In the real world of advertising sales, many publications could fall into these broad categories:
1. Sausage Grinder
This publication pushes immediate income and has their salespeople push one time promotions and bring ads in on a crash basis. Their salespeople are perceived as order takers. All activity is on a treadmill and there is a great deal of stress and turn over on the sales staff. The publication lives from week to week.
2. Stepping Stone
This publication is obsessed with designing beautiful specialty tabloid covers and ads that are works of art. Since the emphasis is on ultra-creative ad design, there could be a lack of attention to content of campaigns and long range programs. Response to ads could be diminished.
This sales staff is highly trained to be advertising professionals. Their customers are committed to long range programs because they perceive their salespeople as trusted advisors who want to tell the story of their business in a creative, thoughtful, and purposeful way. The customers are committed to the publication as a major player in their media mix strategy.
How advertising salespeople can be pro-principle
Primarily they must be believed and trusted in the customer’s eyes. They have to be a trusted advisor and counselor, not an interviewer who drones on and on with progressive questioning tactics. They must know competitive media. How can a contract or long range program be sold to a prospect if the prospect doesn’t believe the paper is a key player in their media mix. The pro-principle salesperson has to know the advantages and disadvantages of all competing media and be able to make precise comparisons accordingly.
Know layout and copy backwards and forwards
The pro salesperson must be able to explain type faces, headline selection, overall ad design, creative copy, and how the flow of ads are developed into a strong campaign.
They need to get their customers involved in the creative process of their ads by getting them to participate in the design of rough layout sketches to be submitted to the layout artist. In regard to creativity, there might be several meetings to go over a concept, to thoroughly understand, customer needs, and see how their ego will play a part in the process. Patience will win out and the happy ending will be a strong, comprehensive ad campaign… and a very happy customer.
Sell long range programs
Finally, ask the customer for all the reasons why people buy from them. These reasons can be converted into headings for individual ads in an ongoing program.