You’ve finally made it! You are about to go back to your prospect and make your presentation on why they should advertise in your program book.

The program book advertising sales presentation is the heart and soul of the entire sales process. Each time you make a presentation, you face a critical moment. This is it–your big opportunity to make a sale or lose a sale! Your customer may be willing to give you the time you need for your presentation, but will he or she listen? How and what should you say to make your customer listen? What should you do to arouse and hold the customer’s interest? Will you make a powerful presentation that really sells, or will you leave your customer cold and unsold?

The successful performing arts program book advertising sales rep owes his or her success to the fact that they prepare and present their program book sales presentation with maximum impact. They measure a presentation in terms of its power to persuade and convince, to avoid any and all possible misinterpretation, to close a sale and at the same time leave the door open for future program book ad sales. An effective presentation is the very heart and soul of salesmanship—the most concise and forceful method of presenting your program book product. In fact, before anyone can become a convincing closer, they must first be a persuasive presenter. Knowing how to plan and give a compelling presentation is the surest and quickest way to reach the top in program book ad sales.

What you can do to add sales power to your presentation

Before you can tell your “sale story”, you must be able to sell it. Actually, your goal is to make two sales during your presentation. First you sell the value of your presentation to the customer—is it worth their attention and interest? Second, you sell your program book advertising product. Are its benefits worth the money the advertiser must pay? Unless you first convince your customer that your presentation deserves his or her thoughtful attention, the customer is not likely to give you the undivided attention you need to make the program book ad sale.

Techniques that successful program book ad sales reps use to add “sales power” to their presentation:

  1. This may sound obvious but get the customer’s name right. How many times have you been cold called and they jumble your name?–Instant turn off!
  2. Once you have their name down, remember it. Some people are better than others at this. If you have trouble with names, practice memorizing them. It is one less thing to worry about during the presentation.
  3. Personalize every presentation.
  4. Know when to stop and listen.
  5. Prepare and give the best presentation possible. I’ve mentioned before in some previous blogs, here at Onstage Publications we are big believers in role playing and the best time to do this is at your sales meetings.
  6. Make the best use of all of your program book advertising sales aids. You should have these, if not see (The Only 2 Program Book Sales Aids You Will Ever Need.)

4 basic requirements for a self-boosting program book ad sales presentation:

  1. It must catch your customer’s instant and undivided attention by aiming at his or her self-interest.
  2. It must arouse interest by describing the benefits and pointing out the advantages of program book advertising.
  3. It must stimulate desire for the benefits and the advantages by offering factual proof (think testimonial letters from satisfied advertisers, or better yet, if you have a digital component to your program book, show them actual page views.)
  4. It must motivate your customer to take action and ultimately sign your program book advertising agreement.
  1. Get immediate attention!

The first few seconds of your presentation are the most important. Your aim here is to focus your customer’s attention on you and what you have to say. It isn’t always easy to win attention. You face competition every time you try—unwillingness by the customer to yield any attention at all, competition of thoughts already in a customer’s mind, indifference to you and to what you’re selling. Whether your customer actually asks it or not, there is only one thought in his or her mind—WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME? This question you must answer immediately, and keep on answering it throughout your program book advertising sales presentation. From the very beginning, your sales presentation must be aimed at what the customer wants: greater profits, fewer losses, more customers, and so on. The best way to snare a customer’s attention is to say or do something that relates their needs to your program book product. Here are some examples:

Mr./Mrs. Customer, would you like to know how you can increase your business’ awareness in the community, which in turn can help increase your sales?

Mr./Mrs. Customer, there are many people just like you that look at the program book during the performance and peruse all of the advertisers. Would you give me an opportunity to discuss some ideas I feel would be beneficial to you and your business so you too can be in front of this coveted demographic?

  1. Arouse interest.

Once you catch your customer’s attention, make them want to hear more—before the customer’s mind wanders and returns to previous thoughts. Basically, customers are concerned only with themselves, with their own welfare and how their wants and needs can best be served. So, your next step is to convert their attention into favorable interest. Tell the customer what benefits they will gain by advertising in your program book.

For example, when you buy a suit for yourself, you don’t buy the fabric, buttons, or thread. You are buying the benefits of the suit—the quality of the fabric, the way you will look in the suit, and the ability of a good suit to give you more self- confidence. Simply put, benefits are what customers buy. But you must make sure you know what it is that customers will want in what you’re selling—in this case, an ad in your program book. What benefits of an ad in your program book are going to most likely appeal to them?

  1. Stimulate desire.

As you link an ad in your program book to your customers wants, how will they know you’re telling the truth? Why should they believe you? They must trust you and be convinced that you are truthful. There is no better way to overcome this than with testimonials from current performance arts program book advertisers. Satisfied current program book advertisers will be happy to do this for you. In addition to testimonials, there is no better data than usage data from your actual program book itself. If you offer a digital version of your program book, show the prospect actual analytics from your current digital program book version. And finally, your knowledge about program book advertising will give your prospect the confidence and trust in you.

  1. Motivate action to buy.

Motivating your customer to buy is the purpose of your entire program book advertising presentation. The point to remember here is that you, yourself must take the initiative and tell your customer you want him or her to buy. The customer will not close the sale for you. But if you have aroused their interest and stimulated their desire for an ad in your program book, they will flash buying signals that you must recognize. A good program book ad sales representative is alert to these signals, which in themselves are indications that your customer shows interest in buying an ad. For example, assume you’re talking to your customer. As you proceed with your presentation, you sense you’re getting “home” to them. The customer is non-committal in what he or she says, but is showing interest. They then ask for a full explanation of some benefit you may have described. This is a buying signal!

5 Steps to controlling the program book advertising presentation

You can’t score if you don’t have the ball. Thus you must maintain control of the presentation. Controlling the presentation takes 5 simple steps:

  1. You are the expert! If you have done your job correctly this far, you have uncovered a problem or need of the customer and he or she is looking to solve this problem or fulfill this need.
  2. Sell the benefit of program book advertising—benefits, benefits, benefits!
  3. You can make the customer as easy or as hard as you want to. It all depends on how you handle them.
  4. Only if the customer stops you in all your tracks do you alter your presentation. As an alternate, you may have to drop into a “counter punch” long enough to answer the customer’s questions and then shift back to control.

This may sound like a lot, but if you practice making your program book advertising presentation, it will soon become second nature to you. And it’s important to remember that the major purpose of the presentation is to overcome objections before they come at you and ultimately sell the program book ad. Good selling!

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