Transitioning to Digital Ad Sales Blog Feature
Steve Bookbinder

By: Steve Bookbinder on December 10th, 2014

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Transitioning to Digital Ad Sales

Digital Media Landscape | Sales Training

Newsflash for "traditional" media sellers: You need to embrace digital media as much as digital media needs to embrace you! What's lost in all the "hype" about the rise of digital is the glaring lack of proficient digital media sellers. "Digital media sells itself" was the initial battle cry--turns out that's just not true. The opportunities are rife for proven media salespeople to excel in this new emerging environment.

Salespeople, regardless of their prior area of expertise, will need to work smarter.

Smarter, not harder. Digital has its own terminology, its own processes, and its own specific role in any marketer's messaging strategy. The digital ad market is not as "ordered" or "organized" as the markets for radio, TV, or print, but that situation will improve. Given its relative newness, lots of unsubstantiated or unjustifiable claims are being made by and about many digital platforms--this presents a huge opportunity for professional salespeople who bring a disciplined approach to the table that reeks of credibility!


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Do your homework!


As always, the shortcut just doesn't work if you want to be a top-flight digital salesperson. If at all possible, get some formal training on this new media. Read and absorb as much as you can from relevant trade websites and newsletters. Digital is evolving rapidly, and it's a serious challenge to keep up with the most recent developments-but also absolutely critical. You're not really "there" until you can honestly say, "I know as much about digital as I know about the media platform that I currently sell." Savvy buyers will test your knowledge, and falling short in their eyes can be costly!

Share what you're learning!

It always helps to discuss new stuff with others. You deepen your comprehension of the material at hand and enrich another person's understanding at the same time! Members of your sales team and yes, even your clients will probably appreciate the information and insights that you pass along to them. Be careful not to come across as a "teacher" or a "preacher" but merely as someone who is excited about what they have learned and takes pleasure in sharing it with others. How hard is that?

Digital should be used as a tactic not a strategy!

The sales strategy that you're presenting has a range of tactical components that will probably include various media including digital. Most marketers will readily agree that there is no one platform that gets the job done--it's the ongoing challenge of finding the right mix that matters. No traditional seller should think of digital as a replacement for various established platforms. Digital is simply the newest weapon in the arsenal. And the best salespeople use all of their weapons to their best advantage!

In any event, don't be defensive of the status quo!

As a professional salesperson, being perceived as someone who is resistant to change is a non-starter. That perception implies that you either cannot or will not keep up with the changes that are occurring in your business. Very few clients have much respect or interest in engaging with salespeople who are the "walking dead." At a time when almost every business is looking for fresh and productive ways to operate, who has the need for a salesperson that appears clueless?

This is a very exciting and potentially lucrative time to be in multimedia ad sales. If you're willing to make the sacrifices, do the work, and see the opportunities, continued success will be there for the taking. Choosing an alternate path that doesn't challenge you to grow in this new environment may lead you to a rather undesirable place. The decision is yours...

Download our free eBook for insight into how to use digital as a tactic instead of a strategy, how to create a successful gameplan, and more!

Transitioning into digital ad sales


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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