For Ad Agency New Business Success, Hire a Sales Person with These 4 Traits…

Hire someone with proven success in consultative sales ... then ... let them sell!
by Todd Knutson

Sales is a profession and a critical business function. The sales professional's personality is very different from any other staff member.

These 4 traits are critical - and common - among successful sales people:

  1. They are driven to make money
  2. They don't take rejection personally
  3. They are incredibly persistent
  4. They think like a business owner

For sales success the first step is hiring the right person with the right traits and secondly, you must let them sell.

Does this sound familiar?

You win a big account. Your head of business development, (let's call her Sally) nurtured the relationship over 18 months, so your new client naturally asks, "Will Sally work on my business?" You don't know how to say, "No", so you naturally respond, "Absolutely"! Your client walks away happy and confident, while you've just torpedoed your new business development effort.

This is a familiar story for any consultancy, ad agency, and most marketing services companies. Your best new business people land the business and then have to work on the business. This approach works great until you lose the account or the project ends, at which point you have to (madly) scramble to ramp up your sales effort to quickly generate revenue.

The only way to break this cycle: hire someone who knows how to sell and then, let them do it. Account service shouldn't be part of their responsibilities.

The answer to the question, "Will Sally work on my business" is simple: "No." And then respond professionally with something like, "As I'm sure you understand, revenue growth is important for us as it is for you. If Sally were to work on your business we would stop growing and jeopardize the health of the company. That would be bad for both of us."

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