How to Prepare For Your Next Ad Sales Meeting

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Before you head out the door to your next ad sales meeting, take a few minutes to put together a game plan for success.

If you want to improve your chances of winning a sale, you’ve got to nail the meeting. Client meetings are often overlooked as digital publishers focus on other aspects of their ad sales strategies, but in reality, preparing for your next ad sales meeting is just as important as coming up with a high-quality media kit or deciding which ad formats to promote.

In this article, we’ll explain why preparation is so important and detail exactly how to get ready for your next ad sales meeting. As a bonus, we’ll also share the three things you need to know before you go.

Let’s get started!

What’s This All About?

Before you can prepare for your next ad sales meeting, you need to be 100% clear on your goals. What are you hoping to get out of the meeting? Is this an informal meet-and-greet, or will today be the day you close a deal?

In the deal cycle, each client meeting is what we refer to as a milestone activity. If the meeting is successful, it propels the deal forward. If it’s not, the deal may fall flat. Meeting the prospective client is your opportunity to learn about the client and demonstrate just how valuable your publication can be. How can you help the client succeed? 

Successful salespeople know that the goal when meeting with clients is not to sell ads. The goal when meeting with clients should always be to help clients succeed. How do your publication’s ad formats align with the client’s goals, and what can you offer the client to ensure the success of their campaigns?

Here’s what you can do before your next ad sales meeting to set your team up for success.

Before the Meeting

The simplest game plans are often the best. We recommend taking the time to learn about the advertiser and the advertiser’s primary competition, and then coming up with an approach that defines your own publication’s value compared to other advertising channels and publications in your space.

Ask yourself these questions before the meeting:

  1. Who is this advertiser? Research the business and the person you’ll be meeting with. Use personal connections and a bit of internet research to find out what needs they may have that your publication can solve.
  2. Who is my competition? Who else might this advertiser be meeting with? Today’s online publishers are competing against legacy print, new media publishers, and online magazines for ad dollars. They are also competing against tech platforms like Facebook and Google.
  3. What do I have to offer? Part of preparing for your next ad sales meeting involves asking yourself what you can offer clients that your competitors cannot. What differentiates your publication? Is it your audience size? Your niche? Maybe you offer more flexibility, more personal attention, or more compelling ad formats than your competitors. These are all things to consider as you look at what your publication can provide.

Based on your answers to those three questions, you should be ready to make a meeting outline. The outline can be detailed, down to the minute, or it can simply be a list of general goals and ideas. Writing down a meeting outline and distributing the outline to your team before the meeting is a key step in your preparation strategy.

Ask the Right Questions

Before your next ad sales meeting, come up with a list of questions to ask the client during the meeting. These questions will guide the discussion and set the tone for the meeting, so be sure to consider which questions you’ll ask and write them down in advance.

Sample topics to ask about during the ad sales meeting include:

  • Facts about the client’s business
  • Challenges the business has currently and in the past
  • Approximate advertising and marketing budget
  • What the business hopes to achieve through advertising (brand impact, message delivery, etc.)

Come Prepared With Handouts

Experienced ad sales reps never arrive at a meeting empty handed. As you prepare for your next ad sales meeting, make sure to bring along any relevant materials or examples of types of ad formats you’re able to sell. Creating a spec ad is an excellent way to generate excitement and show potential advertisers what their ads would look like. For detailed instructions on how to create a spec ad with Broadstreet Ad Manager, follow the steps outlined in this video.

Now is also the time to dust off (and print out) your media kit. If you haven’t developed a media kit for your publication, it’s not too late to make one. Broadstreet’s Digital Media Kit Template simplifies the process of creating a high-quality media kit for digital publishers of all sizes.

Arriving at a meeting prepared and confident is the true key to winning new clients. To learn even more about how to step up your game, check out Broadstreet’s Rookie’s Guide To Digital Ad Sales.

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