industries and regions. Through him, participants in his workshops and coaching sessions learn the best practices of today’s most successful sellers and managers across industries. Steve understands that sales is a competitive game. To outperform competitors and our own personal best results, we need to out-prospect, out-qualify, out-present and out-negotiate everyone else, not merely know how to sell. Through his specialty programs in Pipeline Management, Personal Marketing, Great First Meetings, 2nd-level Questioning, Sales Negotiating, and Sales Coaching, Steve trains sales teams to master the skills they need to overcome the challenges they face in today’s world… and keep improving results year over year.

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