4 Ways Media Salespeople Can Pitch Smarter & Close Bigger Deals
Media sales teams and sales managers face a number of challenges in the industry today. What publishing and media companies sell, from native ads and social media to webinars and events, is changing and the expectations of advertisers are shifting as well. It’s not enough to promise impressions in today’s media marketplace; brands want to see specific outcomes from their advertising efforts. How can salespeople adapt to these new demands? Andrew Davis, sales and marketing expert and author of Brandscaping, advises salespeople to rethink their pitch.
At the Publishing & Media Lab hosted at Content Marketing World in September, Davis led a session titled, “Invert Your Pitch: How to Win Bigger Business, Faster, by Pitching Like a TV Producer” and extolled the benefits of restructuring the sales pitch in order to close bigger deals. “You need to get advertisers so excited that they can’t say no to your idea,” said Davis, “because when you change how you sell, you have the potential to change what you sell.”
Davis lived this idea at his agency TippingPointLab. Davis and his team implemented the inverted pitch in their sales meetings shortly after the agency was founded in 2001. Instead of offering traditional sales presentations, which are often long and dull, the sales team shortened their presentations and focused on the exciting and unique solutions they could provide. Twelve months after reworking their pitches, sales increased 800%. Publishers, he maintained, can have this type of success as well, and Davis shared 4 tips to help them get there.
Andrew Davis will expand on the ways media salespeople should be altering their sales strategies at Reboot: Transforming Media Sales, a full day immersive workshop on November 16th in NYC. Learn more about that event here.
4 Tips to Improve Your Sales Pitch
- Pitch backwards. Instead of presenting the problems first and then a solution, Davis urges salespeople to start with the expected outcome. “A TV pitch is designed to answer one question and that’s ‘Do you want to produce this show’. Everything that detracts from that should be eliminated.”
- Under pitch. The initial pitch shouldn’t be long. “Say what you need to say quickly, ask what they think, and wait.” Pausing early in the pitch is crucial because it allows the prospect to respond and give feedback. If they aren’t interested, the salesperson should move on so she can pitch to more prospects.
- Maintain momentum. Davis breaks down the typical momentum of a sales pitch from the prospect’s perspective. Anticipation builds up to the day of the sales meeting. After the pitch the prospect may be inspired by the salespersons’ idea, but if that inspiration isn’t acted on by the salesperson, the prospect will eventually lose interest or forget the idea altogether. Davis thinks salespeople need to have a way to keep that momentum going up to the actual sale.
- Pitch big or go home. Pitching big is key, says Davis. He gives the example of IBM, which wanted to transition from a manufacturer to a service provider. Instead of simply telling consumers about their new technology, IBM created Watson and put him on Jeopardy. “That told viewers that the smartest kids in the room aren’t just Apple and Google; it’s also IBM. It made a huge impact on their business.” These types of ambitious pitches are where the biggest revenue and opportunities are.