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How to Respond to Common Advertiser Objections

Are your sales conversations difficult? Do you have trouble coming up with rebuttals to client objections?

Advertiser objections happen for a reason. As a digital publisher, it’s up to you to find out what’s behind the objections, so you can overcome those issues, expand your base, and maintain better relationships.

Uncovering the root cause of advertiser objections requires perhaps two of the most important skills in advertising sales: asking good questions and being a good listener.

You heard that right. The best way to discover what’s behind your advertiser objections is to ask what’s wrong and listen to the response. It really is that simple.

Don’t try to tell advertisers why their opinions are wrong or change their mind based on your powers of persuasion. Years of experience tell us that the best way to respond to advertiser objections is to ask why your advertisers feel the way they do and then listen for the answer.

It’s an important lesson, not just for those of us in advertising sales, but for everyone that works in digital publishing. Advertisers are the lifeblood of most digital publications. Keeping those partners satisfied is paramount to continued success.

Speak to enough advertisers, and you’re likely to hear certain complaints or objections come up more than others. In this post, we’ll go through five of the most common advertiser objections and provide you with rebuttals that you can use to explain what’s really going on.

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5 Common Advertiser Objections

Objection #1: “I just do social media.”

We know that social media isn’t the same as digital advertising, but a lot of business owners don’t understand the distinction. Until advertisers understand the difference between social media marketing and digital display advertising, they’ll never feel comfortable paying for the latter.

When you’re working with an advertiser that’s hesitant to move beyond social media marketing, begin by asking how many followers the advertiser has. How does that number compare to your monthly readership and the volume of traffic on your publication’s website?

Display advertising can also complement existing social media marketing. Products like Broadstreet’s Instant Facebook Ad Format and Instant Instagram Ad Format can automatically pull in a client’s latest social media posts. These formats can help get the advertiser’s message, that they’re already working hard to craft, in front of more people.

Objection #2: “Nobody pays attention to display ads.”

We know this isn’t true, but advertisers might not. The best way to combat misinformation among advertising clients is by providing them with real statistics. Use actual traffic data and analytics to show how your website compares to others in your industry.

If the industry average click-through rate (CTR) is .05%, how does your website compare? Sharing this information with potential clients can help quell concerns about how many people pay attention to display ads. The more precise you can be, the better. Consider saying something like, “With our traffic of X, our advertisers’ display ads are seen Y times and clicked on Z times.”

Objection #3: “I just don’t have the time for advertising.”

This is another common advertiser objection that’s rooted in a basic misunderstanding of how digital advertising works. If an advertiser says they don’t have time for advertising, ask how much time they think it currently takes them. How does that time commitment compare to the time they spend on social media platforms, like Facebook, or email marketing platforms, like Mailchimp?

Carefully listen to the advertiser’s concerns, then offer to handle the heavy lifting so they can focus on more pressing business matters. Simple phrases like, “Let us handle that for you,” can put clients at ease. If time is the issue, then become the advertiser’s solution. Offering to do the scheduling, design, and reporting for your advertisers diminishes one of the most common objections you’ll hear. This process is made even easier when you use a platform, like Broadstreet.

Objection #4: “COVID has crushed us.”

COVID-19 has impacted us all, and advertisers are no exception. There are various ways to approach this common advertiser objection. Our recommendation is to tackle the issue head on. Try to find out how the business has been impacted by COVID and what needs to change in order to get back on track.

If an advertiser says they need to pull back on advertising became of financial struggles due to COVID, follow up by asking questions such as:

  • How has COVID impacted you?
  • What would make your pandemic recovery go smoother?
  • Are you struggling with supply chain issues?
  • Have you had to downsize staff?

Based on how the advertiser responds to those questions, try suggesting an ad format designed to address those concerns. For example, advertisers dealing with a loss of customers (and revenue) during the pandemic would do well with a low-cost, high-impact display ad.

Objection #5: “We already advertise with Facebook and Google.”

This is a common reason why advertisers chose to say “no” instead of “go”. Business owners never seem to have enough time. Working with large companies like Facebook and Google adds to this problem, as their advertising can be quite time consuming. The question is: Is anyone actually seeing the advertiser’s ads on those platforms? This is a legitimate question that you’ll want to ask the advertiser.

As a digital publisher, your audience is your best asset. Clearly describe your niche and the demographics of your audience. Published media kits and advertiser materials are the ideal place to include this kind of relevant information. To take it a step further, you’ll want to reach out to advertisers personally to explain what it means to advertise on your website. Leverage the fact that your audience is comprised of real people in your community, not bots. Offer an example showing that they want to support businesses that spend their ad dollars locally. Sometimes, this is exactly what small business owners need to hear.

Whether you’re looking to capture new advertisers or sell more ads to your existing clientele, these strategies are designed to overcome the most common advertiser objections and win more sales. To learn even more about the latest strategies for digital advertising success, reach out to Broadstreet today.

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