Can you really bring a “dead” deal back to life? Every broadcast salesperson has considered this question regarding stalled accounts. You did the hard work of prospecting, pitching and proposing, but it’s not going anywhere. Should you move on, or are there ways to finally get the win?
Why Is the Deal Stalled?
First, you’ll need to determine why it’s stalling. This “why” will allow you to move forward in the best way. There will be times when it’s best to move on and times when an account still represents an opportunity.
There’s No Urgency
You won’t likely run into this too often because advertising is always somewhat urgent. However, if the company is new, they may be feeling things out before they commit. Another reason for the lack of urgency would be that the advertiser wants to promote a specific event or product happening in the future.
If this is the case, you don’t want to press. You can make the proposal time-sensitive. After all, if they don’t buy spots now for linear or digital ads, the cost could go up. That could motivate them to commit.
If that tactic doesn’t change the game, give them some room. Circle back in 60 to 90 days.
It’s Decision by Committee
Most companies that buy ads from you likely only have a few decision-makers because most are local SMBs. That’s not always the case, as you may have large companies in your metro area that allot a considerable piece of budget to local ads.
The sales cycle for these bigger deals is going to be longer — that’s a given. You may have only had exposure to a few of those stakeholders. Others are just hearing about the proposal secondhand. One way to move this stalled account is to get an audience with all the right people.
You’ll want to develop a sales presentation that has the right hook, incorporates data and clearly defines how you’ll help the company meet its goals. Because there are multiple attendees, they all have different motivations and priorities. Your pitch has to cover all the bases.
They’re Working with Competitors
Selling ads to businesses is hard. It can be even harder if they are already working with an agency or other partner. However, they have taken the time to talk with you but are non-committal. You need to find out what the pain points are with their current provider. If you can solve those, you can move the deal into the pipeline.
The way to win this client is to be better than your competitor with inventory, ideas, pricing, targeting or other important elements. If you can make the advantages of working with you clear, you’ll get the business.
They Need More Convincing to Try Something New
Another type of stalled account could be one where you’re trying to expand on services. Maybe they buy broadcast ads from you now but not digital. They might not be doing much of anything with digital. So, you’ll need to convince them that integrated campaigns can deliver great returns.
Go back to numbers. Digital advertising metrics will tell the story for you. You don’t have to hard-sell anything; just clearly present the data that lays out how digital advertising enables them to target and reach their unique audience(s).
They’re Just Not Ready
You can do and say everything right, but some companies may not be ready due to various reasons outside of your control. In that case, you don’t have to end the conversation. Instead, go into a nurturing mode.
Keep in touch with them every few months to check in and offer some insights into how similar companies are finding success. This builds trust and your credibility, so when they are ready to say yes, they’ll say it to you.
Stalled Accounts Can Still Close
The most important thing to consider is patience and pacing. Once you understand why the accounts aren’t moving, you can formulate your plan. Of course, closing deals won’t always happen rapidly, so keep these tips in mind next time you hit roadblocks.
Looking for more tactical and practical tips for broadcast sales? Be sure to download Sales Meetings in a Box. Each volume contains role-play scenarios that can help you handle objections like a pro.