As I walk in every morning and say my “good mornings” to everyone, I am able to immediately gauge who our top producers are. Sure I get weekly sales reports, but I don’t need these because I already know just by looking around. You see, morning after morning, before I ever step foot inside our offices, I see the same cars in the parking lot that belong to the same people here prepping their day. In sales speak, these program book sales reps are prepping their accounts. And it is no coincidence that these same people are our top program book advertising sales producers!
These same people are planning out their day minute by minute. They’re researching local businesses, they’re reading local business journals, they’re looking at local chamber of commerce sites, they’re staying on top of the performing arts industry in general, they’re googling “grand openings” and all the other tricks that top producers do. They are constantly looking at our season publication schedule for all of the performing arts shows and trying to figure out marketing messages for each and every program book advertiser prospect. Then they are loading all of this information into their CRM system.
These top program book advertising sales reps know one very important thing— time is their only tangible asset! They are constantly asking themselves how can I make the most of my time? How can I make my time more important? What do I want to accomplish today and in the future?
We are all creatures of habit – doing the same thing, the same way, at the same time. But top program book sales reps look at this differently. They ask themselves what are my poor habits? Why did I fall into these habits? And what can I do to break these habits?
Habits form through three overlapping concepts:
- You must know what to do.
- You must know how to do what you want to do.
- You must have the desire to learn.
Feeling prepared is the greatest single factor for being confident in approaching any customer about performing arts program book advertising.
At Onstage Publications all of our professional program book sales reps are taught our program book account preparation process. The preparation process consists of everything done by the program book sales representative prior to the initial sales call, which can be summed up in five steps:
- Planning your work
- Gathering information about the program book product (i.e. upcoming performances, available premium items, etc.), the performing arts industry in general, the customer they will be calling, and the competition out there.
- Preparing a tentative plan of representation.
- Planning the interview strategy.
- And most importantly, developing and maintaining a proper selling attitude.
Complete and accurate preparation is necessary so program book sales reps can make a recommendation about performing arts program book advertising that will benefit the customer.
If an attempt to approach a potential performing arts program book advertiser “cold” is made, certain unknowns will be encountered which will jeopardize the success of any type of sale.
Good account preparation makes for increased program book ad sales, because it makes the program book sales rep more confident. The customer knows that the program book sales rep knows what they are talking about, and therefore makes each step of the call much easier.
And this is how I know who our top program book sales reps are. I know these same people I see here bright and early, day in and day out are using the tools that we have trained them on to be the best they can be at selling program book advertising. Good selling!