Transitioning to Digital Ad Sales: Step 2 - Are You Ready to Do the Doing?
Let's put what we've learned to work! Assuming that you've become well informed about this new world of digital media, applying that knowledge is the challenge. It's about adding that knowledge to your arsenal, and developing holistic sales strategies that bring all of the assets to the table. "Digital vs. legacy" is a non-starter--this is not an "either/or" conversation. It's about adding digital to your value proposition to give your clients an even more compelling reason to do business with you.
Simply put, look at the world differently! By nature, humans are creatures of habit, especially when those habits give us comfort. Discomfort stimulates change more rapidly than comfort does. And legacy media is obviously feeling some discomfort now because of the rise of digital media platforms. We need to look at our business differently in order to alleviate that discomfort. Your clients, with few exceptions, are engaged in the same process, trying to figure out how to transform their respective businesses in this new environment. We should be doing the same.
Effecting change is a team sport! It will take serious and continuous effort from every member of the team to make a successful transition. Leaders must lead, but followers must follow too. It's impossible to be successful if only a part of the group embraces the "new stuff" while everybody else keeps doing things as they always have. You will buy-in, preferably based on positive expectations, from everybody! Younger staff members will probably "get it" more readily than older ones, but no one is exempted. Leading by example, and establishing specific goals are the two major keys for getting this done.
Be loyal to the mission! No question that there will be bumps and obstacles along the way. Those simply cannot deter you from pressing on with the objective of transforming the team and its environment. There will be failures that should be embraced as learning experiences. No matter how well you plan this out, the unanticipated will always rear its ugly head! Internalizing those episodes and adapting from them will make you and the team wiser and stronger as you move forward. Confusion and chaos often precede real success!
Think of your current clients as partners in this exploration! Like any new territory, the unknowns still outweigh the knowns. That applies to both sellers and buyers of digital ads. Sharing experiences and exchanging ideas about what's working and what's not is a tremendous opportunity to get even closer to your most important clientele. They are being challenged as well by this new data-driven environment. Having an ongoing dialogue with them can only create a win/win situation. Anyone who professes to "know it all" at this point is either delusional or arrogant or both!
Like any other endeavor, we only get better with practice! Apply at least the same rigor to selling digital platforms as you do to selling more established ones. Expanding every sales conversation to include all platforms starts at the office and reaches out to every client interface. Having a "global perception" will lead to being perceived as a "global" solutions provider--and that should be the real goal in the first place! Dedicated and consistent practice leads to new habits that can only benefit your enterprise!
About the Author
Buff Parham is a widely recognized thought leader and outstanding coach in the media sales and sales management field. With 35 years of sales experience, Buff has worked at Univision, FOX, Belo, ABC and CBS. He started in the mailroom at CBS, but quickly moved on to selling locally at KABC/Los Angeles and nationally for ABC Spot Sales in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York. Buff then continued on to spend almost 12 years with Univision, first as General Sales Manager at KUVN/KSTR in Dallas, and then 5 years in New York as SVP/Sales.
Buff believes that hard work matters and that raising the bar and having greater expectations tend to generate greater results. In his spare time, Buff finds cooking and playing golf to be two of the best therapies for a somewhat hectic existence!
Check out Buff’s Blog www.BuffParham.com
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.