I have been in the media industry for 20 years in various forms. I have bought television, radio, print and digital media. I have also created and executed plans for buying media as well as selling these same solutions.
I prefer selling media because it is an educational process where you learn and teach the value of solutions versus discussing price. Price is not irrelevant in the media equation but it is less important than value, perceived and/or actual.
When I work with buyers, of media or a TravelHost business opportunity, I ask questions. Lots of questions. I do not do this because I am nosy but because I want to make sure that I am presenting the best option(s) to the buyer. By asking questions you learn what they value and it may be different than what you expected but are not prepared to present.
With media it may be the addition of social news feed ads to their print and website/mobile app bundle. With a business opportunity buyer it may be the coaching we provide as well as the professional services that are included in their investment. In both examples the questions and answers are needed so that the relationship is a partnership and not a vendor/buyer scenario.
We all know that vendors get fired but partnerships are built to last. The best salespeople I have ever worked with, or bought from, treated their clients as equals. They called to chat, send over information pertaining to the clients industry, or to discuss results of the campaign. They did this far more often than they called to sell the latest and greatest. They wanted to make sure that what they presented to this client was of value and more importantly that it was needed by the client. In this situation, the seller was providing value above and beyond the price.
I have that same mindset and today I get to work with entrepreneurs looking to run a lucrative business and use those same lessons I learned over the last 20 years. When we have a new publisher on-board they are assigned a business coach from headquarters who provides advice, consultation and expertise. These new publishers are not floating in the wind wondering what they need to do next. They are getting a value beyond their investment when they decide to become a TravelHost publisher.
If you are starting your career in ad sales, or any sales role, always remember to provide value above and beyond the price of your solutions. Your current clients will lead you to your future clients but they will not recommend you if you are disingenuous and not providing them with value.
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