In 2018, I got the opportunity to work directly with 1,816 digital ad sellers in company specific workshops. If you shared one of those rooms with me, here are five things I'd like you to remember as you get started on 2019.
Win the Middle. While your competitors are wasting weeks chasing down media planners or betting the house on that meeting at CES with the CMO, you stay focused on the translators - those higher-level strategy, investment and account leads at agencies and their operational counterparts (media, shopper marketing, promotion, etc.) at clients. Motivating just one to become a champion for your value proposition can make or break a quarter - or even a year.
It's Not About What You Sell... It's About What You Solve. Uniquely. What's the non-obvious problem that your company is uniquely qualified to solve for this customer? Being a solution seller doesn't just mean calling your products solutions. If you want access and opportunity, they begin with the identification of a solvable business or marketing problem.
Know Exactly What You Want and Ask for It. Great meetings are the comfort of the weak seller. If your goal is just to have a terrific meeting, you'll reap nothing but pipeline ambiguity. Here's the trick: write out your closing question - what you'll ask this specific customer to do - before you go in. If you can't include real verb - recommend, approve, budget, introduce - then you don't really know what you want.
Stay... Just a Little Bit Longer. The real selling begins - and the real information flows -- near the end of the conversation. But only if you're still there to hear it. Ask another question... qualify... inspect. Find out about other decision makers. Learn more about how the budgeting process works. Ask the customer how he/she personally feels about what you offer.
Write for the Small Screen. If she's spent even a dollar online, your customer is getting dozens of inbound emails every day from you and your competitors, and you all want just a few minutes of her time. As a result, your potential client is filtering and disposing of emails on her phone. Lose the long, brilliant emails and start writing the smart subject lines and strong opening sentences (e.g. I'm writing you because...) that will make sense on the small screen. If she doesn't swipe right, nothing else matters.