Last week I had the pleasure of spending three days in Mississippi, meeting with advertising professionals from other state newspaper associations. Once per year, members of N.A.M (Newspaper Association Managers) gather to discuss the current state of newspaper advertising in print and digital format. Successes, opportunities, challenges, and revenue-generating ideas are shared. And it seems that everyone takes away a few golden nuggets of information to help their respective associations uncover a prospect, make a sale, develop a product, or solve a problem.
More than anything, I look forward to and appreciate the fraternal spirit amongst N.A.M’ers. Regardless of our geographic location, we all deliver similar member services, offer statewide advertising networks, and face comparable legislative battles. It’s uplifting to have conversations with people that look you in the eye with a compassionate smile and say “I completely understand what you are going through. Maybe I can help?”
MNA is having a very solid year from an advertising perspective. Network sales – both internal and those made by our participating member newspapers – are showing substantial growth year over year as we continue to successfully pair a cost-effective marketing solution with our clients’ business objectives. I was proud to share MNA’s success stories with the N.A.M group and look forward to working diligently to help continue the upward revenue trend during the remainder of the year.
The reason I’m sharing my N.A.M experience with you is this: these annual meetings are valuable because everyone in the room is willing to share their own story so that everyone can learn from mistakes and benefit from successes. Everyone is willing to help each other. Collaboration is the key!
As professional salespeople, we must focus on being efficient with our time. The more prospective customers we can tell our story to, the more we can offer a solutions to our customer’s needs, the more sales we’ll make. During my sales career, there have been many times when I’ve faced an obstacle that I cannot climb over; an objection that I could not overcome. Years ago, I’d simply force myself to figure it out on my own instead of seeking guidance from my colleagues. Looking back, I cringe at the amount of time that I wasted because I was reluctant to ask for help. Salespeople are proud by nature, but don’t let your pride hinder your ability to makes sales!
You just can’t get that client to say “yes” to your proposal? Discuss it with your sales manager or publisher. Looking for a creative presentation to pitch a product? Ask a colleague. Don’t let opportunities pass you by because you refuse to ask for help. You’d be amazed at the terrific ideas that can be generated by getting a few smart people together for a cup of coffee. Collaboration allows us to share knowledge, skills, and resources resulting in increased productivity and profitability. Collaboration also helps promote working as a team, which encourages members to learn to respect and appreciate each other!
Have a terrific week,
If there are specific topics you’d like to see discussed in a future issue of The Sales Cycle, please contact me at (612) 278-0223 or firstname.lastname@example.org