Richard is an advertiser who has seen years of sales presentations. His pet peeve is any salesperson who shows up unprepared. “It’s a waste of valuable time to be in a meeting where someone is not ready for the topic at hand,” he said.
“I remember a meeting with an ad manager – a manager – and he showed up with no briefcase or folder, no rate information, and nothing to use for note-taking. All he had was a business card. I guess he thought his presence in the room would be enough for me to decide to run ads with his company. When I mentioned that it would be helpful to see a copy of his paper, he said he would have someone bring a copy later. His whole approach was arrogant and lackadaisical. It didn’t take long for me to decide that I could get along just fine without doing business with him.”
Although Richard’s example is extreme, it illustrates the importance of preparation. There’s a lot truth in the old saying, “Perception is reality.” If a prospect perceives that a salesperson is unprepared, that becomes their reality – and the result is a large obstacle for the salesperson to overcome.
Consider the briefcase. In this instance, let’s call it a go-bag, a term which concept likely originated in the military, where service men and women have to be ready at a moment’s notice. People also prepare go-bags of essential items that are needed in case of emergencies. Just pick it up and go.
Here are some basics for your advertising go-bag:
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John Foust has conducted training programs for thousands of newspaper advertising professionals. Many ad departments are using his training videos to save time and get quick results from in-house training. E-mail for information: firstname.lastname@example.org