Tales from the Sales Side


“Hello, you have reached the voicemail of…”

This is the most common voice salespeople hear over the phone these days working in the interactive industry, especially when reaching out to numerous agency media buyers and planners. I understand you are all busy: the numerous meetings you attend, having to speak to the clients that you represent on a constant basis, the wining and dining, all the free ball games you attend and those trips to Bermuda. With it all, I have a few pointers that won’t just make my life easier, but may actually make the clients/brands you represent a lot happier.

Pick up your phone

This is the number one phrase heard on the sales side. What’s so terrible that you can’t just pick it up? This is not to say that planners and buyers never pick up the phone, but a majority do not. While it’s understandable that agencies are constantly slammed with numerous pitches and emails day and night, chances are a qualified/intelligent sales rep wants to contact a planner has already done some research. They may also have a really unique idea that could fit well with your client, which leads to the second point.

Listen to those out of the box ideas

Sure, some of those ideas may be crazy, but they may also have some great potential. For example, banner advertising, in regard to branding, is a fad that is slowly fading. Video advertising, skinning, entire site sponsorship, unique mobile advertising, virals among other things help incorporate brand awareness in a unique way and make interacting with the brand a whole lot more interactive.

Believe it or not, that salesperson actually knows a whole lot more of what’s out there. If he is an intelligent individual, he may even have consulted with the operations team to explore other creative ways to brand and see if it will actually work. Remember, this sales rep wants this campaign to be just as successful as the agency does. He understands that you have a responsibility to invest your client’s money wisely. One of the primary goals of any sales rep is to have a solid relationship with all the planners, buyers and directors at these agencies.

Size doesn’t matter

Media Metrix and @Plan are great tools to utilize when checking stats on Web sites, but they do not truly speak for an entire group and niche audience. It seems that planners out there only rely on the same sites to advertise on all the time simply because of high numbers. Let’s not forget about those smaller more niche sites. Planners and buyers would be surprised to see that users who go to those types of sites are users that come back very often. They do not just come back occasionally, but all the time. But while numbers are important to present to the client, they should not mean everything. In most instances, numbers can be very skewed and biased. There are a lot of niche audiences to brand to and they should be included in the media plan.

The point is, whether on the agency side or the sales side, there is one common denominator and that is money and how we can both make more. The bottom line is the planner has to present the ideas to the client and the client bestows the final yes or no. Believe it or not, your client is looking for a new, fresh idea; it’s just some of the planners are afraid to present it. Listen to those persistent sales reps, because they may just land you that promotion to media director. And you would owe it all to that one phone call you picked up, having heard that creative, out-of-the-box idea.


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