Roundtable Discussion: 2019 Fall Conference

Part 1: New & Successful Sales Techniques

 Community focused

  1. Football Pick ‘Em (Lake News Shopper, Creston News Advertiser)
    1. 15 week commitment, $56/week (Lake News Shopper)
    2. Every week gets a weekly featured sponsor
    3. Can be high school, college, pro


  1. Hockey Schedule with ads all around
    1. College, high school, etc.
    2. Can work with other athletics as well


  1. Trade with Trail of Terror or Renaissance Fair
    1. Tickets can be gifts for other advertisers
    2. Can be used for contests/incentives


  1. Working with local Churches
    1. Call around to local churches to get schedules for holidays, then sell ads around them
    2. Find out when “Come Back to Church” weekend is and advertise that
    3. Note – Some folks have found that churches are selling ads in their own newsletters, reducing budget/market for external advertising


  1. Annual Tulip Fest Magazine


  1. Community ad grouping/gang ads
    1. Community events and small, med, large ads
    2. Lower the rate for advertisers connected to that event.
    3. Group communities together as a destination


  1. State info booklet for 4th graders
    1. Educational content on states, 1 page/state
    2. Sponsors for each state


  1. Coloring book – 5th-8th grade art in book, sell banner ads on pages
    1. Combo pricing
    2. 4 for 3 sports ads, etc.


  1. Christmas Cookbook
    1. Kids tell favorite food, then write how they think the recipes are made
      1. Fun and funny descriptions (bake for 6 hours at a million degrees, etc)
    2. Banner ads, ad pages within book

Business Focused

  1. Business Grand Openings


  1. Business remodeling
    1. See if they want to let the community know about new products, space, services, etc.


  1. Meet The Business (Cityview)
    1. Send photographer into business to take pictures of employees and do a “meet the business section”


  1. Locally Loved (Cityview)
    1. Businesses sharing their testimonials from their customers


  1. Send Santa into a business “Santa Suggests” (Dubuque Advertiser)
    1. Take pic of Santa with an item most likely to sell for holiday
    2. Suggestion – Create a spec ad with Santa to take with on sales call


  1. Where’s Jeff? (Dubuque Advertiser)
    1. Have a team member go out into the community for pictures  at a sponsoring local business
    2. Readers guess where that person is, correct guess wins an entry into a drawing
    3. Winner minimum $50 value prize from the sponsoring business


  1. Coupon page – (Dubuque Advertiser)
    1. Coupon center section 1x/month. Monthly or yearly commitment


  1. Book of advertising deals/coupons for businesses
    1. Free size upgrade, free color upgrade, etc.

Other Sales Techniques

  1. Gang ads
    1. Pair business by category or like business
      1. Wine and chocolate
      2. Interior and exterior remodeling
  • Help connect the businesses so they can buy from each other
  1. Create a business directory as an insert or center section


  1. Create different circulations for special sections, to reach different populations
    1. Example: Farming in Heartland – Rural customers only
      1. Working with Co-ops, Farming implements


  1. Get testimonials from businesses that had success
    1. If businesses are slow to provide testimonials, write a draft for them.
    2. “As a convenience here’s some suggested language you might use. Please edit or change this in any way you see fit!”
  1. Wine Stroll (or other local shopping event) coordinated by local Chamber of Commerce
    1. Publication supports and advertises the event
    2. Put all the advertisers on one page together, perhaps discounted rate


  1. Desk Calendar with ads around the border


  1. Use google analytics to show that viewership on their website (Living Magazines)


  1. Engage With CVC Data (multiple)
    1. Readership stats and retention rate, use more audit info
      1. Coverage vs. customers reaches
      2. Cost/thousand
  • Cost/reader
  1. Do the math sales flier (Tidbits)
    1. Sales flier with CVC information and coverage


  1. Ongoing sig ads (Multiple)
    1. Business does a one-time sign-up. Ad runs until business requests it stops.
    2. Businesses rarely leave once they’ve joined. Don’t need to take time calling them over and over.
    3. Example
      1. Veterans Day Vets, families, pics of soldiers, etc. – $39/ad
      2. Patriotic or other holidays
  • Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts
  1. Football Games
  2. Halloween safety
  3. School athletes
  • Fire safety
  • Welcome teachers to school
  1. Suggestion – Call them “Community Booster” ads
  2. Suggestion – Create one ad for free to let business try it out
  3. Make a flier of the available sig ads (holidays, events, etc.) and send with annual invoice
    1. Client checks the events/holidays they want
    2. Those ads are added to the next year’s invoice

