Stages of active sales
Any advertising seller who enters into relations with the advertiser hopes that he will be correctly understood and agreed with his arguments that his commercial proposal, written or oral, will force the advertiser to act - to discuss the advertisement that will appear in the publication, sign the contract, pay account, enter into a long-term relationship with the publication. In order for the expected actions on the part of the advertiser to come, one should approach the communication process quite seriously.
The entire process of communication with the advertiser can be divided into four main stages.
The first stage: Preparation/Planning. The process of preparing for communication with the advertiser is already laid down when choosing the segments most relevant to the readership of the publication itself. Business edition, for example, differs from mass not only in the content presented in it, but also in the readership. It is easy to see by analyzing the socio-demographic characteristics of the audience of many publications. Different target audiences have their own specific requirements for the level of information in the publication. In this advertising is part of the information requests and expectations of the audience and, as a consequence, should be submitted and submitted accordingly. Therefore, before the seller proceeds directly to the sale of advertising or to some of its stages - negotiations, meetings, price presentations - he must look for answers to at least basic questions. Otherwise, communication with the advertiser may not take place or lead to unplanned results, from which the refusal to cooperate is not the worst option. Worse, when the advertiser will have a strong impression of the unprofessionalism of the seller of advertising, and accordingly, and the publication behind it. It is necessary to formulate in advance the basic questions that require an answer before you even get in touch with the advertiser, which seems to be quite promising for you.
1. How do potential advertiser consumers match the audience of the publication?
2. What kind of advertising is the advertiser doing? What channels of advertising distribution have they already used and used? What are his advertising messages? What are the main messages?
3. Has this advertiser ever worked with this edition? If so, why did this cooperation stop?
4. Is there something in the activity of the advertiser or in the product that he promotes that distinguishes him from his competitors?
5. Does the advertiser have plans to expand its activities in the market?
6. Who is responsible for the advertising policy of the advertiser? Who makes the commercial decisions?
Answers to these questions help to focus on a potential advertiser, understand his position in the market, try to analyze the problems. Based on the analysis, you can formulate a proposal that can interest the advertiser.
At this stage, the first attempt is made to communicate with a potential advertiser. This can be done by sending an advertiser a written proposal for cooperation or trying to arrange a meeting by phone.
Actually, the preparatory stage is one of the elements of working with client databases. Some of the answers to the questions are already in the database, and everything new that can be learned will supplement the information already available. In some advertising departments the preparatory stage is entrusted to beginners. In the editorial office in one of the major Moscow newspapers they are called assistant managers. And for an immediate contact with the advertiser will already have an experienced seller who intelligently uses the information obtained about the advertiser.
As part of the preparatory phase, if we are talking about a completely new client who has never before placed an advertisement in the publication, an attempt is made to agree on a meeting that can initiate long-term cooperation. This is not an easy moment, because to get to the right person by phone and to interest him with information, without having received the standard phrase "We do not need advertising" in response, sometimes it is very problematic.
The second stage: Meeting/Negotiations. Even when a meeting is scheduled, it is not always possible to conduct it in such a way as to achieve the set goals, specifically to agree on cooperation, or even get out of negotiations with signed agreement on the sale of advertising space. The advertiser wants to develop his business, reach the attention of his customers, sell his goods or services, deserve their respect. The seller of advertising wants to solve their problems - to attract to the publication of a new client, sell him a certain place for a certain amount and get his commission fee. The task of a good negotiator and a good seller is to combine these seemingly different goals. The main function of advertising is to develop the client's business, therefore only those who can satisfy the client's needs, understand his problems, and offer him non-standard or profitable ways to reach his, the client's goals, can sell.
To find out what the advertiser needs, you can use two simple negotiation technologies:
• ability to ask questions;
• Listening skills.
These are the ways that will allow to successfully negotiate and achieve the desired conclusion of a cooperation agreement.
The final stage of the meeting is the achievement of an agreement on cooperation, expressed in certain concrete actions and terms. In such and such a number, for example, we will put advertising of such and such volume. Or: within the next week we will provide you with suggestions on how to promote your product through our publication. Or: we agreed on a joint action, which will be held so and so then. It would be good to agree on the agreement and sign the agreement immediately, if there are no obstacles for signing it.
The third stage: Action. At this stage, the most difficult is to be done: it is important to fulfill all agreements accurately and on time. The simplest option, if the agreements concerned a specific original layout, which the advertiser transmitted and asked to place in a certain room, in a certain place. But in this case, you need to make sure that the advertisement was in the same place and in the same room.
And if you need to develop an advertising message or promotion, the task becomes more complicated. The advertiser talked to the advertiser, he will continue to interact, and designers and text writers will have to translate the ideas that emerged during the successful negotiations. Either the seller will be able to convey to them the customer's thoughts and monitor implementation, or it will be necessary to organize a new meeting: the customer and the developer of his advertising. At the same time, the seller of advertising in such meetings must participate, because adjusting all plans is his task. And the achievement of the result is the same. A well-done job will allow you to count on the next stage of the relationship with the advertiser.
Fourth stage: Establishing long-term cooperation. The main condition for long-term cooperation with the advertiser is a well-functioning advertisement in the publication. It is necessary that the advertiser likes the effectiveness of advertising in the publication and the desire of the publication to promote the development of his business.
Having fulfilled the terms of one contract, as a rule, the advertising seller agrees on its continuation, if the customer is satisfied with everything, or formulates new proposals, offering an additional service. For example, one of these services, which is used by many publications, is a proposal for joint search for ways to increase the impact of posted advertising. Within the framework of these proposals there can be non-standard variants of placement and monitoring of their actions, creative development of advertising for specific projects of the advertiser, attracting the advertiser to the shares of the publication, and much more. By the way, such work can later become useful for the publication itself. There are cases when after carefully working on the problem of the effectiveness of an advertised advertisement with one advertiser, the advertising department of the publication finds interesting formats of advertising offers, which then starts to work as standard ones.
On the example of print media, we looked at the main elements of the sales policy. I would like to emphasize once again that sales to print media can be carried out through advertising agencies, with which the publication concludes an agreement with the prescribed amounts of advertising and the percentage of commission payments. In addition, a small part of the print media provided the sale of all its advertising opportunities to the sellers, which later builds its sales network. But work through sellers on the United States market is more prevalent on television, which we will talk about further.
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