The Sales Cycle – 2018


5/15 – Seven Steps to Strategic Sales a/k/a “The Sales Cycle”

With a wide variety of media options available and marketing budgets that continue to shift in response to changes in the marketplace, it’s more crucial than ever for you to be continually prospecting for NEW business that can supplement your sales figures and replace advertising dollars that are unexpectedly lost.

The process of mining for fresh revenue sources and untapped business opportunities is described in many different ways, but personally I have always referred to this as my “Sales Cycle” – 7 steps that keep me on track and increase the likelihood that I’ll be closing the sale. The most important thing to remember is that each step is absolutely critical to the overall success of the process. There are no shortcuts. Embrace each step, knowing that your client will feel confident in your ability to understand their business and make solid advertising recommendations.

  1. Prospect
  2. Initiate contact
  3. Conduct a thorough needs analysis
  4. Make a recommendation
  5. Overcome objections
  6. Close the sale
  7. Follow up (and ask for additional business based on previous results)

While managing “transactional” business – existing accounts currently running – you should also allocate time each week to analyze your market and determine if there are untapped opportunities out there to be explored. Effective prospecting is a critical component of sustainable sales success. But, remember that prospecting is NOT selling. Prospecting simply identifies and qualifies opportunities to initiate contact.

Top salespeople understand that effective prospecting is a result of a plan; a strategy that includes an objective assessment of your situation, a defined and measurable goal, and tactics to help you achieve that goal. Next week I’ll expound upon the process of prospecting including tips, tricks and resources I’ve used in the past to achieve success and add new business to my sales pipeline.


5/15 – Advertising Quick Clicks
Danger! Are You Out of Sync with Your Prospects? 
(Courtesy of HubSpot)
Do You Commit These Common Sales Closing Mistakes? (Courtesy of Sale Fuel)
What Can You do if You’ve Lost Your Sales Mojo (Courtesy of Inc.)
It Matters How You Lose The Sale (Courtesy of The Sales Blog)
How To Keep Your Prospect Engaged In Your Meetings (Courtesy of MTD Sales Training)

5/8 – VERSION 2.0

Each year, the MNA Member Survey reveals a strong appetite for additional sales training. In recent conversations with publishers and sales directors, one of the consistent messages I heard is a desire for using the weekly MNA Bulletin as a “sales-generation” tool; a communication vehicle to deliver sales strategies, negotiation secrets and prospecting tips that will help stimulate the discovery and augmentation of untapped advertising revenue streams.

Additionally, Minnesota News Media Institute (MNI) sessions we hold numerous times throughout the year make it clear that there’s a healthy desire for additional tips from sales experts to help salespeople at MNA member newspapers to hone their sales and negotiation techniques – leading to increased advertising sales for their newspapers and a larger paycheck for themselves! You’ll find a plethora of ‘Advertising Quick Clicks’ below for your review.

So, without further adieu, I (re)introduce The Sales Cycle. Those of you who know me understand my passion for advertising, sales…and cycling. Besides managing major retail accounts in the newspaper, digital outdoor and magazine industries, I’ve also been racing bikes (road, mountain, cyclocross and fat bikes) under license by USA Cycling for the past 20 years. During this time, I’ve discovered an amazing synergy between my sales career and time spent “in the saddle” racing bikes – one which I look forward to sharing with you in future articles.

Next week, I’ll be introducing my 7-step sales process – otherwise known as my “sales cycle.” Clearly understanding each step and how they directly affect the overall success of your sales efforts will undoubtedly help transform your relationship with prospective accounts and existing clients from “transactional” to “consultative” – leading to new sales, incremental revenue, and delivering you to finish line in front of your competition (in this case, media competitors in the marketplace fighting for their share of your client’s precious advertising dollars.)


5/8 – Advertising Quick Clicks
The 4 Hottest Ways to Open Successful Cold Calls 
(Courtesy of HubSpot)
The Only 4 Reasons Your Sales Prospect Will Buy (Courtesy of MTD Sales Training)
Podcast: 5 Steps to Close More On the First Sales Call (Courtesy of 360 Ad Sales)
Simple Mistakes to Strike From Sales Emails (Courtesy of Sales Fuel)
Sales Reps Must Evolve To Thrive (Courtesy of Partners In Excellence)

5/1 – Advertising Quick Clicks
81 One-Sentence Sales Tips Every Rep Should Know 
(Courtesy of HubSpot)
Are You Making One of These 5 Closing Mistakes? (Courtesy of Sales Fuel)
The Best Question To Ask When A Prospect Rejects Your Price (Courtesy of MTD Sales Training)
Approach Each Sales Call Like A Game of Chess (Courtesy of Sales and Marketing)
Want To Build Lasting Relationships With Sales Customers? (Courtesy of Inc.)

