NOW IS THE TIME TO SELL ADS – IT’S SELLING SEASON
It is almost September and for those of us in the ad sales business that means its selling season. The media kit should be about ready so it is time for us to make our list of companies that will get a proposal and then get started. It is selling season because very soon our customers will be preparing their budgets for next year – including their advertising budget. We want to make sure we have a proposal on their desk during the budgeting process. Our proposal serves several purposes. One is that it keeps our magazine top of mind. Second it makes our customer’s job a lot easier since they won’t have to go through our media kit and get rates and determine which issues would be best for them. You have already done that for them.
The goal of doing proposals for your customers and prospects is that you will get signed contracts for the year for 60% – 70% of your sales goal before the year starts. When you have that much business already signed, it leaves plenty of time during next year to prospect and to sell individual issues.
So what is included in the proposal? I like to restate the customer’s marketing goals at the beginning of the proposal. You should know their goals since you have asked them that question somewhere along the way in your probing questions. If you don’t know their goal, call and ask them. It is difficult to make a recommendation when you don’t know the goal.
After you restate their goal you should list the months or issues that would be right for them and tell them why (eg. February is our month for Electronics or May is our special Beauty Salon issue). I am a firm believer that advertisers should run at least six times during the year to have a consistent message so proposals should include six times even if you have to reduce the size of the ad to fit in their budget. Next to the month and topic you should list the price, both gross and net. Your proposal should include deadlines and ad specs. Your proposal should always include an “Accepted By” line where they can sign even if you will need to send them a confirming insertion order or contract. By signing and accepting the proposal they are mentally committed.
Send a proposal to every current advertiser and every A and B prospect on your list. It is always helpful to know roughly what their budget will be so don’t be afraid to call and ask them; sometimes they will actually tell you. If you don’t know their budget, then prepare a proposal in line with what they have done before – either in your publication or in a competitor.
Preparing proposals is a very time consuming activity and may make for some long hours during the selling season but the payoff is so great that it will all seem worth it.
Selling is fun!
eNewsletter Sign Up
Sign up for Nancy's FREE
eNewsletter. Nancy hates SPAM
so, she will not sell your name!