The Truth About Ad Sales Solicitors

By Erin Robinson

Knock, Knock, Ring, Ring

If you own a business… especially a Business-to-Consumer business, chances are that you have been approached by an advertising sales solicitor… if not hundreds of them.

Most of them are fantastic people, however, they are doing their job, which is to sell advertising for their particular media company to you.

The one thing that you need to know is that these folks are not marketers. They are in sales.  They do not look at your big picture or track your ROI. They only sell 1 singular media and typically don’t care how it works with your other marketing tactics.  Several of them will show up day in and day out when it comes to pitching you… then when you sign the contract and make your payment, they aren’t anywhere to be found.  Now don’t get me wrong… I am not putting them down. I work with handfuls of them from every medium every day. I am just saying that they have a job to do, which is to sell you their advertising package from their single medium. And quite frankly, most of them are very good at their jobs.

So how do you know what advertising will work for your business?  My recommendation is to utilize a Media Buyer…. No, I’m not just saying this because it is a service that we offer. Media Buyers work with your entire marketing  plan and see your big picture. They buy several mediums, they have systems and relationships in place, and can often times negotiate a better a deal for you. In addition, they can take the frustration of dealing with solicitors off of your back. If you get another phone call, or door-to-door solicitor… direct them to your media buyer. It’s as easy as that.

If you choose to continue to take matters into your own hands, then here’s a few questions that you might want to ask yourself prior to committing to anything:

Does this media reach my target audience?

Will it effectively communicate my message?

Is it a reputable source with proven track record?

How much time will it take and can I invest the time to implement it effectively?

What are my goals and do I truly feel this media can achieve my goals?

Do my customers/clients pay attention to this medium?

How will this medium allow me to track my results and ROI?

Am I making it easy on my customers to find me?

Remember… advertising takes time and frequency. If you don’t know what you are doing, check into hiring a pro. If you continue to buy media on your own, then make sure that you negotiate rates, ask for “added value” and check into the media’s cancellation policy prior to committing. If the medium is online, then always ask for traffic numbers and tracking reports. If they don’t want to tell you the numbers or provide tracking… Then, see ya!


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