General Sales Practices

  1. Positive Warm friendly greeting in all formats


  1. Believing in the products what you selling


  1. Support the business you’re selling to
    1. Shop at those businesses
    2. Be educated about the business
  1. Closing and Follow up for each sales call/contact


  1. Prepare for calls in advance.
    1. Know the clients’ product and business
    2. Prep spec ads


  1. Email subject line is three words or less
    1. Email copy three sentences or less


  1. First questions to ask when you meet a new client
    1. Which is your best-selling item?
    2. What’s your highest profit margin item?
    3. What’s most interesting about your business?
    4. What’s the most important thing about your business?


  1. Set appointments first and schedule days by category – (Cityview)
    1. All chiropractors in one day, all car dealerships the next
    2. Keeps from having to switch industry focus between clients
    3. Easier to see how businesses are comparing to each other


  1. Four-Legged sales calls
    1. Go out two at a time, especially for tougher accounts
    2. Can make that account feel special because they’re getting extra attention


  1. Three tier proposal (Living magazines)
    1. Low, Medium, and High packages (or silver, gold, platinum, etc.)
    2. Low is what they think they want, Medium is middle road, High is what will serve them best
    3. If they can’t afford high now, it’s on their radar as something to move forwards to in the future.


  1. Create a notepad that lists out all the services your publication sells – (Star Publications)
    1. Reps take this on sales calls. Give it away, or take notes on it related to what the business wants/needs
    2. Makes sure that all available services are being shared, even if they’re not all discussed


  1. Coupon book sold to advertisers, with discounts on advertising
    1. Double ad size, free color, upgrades in ads, etc.


  1. Question: Does your publication provide free advertising: Yes/No?
    1. Yes: Typically for a benefit
    2. Yes: Might be free upgrade/color/etc.
    3. Yes: Ask, is customer paying for anything else for the event?
      1. If it’s 100% donated, ad is donated as well.
      2. If customer is paying for other parts of the event, they can pay for advertising
    4. Yes: Personal Touch page – small announcements


Ways to Overcome Common Objections


  1. No Budget/Too expensive;
    1. Focus on circulation: The quantity of readers they’re reaching will always be higher
      1. Bring it to ad cost/thousand readers.
    2. Sell them a package to lower overall cost
    3. Share the publishing deadline/ad deadline calendar so they can plan
    4. “When do you set your budgets?”
    5. “What’s on your discount shelf? Things that don’t sell and need to be cheap. Cheapest isn’t always best.”
    6. “When you say you mean no budget, do you mean no budget, or no budget for me?”
    7. “What do you have for budget? We can work with that. Here’s a small ad that fits.”
    8. “What results do you want?”
    9. “What are your expectations?”
    10. “Expensive compared to what? What else are you doing?”
    11. “This isn’t a donation, this is an investment in your business.”


  1. Competitor is cheaper (even with lower circulation)
    1. Focus on circulation: The quantity of readers they’re reaching will always be higher
      1. Bring it to ad cost/thousand readers.
    2. Business is too slow to advertise
      1. “This is the time to advertise to bring in more sales.”
      2. “If it’s cyclical downtime, let’s plan to advertise before it happens again and get in front of it.”


Other Advertising Formats

  1. Word of Mouth is my best advertising
    1. “We’ll give you something to talk about!”
    2. “It should be, and print will be a great support/supplement to that”


  1. Already running another paper
    1. Use CVC Data & request audit data on competitors to see if you’re a better cost/thousand or circulation
    2. “That’s excellent that you’re already using print advertising! We have different/additional/niche circulation, so we can reach additional audience.”


  1. Advertising on TV
    1. “Print is a great reinforcement, especially to communicate phone numbers or websites.”


  1. Current ads with in other publications/formats are working
    1. “What are you doing?”
    2. “What does working mean?”
      1. Are there goals that aren’t being met that your publication can fulfill
  1. Online advertising, Switching to digital
    1. CVC custom survey services may help determine actual efficacy of online advertising in your market
    2. “Define digital. What does that meant to you?”


