Ad Agency New Business: How Not to Sound Like a Used Car Salesman

What are the first words that come to mind when you read the word, “Sales”? When I ask this of ad agency new business teams, or friends at cocktail parties (however embarrassing, yes, I’ve asked that question), the answer is almost always: “Used Car”.

Unfortunately, the sales profession has been terribly tarnished by traditional hard-sells: sales people trying to sell you something (whether you want it or not). You know the feeling: the harder they push, the more you want to run away.

Instead, think of a buying experience you where you felt like the person you were working with really had your best interests at heart. I remember Brad Feiman, a wonderful real estate agent who helped us when we moved to Atlanta, and Sid Mashburn, owner of a fabulous Atlanta-based men’s clothing store.

A great sales experience feels like this:

  • It begins with an exchange of information
  • It feels like a conversation
  • The salesperson listens intently and is genuinely interested in me and answers my questions
  • The salesperson is knowledgeable
  • They can think on their feet and demonstrate resourcefulness
  • Overall, they feel and act like a trusted advisor

Too often, when inexperienced new business people try to sell, they revert to the used-car style that most people hate.

Instead, experience greater new business success by acting as a trusted advisor, treating your future ad agency clients as you would a good friend.

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