What Media Buyers Want From Salespeople

For the past two weeks, we’ve been covering the findings of some recent J.M.Ryan & Associates research on media buyers. Today, we finish up with the suggestions you’ve all been waiting for: What media buyers want, when asked what reps could do to better meet their needs.

What Reps Can Do To Better Meet Media Buyers’ Needs

  • Provide quality service.

  • Understand client needs (e.g., industry, budget constraints, objectives) before putting together the proposal.

  • Keep buyers better informed of account status changes.

  • Talk about purchases, not about click-throughs.

  • Have greater follow through.

  • Understand the industry.

  • Be original!

  • Don’t bombard with phone calls.

  • Offer flexibility of options (a la carte, not fixed price).

  • Provide qualitative analysis.

  • Do your research before you call.

  • Provide customer support during a campaign to make sure it works.

Many media buyers expressed that perhaps because the Internet is a new medium, Internet ad reps are not as knowledgeable as their traditional media rep counterparts. They do not have the experience. Because of this, many media buyers have somewhat low expectations of Internet ad reps. Buyers do not rely on Internet ad reps to keep them up-to-date on the Internet industry – media buyers are doing that for themselves.

This is NOT good news for the industry or for ad reps – if buyers are not relying on reps for information, it’s difficult to build the sorts of close working relationships that allow the really creative buys to happen.

Great advertising, in our experience, comes from great collaboration between the advertiser, the agency and the medium. When that working relationship is missing, the best opportunities of the medium can be missed.

It’s important, then, for Internet ad reps to master the expertise media buyers have come to expect from the best ad reps in other media. Until the reps have that knowledge and experience base, they should instead focus their efforts on providing quality customer service by meeting deadlines, understanding client needs, and staying within budget.

In conclusion…

Top Ten Ways to Impress Media Buyers

  1. Fully research and understand the client’s marketing objectives.

  2. Know your site cold.

  3. Respect deadlines and budget.

  4. Don’t be too aggressive, learn when to take “no” for an answer.

  5. Bring new ideas to the table.

  6. Pay attention to detail.

  7. Allow flexibility in service offerings.

  8. Admit what you don’t know.

  9. Provide accurate and timely reports.

  10. Rely more on email rather than traditional forms of communication.

Advertising sales representatives hoping to work with leading media buyers should spend more time researching company marketing objectives than socializing with their prospects. The days of building a successful sales career by focusing on social relationships with media buyers and clients are over.

Today’s decision makers are looking for substance – a solid understanding of their marketing objectives, creativity, and attention to nuts and bolts like accurate reporting and meeting deadlines. This industry is simply too competitive for any Internet sales rep without top notch skills to be truly successful.

The need is best summed up by Anthony Mazzarella, Media Supervisor for Darwin Digital. “The online advertising industry is evolving in real-time; therefore, we as agencies and sales representatives need to understand the client’s audience and have a strong grasp of the sites that best represent them,” said Mazzarella. “The reps who are bringing me well thought out ideas and approach their business as a partnership are the ones that are going to be successful.”

Well said. The challenge for all reps is to live up to that standard.

Complete survey results can be found at http://www.jmryan.com.

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