  1. Business uses direct mail
    1. Compare the cost of your publication to direct mail
    2. Readers that get advertising direct mail, who contact your publication with looking for ads from a specific company
      1. Tell readers to call customer service for the company and ask them to advertise with your publication


  1. I’m switching to Facebook (FB)/Other Social media
    1. Statistics on Facebook (FB) – FB readers by scrolling, doesn’t mean they’re reading ads or taking time to shop.
    2. FB ads can be stacked, not necessarily getting views.
    3. CVC custom survey services can help determine actual efficacy
    4. People often use FB for personal reasons, not business.
      1. Ask client if THEY shop on FB
    5. “What platform are you going to?”
    6. “What are the goals and expectations for the campaign? Has FB been delivering?”
    7. “Is the algorithm getting you in front of your audience?”
    8. “Does your audience use FB/Twitter/Instagram?”
    9. “Social media isn’t necessarily accessible to everyone. Print is.”
    10. “Is your social media following big enough for you to benefit from the time/money you’re spending?”


  1. Facebook is free
    1. “No it isn’t.”, and supply data


Isn’t Print Dead?/Does Print Even Work?

  1. No one reads the shopper/Is anyone going to read?
    1. Use Circulation Verification Council (CVC) data to show otherwise
    2. CVC custom survey service may be useful as well
    3. “Whenever the paper is late people call to look for it. They’re reading.”
      1. Collect stats on those customer service calls about late papers


  1. There’s no way to track print advertising
    1. Run an item for free
    2. Call tracking service is available for a fee
    3. Add a keyword to the ad/coupon: “Ask for Ernie” “Ask for City Living Special”

  1. The ads we have/had with you aren’t working
    1. “Let switch the message and see what changes.”
    2. “Let’s look at the content/design.”


  1. Carrier Issues, not delivered in my neighborhood
    1. Switch from carriers to post office


  1. I don’t need to advertise/I’m busy enough
    1. Offer to run employment ads.
    2. “If you’re that busy do you need more help?”


  1. I don’t have time to make ads
    1. “We can do that for you.”
    2. “It’s included in the fee.”


  1. Only want short-term commitment/Hard to get into long term
    1. Pricing special to entice to longer term


  1. Not enough/too much notice to advertise
    1. Send out calendar of publishing deadlines


  1. Customers advertise events, not consistent top-of-mind advertising
    1. Remind businesses that they’re doing this to bring in new customers, not just engage current customers
    2. CVC data on number of purchases being made in the selling category
      1. “How many sales do you have annually? You’re ‘xx’% of the overall purchases being made. Let’s get you more!”
    3. “Someone is always buying, and you want them to call you first.”


  1. I don’t know what I’d advertise
    1. “What do you want to sell more of?”
    2. “Name three things that make you better than the completion.”
    3. “What makes you money?”
    4. “Adverting keeps you top of mind. There doesn’t need to be a special thing/event.”


  1. Suppliers aren’t sending print ads, so businesses don’t want to print advertise
    1. “Business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) sales are different. What your B2B suppliers are doing may not be relevant to your B2C business.”

  1. Don’t want to be in your paper because of other content (political, controversial, other businesses, etc.)
    1. “If you know that content is getting read, do you want to take advantage of that?”


  1. Placement of last ad was right next to the competitor
    1. Sorry, free ad/upgrade to make it up to them


  1. Corporate won’t let us
    1. “Can I talk to corporate? Would you refer me?”
    2. “If this is something you want to do I can assist with reaching out to them.”


  1. Maybe later/Come back later/Push off
    1. Set a date & Time


  1. Only wants to be contacted via email/phone/in person, frustrated when other methods are used
    1. Honor preferred contact method


  1. I only bought this ad because of the rep before you. “I liked Pat and bought because of who they were (former mayor, community leader, etc.).”
    1. “Would Pat have wanted you to keep going?”
    2. “You’re supporting the community as well when you advertise with us.” (Tie into values for supporting community)
    3. Leverage values to see what you can connect to that they liked about Pat
    4. Get involved in community events to be more visible


  1. Car dealer – Investing more money in their websites
    1. Offer Sponsored content to reach additional audiences that may not be hitting the website
      1. Print ads reach different buyers


  1. Silence/Just No
    1. When there’s a “no”, thank them for being clear.