Last week we shared the results of recent research by J.M.Ryan & Associates into the perceptions of media buyers about the Internet ad sales people who sell to them. This week, we move away from the statistics and share the verbatims, the actual comments media buyers had to say about the sales people they work with.
When asked to comment on what they felt distinguishes a good Internet ad sales rep, media buyers said…
- They have an understanding of the media and business objectives of my clients. They have done their homework.
- They have big, creative ideas.
- They have a thorough understanding of their own sites.
- The good ones listen and understand. They provide top-notch service.
- The good ones are those that get to know you as a person. They bring great ideas to the table. They understand the client and are mindful of the budget. They are friendly and fun, but not overly pushy/heavy on the sales.
- The good ones respect deadlines and budget. They are not overly persistent.
- They respect deadlines and, at the very least, keep me informed if they are not going to meet the deadlines.
- The good reps are those that are well-versed in the industry and in our company. They are highly knowledgeable and are a good resource for us for information. They have good communication and keep us informed.
- Good reps are those that leverage the client’s budget and know how to decrease the cost/sale. Too many reps just know how to spend the money, not use it wisely.
- They put together amazing proposals and push the envelope. They respect the client and the agency. They are passionate.
- Good reps pay attention to detail, get things done on time, and return calls.
- A good rep is one who pays attention to detail, provides what they are asked for, and doesn’t call too frequently (she understands they are sales people, but do they have to call five times a day?).
- Good reps are on time with their deliverables, within budget and are professional. They also have good reporting skills.
- A good rep is one who is a good listener and provides me with what I want on time. They follow up, but are not too pushy. They give me time to get back to them.
- Good reps are ones with quick turn-around time. They provide flexibility in the RFP to allow you to pick and choose from a menu of options. You don’t have to buy the crap to get the good stuff.
- Good reps do not try to get too involved. They stay on track and don’t try to weasel their way into other businesses.
- Good reps are those that keep in touch (via email) when there is no specific project going on to let me know of new opportunities.
- Good reps are straightforward. They take the time to find out whom they are calling before they call. They cut through the clutter and give you a quick snapshot of what they are about.
Media buyers were also asked to comment on what characteristics they did not like in a rep:
- The bad ones are cocky.
- Bad reps are those that are too aggressive.
- Bad reps are arrogant. They need to remember that they are miniscule on the face of the earth. Big agencies run more ads than on all of the Internet. Poor Internet reps attitude is that they are so much better or bigger.
- Bad reps don’t understand the client and have bad web sites.
- A bad rep is one who keeps pushing even when it is not the right fit. They don’t stop calling. They don’t take “no” for an answer.
- Bad reps do not address specific requests.
- Bad reps drop off on customer support after the sale.
The media buyers we polled felt strongly about the good and the bad — they really appreciated the salespeople who serve them well, and were very frustrated with those who do not.
So, is it hopeless? Impossible to both be a strong and effective sales rep while keeping media buyers happy?
No, not at all. Next week we’ll wrap up with some suggestions from these same media buyers, on how sales people can work smarter with them.