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Test Your
Prospecting Skills

Slick is a seasoned account executive who has been selling magazine advertising for over 4 years, but like many of us he continues to make the same prospecting mistakes on every call.

For the past 2 hours Slick has been on the phone calling anyone and everyone that might advertise in his publication, but heís had no luck. Heís ready to throw in the towel but decides to give it one last try. Follow Slick on his next two calls and see if you can identify at least 15 costly prospecting mistakes. Then try your best to answer the 10 Skill Testing Prospecting questions.

Slick: Good morning, it's Slick calling from Best Publishing, can you please tell me who handles the advertising for your company?

Receptionist: May I ask what this is about?

Slick: We are the publishers of On Target Magazine. It is the leading publication in your industry.

Receptionist: Thanks for calling, but we donít do any magazine advertising.

Slick: (Slick has heard this excused before so heís not about to give up.) I understand but, could I just get the name of the person that handles your advertising so that I can send a free copy of our magazine and a media kit?

Receptionist: Why donít you just mail it to me and Iíll pass it on.

Slick: That would be great. Thank you for your help. (Slick gets the details, sends the kit and marks his calendar to follow up next week).

Discourage but not defeated, Slick decides to make one last call.

Slick: Good morning, it's Slick calling from Best Publishing, can you please tell me who handles the advertising for your company?

Receptionist: The person who handles our advertisings is Bob Baxter.

Slick: Is Bob in?

Receptionist: One moment please.

Bob: Hello, Bob Baxter speaking.

Slick: Bob, good morning. My name is Slick and Iím calling from Best Publishing. How are you today?

Bob: Iím fine. How can I help you?

Slick: Bob, we are the publishers of On Target Magazine which is the leading publication in your industry. The reason Iím calling is I was hoping to get a few minutes of your time to tell you about our publication and editorial calendar.

Bob: Iím too busy to meet right now so why donít you tell me what this is about.

Slick realizes that this is his only chance to impress Bob so he quickly jumps into his presentation.

Slick: Bob as I mentioned we are the leading publication in your industry and we are recognized as having the best editorial content and highest readership. By running an ad in our publication youíll reach over 15 thousand readers every month so advertising in our publication is a cost effective way to promote your products and services.

Bob: Thanks for calling, but Iím not interested right now.

Slick: Would it be okay if I sent you our media kit and rate card, just so that you can get a firsthand look at our magazine?

Bob: Sure.

Slick: Great, Iíll send it out today and call you next week to see if you have any questions.

A week later Slick calls back.

Slick: Bob, itís Slick from Best Publishing. Last week I sent you our media kit and rate card. Have you had a chance to take a look at our publication?

Bob: Yes, I took a quick look, but your CPM is too high. I can reach the same target market through another magazine for about 20% less.

Slick knew this was going to happen. In fact, heís been telling his manager that the published advertising rates are too high for the past year but no one is listening. If they would only lower the CPM heíd be able to land dozens of new accounts.

Slick: Bob, Iíd really like to get your business, so let me talk to my manager to see what I can do. Iíll get back to you tomorrow.

Next day

Slick: Bob, itís Slick from Best Publishing. I talked to my manager and Iím pleased to offer you a full 20% discount.

Bob: Thatís great but besides price Iím not sure that magazine adverting is the best way for us to promote our products so let me think it over and Iíll get back to you.

Slick: Thank you for considering our publication. If thereís any further information you need just give me a call.

Skill testing prospecting questions.

1. What response will land the appointment when the prospect says?
I'm not interested, I'm happy with my existing marketing campaign.
Not now; call me next issue.
We donít do any magazine advertising.
Send me a media kit first.

2. Most prospects decide within the first 6 seconds, whether or not to meet with you. What must you say to instantly pique their interest? (Clue, it's not telling them about your magazine.)

3. Credibility accounts for 80% in the decision making process. What must you do to instantly establish credibility? (Clue, it's not telling him about your magazine)

4. Give 3 examples of how to get past a receptionist that is screening calls.

5. What easy-to-use technique will circumvent voice mail? (Clue, it's not leaving a message.)

6. Why must you never call on the media buyer?

7. Offering a Universal Benefit is the key to prospecting success. What is the president or owner's Universal Benefit?

8. Prospects don't want to deal with an ad salesperson; they want to work with someone that understands their industry. What must you do to position yourself as an industry expert?

9. Marketing managers are one of your best prospects. What should you offer a marketing manager that is happy with his present supplier? (Clue, it's not lower prices.)

10. "Bob, I can be at your office tomorrow at 9 am. Is that time convenient for you?" Why should you never ask this closing question?

Field-tested solutions to your biggest prospecting challenges
Watch the Prospecting Strategies that Drive Ad Sales Webinar today and discover the skills and strategies that the magazine industry's most successful account executives are using to drive sales in today's competitive marketplace.

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