7 Biggest Digital Ad Sales Mistakes

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I recently talked with my very good friend, Ryan Dohrn, about the biggest digital ad sales mistakes. Ryan not only runs the amazing Niche Media Conference, but has also done media sales training since 2008.

Watch the entire video to see our discussion … you’re sure to learn a lot whether you’re in digital ad sales or manage a team of sellers. I’ve also included a quick AI-generated summary of the session below.

1. The Wrong Products for the Wrong Client

In digital media sales, one of the most common pitfalls is recommending inappropriate products for a client. Not every product is suitable for every business, and understanding this is crucial. For instance, e-newsletters might be more effective for some clients, while others may benefit more from website retargeting. The key is to conduct thorough customer needs assessments to identify what a client genuinely needs, rather than assuming a one-size-fits-all approach.

2. Too Many Products to Sell

A significant challenge in this field is the overwhelming array of products available. Sales reps often face the daunting task of choosing from an extensive digital media kit with numerous options. The solution lies in focusing on a defined set of products that align with the client’s marketing objectives. It’s also important to consider the performance of these products – if a product isn’t selling well, it might be time to reconsider its place in your portfolio.

3. Faking It

In the realm of digital media, authenticity is key. Sales reps cannot afford to ‘fake it till they make it.’ It’s essential to have a solid understanding of the products and their capabilities. This doesn’t mean knowing every technical detail but being able to confidently discuss how the product can meet the client’s needs based on past successes and case studies.

4. The Danger of Value Add

Value-adding, or offering additional products for free to make a sale, can often devalue the product in the eyes of the client. Instead of adding products as freebies, it’s more effective to create comprehensive packages where each element has a defined value. This approach ensures that clients understand the worth of each component in the package.

5. Giving Too Many Details

Overloading clients with excessive details can be counterproductive. The focus should be on the expected results and the basics of how the product works. For instance, when discussing website retargeting, it’s more effective to use real-world examples and success stories rather than delving into the technicalities.

6. Not Closing the Loop with the Client

After a digital campaign, it’s crucial to provide clients with performance data. This involves sharing key performance indicators (KPIs) like impressions and clicks. Even if the results aren’t as expected, this is an opportunity to discuss and reset expectations for future campaigns.

7. Selling Magic Instead of Marketing

Finally, it’s important to understand that marketing is not magic. It’s about setting realistic expectations and focusing on predictable outcomes based on past performance. Selling the idea of guaranteed, magical results can lead to disappointment and undermines the credibility of the sales process.

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