Thursday, September 19, 2013

Helpful tips to sales representatives to make media buyers and clients happy

Normally, this blog is intended to report and explain media research, new devices, gizmos, and general media news. This week, we are going to take a step back and talk about the human factor to advertising. Specifically, the sales representatives that help media buyers/planners and advertising agencies alike turn the clients’ expectations into reality.

It’s been said numerous times that word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising, which is true also in working relationships and reputations. A good word-of-mouth can help sales reps insure a loyal and long-standing working relationship with most media buyers out there. Let’s face it, we’re a particular breed. If we find a sales rep we like, we are not going to let them go for anything… even added value.

Here are a few tips from one media buyer to make the relationship mutually exclusive and mutually beneficial.
1.      Respond back to messages: Whether we call you, email you, or meet you in person, please respond back to us within 24 hours. We typically are working under a deadline, and need to make sure whatever we were asking for is on your radar. Even a message back saying, “I received your request, and I am working on it,” will earn you a few brownie points. Having to track down a person multiple times without a response will just make buyers grumpy. We know you are busy; we just don’t want to be forgotten.
2.      Be honest: Buyers know that sales reps need to reinforce the product with all of the good sales points, but please just be honest with us. If we want to buy a certain percentage of your inventory, and you don’t think it will actually run, let us know. We would much rather be told, “No, there’s not enough inventory to cover what you want. So, let’s look at other options…” vs. “oh, sorry, it didn’t run because there wasn’t enough inventory to support your buy.” What?!?! Now, we get the job of telling the client it didn’t work, which makes buyers grumpy.
3.      Manage expectations: Please try to under promise and over deliver vs. the opposite. Again, it makes the buyers grumpy.
4.      Write important dates down: If a buyer asks for recaps for a promotion or campaign by a certain date, write it down in your calendar. If we have to follow up multiple times, we get grumpy.
5.      Don’t blame others: Mistakes happen. We get it, but if you were to blame, own up to it. Please don’t blame traffic, corporate, your replacement while you were out, etc. It gets old, and it makes us grumpy.

Are you seeing a pattern here? Buyers can get grumpy for a variety of reasons, which isn’t helpful for the buyer/sales rep relationship. Likewise, we buyers know that we need to work on giving you more realistic deadlines and be patient when mistakes happen. We make them, too.

At the end of the day, a buyers main goal is to make the client happy. As such, we can only do that if we have a good team that consists of the buyers, sales reps, traffic department, and creative department. If we all work to make the clients’ goals our goals, there will be less grumpiness. Who doesn’t want that?

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