Home Advertising Tips Award-winning tips for peak sales performance

Award-winning tips for peak sales performance

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When I started with the Florida Times-Union, I was fresh out of college, excited to be working in a professional culture and frankly just thrilled to be employed. Even though I initially accepted a position in the advertising department, I was certain that I would never be a sales rep. My grand plans were to use my recently earned English degree and find a way to start writing for the newsroom.

Less than two weeks later I found myself coming to work every day, filled with enthusiasm to be around the excitement and happiness that the advertising team exuded. I loved the fast-paced environment, the camaraderie and the constant focus on education. Over the last four years as a media sales rep, and particularly the last three as a dedicated real estate media rep, I have found the following concepts have always stood me well:

It’s about relationships

Media advertising options are abundant, and there is always another competitor looking to get your customer’s business. If you don’t make an effort to forge strong and genuine relationships with your clients, there is no reason for them to remember you over a competitor. More importantly than that, it can’t be forgotten that your clients will be who you talk with day in and day out, so get to know them! It makes for a better experience all around. Wouldn’t you rather spend your day talking with clients who feel like friends?

Keep learning

It’s a basic requirement in the media industry, but frankly it’s a basic requirement for a fulfilled life. In media, there is always a new trend, concept, idea, platform, strategy or tactic. It’s an ever-changing space so if you want to have credibility with your clients, you have to know what is happening in the industry. Since day one at the T-U, I completely appreciated our leadership’s dedication to educating their sales team. That dedication has been crucial to my success, but it takes more than that for me to feel like I really know my stuff. Whether it’s blogs, books, podcasts or classes — you have to make a commitment to yourself that you’ll always make time to learn.

Know your strengths and weaknesses

I’m a good talker and I’m as resourceful as MacGyver. I also couldn’t tell you what I had for breakfast this morning. My point is, it’s important to sharpen your strengths and use them to your best ability, but it’s equally important to know when to ask for help. There is not a quicker way to fail than to pitch a product you don’t know well, or to go into a client meeting without asking anything about their business. Asking for further clarification about a new product from our team, or learning the ins and outs of your client’s business helps you be the best rep for your client.

A rising tide lifts all boats

I heard this recently and it really stuck with me. The advertising team at the T-U is full of unique individuals who all excel in their own way, so we’re a heck of a lot better working and growing together than we are on our own. I firmly and wholeheartedly believe that the more you help one another, the more help you will receive. The days of heavy competitive selling against one another has passed.

Today, the more we share and help one another, the better chance we have of all succeeding together.

Catherine Lee is a media and advertising consultant at Times-Union Media and was recently named 2017 Peak Performer of the Year. For more information, call (904) 359-4498.

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