Don’t let your focus on bringing in new advertisers lead to
neglect of your current ones.
By Scott Oser
have done what smart salespeople do by getting a large percentage of your
advertisers to commit to their advertising schedules for 2012. This is a great
accomplishment, and you should be really proud of yourself. Since you did such
a good job of getting commitments before 2012 started, you can just leave those
contacts alone and focus on bringing in even more revenue…Right?
Although bringing in
additional revenue is a key piece of ensuring that your revenues meet—or exceed—your
sales objectives, you cannot simply ignore those companies that have already
purchased from you.
Just as when marketing
to members, you want to form strong relationships with your advertisers. You
can never forget that people are making the decision to advertise, and almost
all human beings like to work with people they know and respect. To form that
bond, and the loyalty that hopefully goes along with it, it is important that
you continue to communicate with advertisers after they have committed.
It is not always easy
to find reasons to reach out to confirmed advertisers, so here are a few ideas
1. Just say hello. This may sound strange, but it really means a lot to advertisers when
you reach out to them to do something as simple as saying hello. The key here
is to not sell them anything, but just to say hello and let them know you are
thinking of them and appreciate them. This type of communication can be done once
or twice during the year. This communication can be via phone or email, but you
want to make sure that it is personalized because if it is determined to be a
generic email, it will definitely lose impact.
2. Ask how their ads are working. This type of communication can be risky, as it is possible
that an advertiser will tell you that their ads simply are not performing the
way they had hoped. Even though you are taking a risk by asking this question
during the contract, it gives you the opportunity to address the issue and
provide a potential solution. It is much better to work with an advertiser
while things are not working so well, rather than trying to solve the problem after
the client decides not to renew their contract for the following year.
3. Introduce them to new research. Back when the economic downturn first started, companies
were cutting back on their ad spending. What better time to show them research
on how companies that consistently advertise during down times perform better
when things improved? This type of research not only makes the advertiser feel
more comfortable about what they are doing, but also gives your contact ammo to
show their supervisor if their spending is ever questioned.
4. Let them know about new opportunities. Most associations develop new opportunities during
any given year. As long as you are not too aggressive, you should definitely
let your current advertisers know about these new opps. One good way to do this
is by letting them know that since they are an existing advertiser and already know
the value of reaching your audience, you wanted them to be one of the first to
know about something new you are introducing. If you make them feel special, it
will enhance your relationship, not damage it.
5. Request their input. Associations are always considering or trying new things. What better
way to make a relationship stronger than by asking your advertisers for their
opinions? In addition to enhancing your relationship with the advertiser, if
you ask the right people at the right companies, you will get some input you
can use to your advantage.
sales is what works today. If you know you can count on certain companies year
after year because you treat them well and they respect you and see the value
in your audience, your job will be significantly easier. Consistent
communication with your advertisers is critical in developing these
relationships. True, it is another thing to add to your already full plate, but
I promise it will be worth your while.
Scott D. Oser is president of Scott Oser Associates.