4/24 – Advertising Quick Clicks
The New Sales Pitch Process: Shorter, Faster, Better 
(Courtesy of Ad Age)
9 Things You Should Never Say to a Prospect Over Email (Courtesy of HubSpot)
What to Do Immediately After a Sales Failure (Courtesy of SalesFuel)
Simple Guidelines for Better Cold Calls (Courtesy of Forbes)
5 Reasons Why Your Prices SHOULD Be Higher Than Your Competitors (Courtesy of MTD Sales Training)

4/17 – Advertising Quick Clicks
How Many Touches Does It Take to Make a Sale? (Courtesy of RAIN Group)
3 Ways Of Asking For The Sale, That ASK For The Sale (Courtesy of MTD Sales Training)
Dig a Buried Email Out of Your Prospect’s Inbox in 15 Seconds (Courtesy of HubSpot)
3 Ways to Control Sales Client Service Expectations (Courtesy of Sales Fuel)
The Hard Sell No Longer Sells (Courtesy of Forbes)

4/10 – Advertising Quick Clicks
Don’t Let An Unresponsive Audience Trip You Up During Presentations (Courtesy of Fast Company)
15 Science-Backed Tips for Making Better Sales Calls (Courtesy of HubSpot)
Mirroring Techniques in the Digital Age (Courtesy of Sales Fuel)
7 Things Successful Sales People Never Say (Courtesy of MTD Sales Training)
Harvard Professor Says 95% of Sales Decisions Are Subconscious (Courtesy of Inc.)

4/3 – Advertising Quick Clicks
The Most Persuasive Sales Emails Always Do These 5 Things 
(Courtesy of Inc.)
The Best Sales Cold Call Script Ever (Courtesy of HubSpot)
The 21 New Sales Core Competencies for Modern Selling (Courtesy of OMG Hub)
Voicemail Sales Messages That Will Get a Call Back (Courtesy of SalesFuel)
5 Essential Tips for Building Better Customer Relationships (Courtesy of Brooks Group)

3/27 – Advertising Quick Clicks
How to Negotiate When Your Time’s Up 
(Courtesy of SalesFuel)
Sales Meeting Agenda: The Master Tip for Closing More Deals (Courtesy of HubSpot)
The Reason You Think No One Is Buying (Courtesy of The Sales Blog)
How To Build Up The Gains For Your Customers (Courtesy of MTD Sales Training)
Get Relevant or Get Lost! 4 Ways to Increase Your Relevance to Drive Ad Sales (Courtesy of 360 Ad Sales)

3/20 – Advertising Quick Clicks
The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Sales Process 
(Courtesy of HubSpot)
How to Handle Difficult Sales-Call Scenarios (Courtesy of SalesFuel)
Sales Is a Competition. You Are a Competitor. (Courtesy of The Sales Blog)
How To Build Value In A Sales Presentation (Courtesy of MTD Sales Training)
Turning “I Have No Budget” Into A Closed Deal! (Courtesy of 360 Ad Sales)

3/13 – Advertising Quick Clicks
How to Sell to 4 Different Personality Types 
(Courtesy of HubSpot)
Ask Your Sales Prospects These Important Questions (Courtesy of SalesFuel)
How to Get a Sales Meeting with Your Conflicted Dream Client (Courtesy of The Sales Blog)
Improve Your Email Sales Pitch Response Rate (Courtesy of Entrepreneur Online)
Sales Reps Must Clearly Define Product Value (Courtesy of Forbes)

3/6 – Advertising Quick Clicks
Sales Leaders Know To Ask Questions Before Offering Solutions 
(Courtesy of Forbes)
The Top 29 Sales Blogs Every Sales Professional Should Read (Courtesy of HubSpot)
The Hidden Mystery Behind Building Trust with Potential Customers (Courtesy of Small Biz Trends)
3 Ways to Inspire Customer Loyalty (Courtesy of SalesFuel)
How to Make Your Opportunity Your Client’s Priority (Courtesy of The Sales Blog)

