The best media sales representatives take the time to learn about your business and build a rapport that earns your respect. Don’t assume a friendly, attractive media sales agent means you will get good results. Most media businesses hire individuals with outgoing personalities to move you to a buying decision as quickly as possible.
The turnover for media sales professionals is high. Most representatives are paid a modest salary with a commission on actual sales. Some of the most important qualities of a media sales representative are their follow up skills and responsiveness to your questions and concerns. Here are six good questions to ask during the evaluation process:
Would you be our primary contact if we decide to work with your company?
Some companies use sales professionals to close new business before turning the account over to a service representative. It’s a good idea to meet the actual person who will handle your account.
Has your readership/audience been audited? When and by whom?
Many media businesses that take the time to do audits present select details from the final report. Ask for a copy of the entire report and take the time to see what it says. I recall an eager sales representative telling me her radio station reached more than a million people. Impressive given the local population was 75,000. She explained the high number was the “potential audience” through their online radio stream. I eventually determined the most accurate estimate of listeners at peak commuting hours was about 4,000.
The number of hits on a website and the number of distribution locations for a magazine are two additional statistics that are easy to exaggerate. Most of the time the business owner ends up making hopeful guesses about which assertion seems the most reasonable.
How many copies of your product do you print and where do you deliver?
Ask to see the actual distribution list and take the time to study it. Unfortunately, some magazine publishers and their sales agents exaggerate their distribution by 20 percent and as much as 50 percent. This practice can harm honest professionals who don’t exaggerate.
Can you provide me with contact information for three current clients who have advertised with you at least one year?
It’s insightful to contact each of these individuals and ask them questions related to the quality of service and results. Did the advertising attract new customers, clients and patients? Did the media company provide editorial support and to what extent? A related idea is call a few advertisers directly with no intervention by the media representative.
How will you support my business beyond running our display ad, banner ad or commercial?
Advertisers spending more money are often courted with promises about editorial support. Make sure you are clear about what kind of support you can expect during the term of your ad agreement. This includes discussing upcoming editions or programs that tie in with your business services and products.
What special discounts are you offering?
Every media business offers a discount for ongoing advertising. The amount can be as much as 25-30 percent on a one-year contract. Everything is negotiable until you sign a contract.
Triple 3 Marketing works with select clients on a minimum one-year contract. This provides us an opportunity to become well informed about you, your priorities, your business culture, and your vision for short and long term success. We employ Content Marketing strategies and tools that fit your budget and sensibilities. We also manage relationships with media representatives on your behalf.