2/27 – Advertising Quick Clicks
How to Handle Difficult Sales Calls Like a Pro 
(Courtesy of HubSpot)
A Simple Sales-Boosting Hack for 2018: Show Up To Meetings On Time (Courtesy of Sales Fuel)
Want Potential Sales Customers to Remember You? 6 Unusual Tactics (Courtesy of Inc.)
Who Are We Designing Our Sales Strategies To Serve? (Courtesy of Partners in Excellence)
Why Fear Is Holding Back Your Sales Performance (Courtesy of Sales and Marketing Management)

2/20 – Advertising Quick Clicks
7 Keys to Successful Selling for the First-Time Sales Rep 
(Courtesy of HubSpot)
Selling Without Selling is NOT Possible (Courtesy of SalesFuel)
Sales Reps Must Challenge Potential Buyers (Courtesy of Partners in Excellence)
“I Can’t Get My Sales Prospects To Return My Calls!” (Courtesy of MTD Sale Training)
How to Make Your Dream Sales Client Want to Meet with You (Courtesy of The Sales Blog)

2/13 – Advertising Quick Clicks
How to Know When to Pivot Your Sales Strategy 
(Courtesy of HubSpot)
Is Your Personality Leading You Away from Consultative Sales Negotiating? (Courtesy of SalesFuel)
These Seven To-Do List Mistakes Could Be Derailing Your Productivity (Courtesy of Fast Company)
Be Your Best Self, No Matter The Audience (Courtesy of Great Leadership)
Six Tips For Handling Sales Clients That Want Out Of Their Contracts (Courtesy of Forbes)

2/6 – Advertising Quick Clicks
4 Sales Questions to Never Ask Over Email 
(Courtesy of HubSpot)
How to Write A Sales Call to Action That Gets Results (Courtesy of SalesFuel)
5 Questions Every Salesperson Should Be Asking Their Prospective Customers (Courtesy of Inc.)
The Myth Of The “Single Sales Decision Maker” (Courtesy of Partners in Excellence)
How To Remove Objections And Speed Up The Sales Process (Courtesy of Forbes)

1/30 – Advertising Quick Clicks
Prep for Success: 4 Tips to Better Your Next Sales Pitch 
(Courtesy of SalesFuel)
Why Bringing Your A-team to Advertising Clients is Key (Courtesy of INMA)
18 Sales Podcasts Every Rep Should Check Out (Courtesy of HubSpot)
Seven Ways To Show Sales Customers You Care (Courtesy of Forbes)
8 Tips For Preparing For A Sales Call (Courtesy of MTD Sales Training)

1/23 – Advertising Quick Clicks
Good Tips on How to Rebound from a Bad Sales Year 
(Courtesy of SalesFuel)
How To Handle A Buyer Who Objects to Price (Courtesy of Entrepreneur)
Identifying the 4 Buying Behavior Styles to Sell More Effectively (Courtesy of The Brooks Group)
The Ultimate List of Words That Sell (Courtesy of HubSpot)
Digital Ad Spend To Surpass Traditional In 2018, Per Analyst (Courtesy of Media Daily News)

1/16 – Advertising Quick Clicks
5 Ways to Re-Engage with Sales Prospects After the Holidays (Courtesy of Hub Spot)
Sales Reps Benefit From Face-to-Face Time With Buyers (Courtesy of Partners in Excellence)
Big Political Ad Spend Set for Local in 2018, but Will News Sites Be Ready? (Courtesy of Street Fight)
The Best Words To Use When Faced With Sales Objections (Courtesy of MTD Sales Training)
How to Re-Engage With Sales Prospects In 2018 (Courtesy of SalesFuel)

1/9 – Advertising Quick Clicks
How to Win More Sales in 2018 (Courtesy of SalesFuel)
15 Sales Email Templates Perfect for the New Year (Courtesy of Hub Spot)
Sales, Art, Science, Craft? (Courtesy of Partners In Excellence)
Certainty—The Ultimate Sales Closing Tool (Courtesy of Business 2 Community)
Revive Stalled Sales Deals With These Tactics (Courtesy of SalesFuel)

1/2 – Advertising Quick Clicks
5 Alternatives to “It’s End of Month. Want to Buy?” 
(Courtesy of Hub Spot)
Secret Sales Hack—Fewer Conversations! (Courtesy of Partners In Excellence)
Sell It With A Smile (Courtesy of Sales Fuel)
Quick Tips You Can Use to Improve Your Sales Technique (Courtesy of Entrepreneur)
The Top 10 Sales Blog Posts Of 2017 – As Voted For By You! (Courtesy of MTD Sales Training)