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Points of reference for your ad staff

Points of reference for your ad staff

Transcript

  1. Setting Goals and the Standards for Their Achievement

    by Chuck Nau
    !
    In this ongoing economic uncertainty, staying focused, committed and upbeat continues to be
    an everyday challenge for your sales staff. Coupled with the ongoing efforts to retain client and
    ad dollar commitments, your staff’s self-confidence and solid footing may be easily undermined
    and on shaky ground. How can you best help them and in the process help your newspaper and
    yourself?
    !
    Consider pausing for moment, stepping back and disconnecting from the constant flow of
    information, and taking a renewed look at your sales staff. No matter the size or the experience
    of your staff, your people will want to know how they're doing, where they stand. Are they doing
    well? How can you tell when and how it needs to be better?
    !
    • Where Are You? Identify what you have on hand, today. Carefully review your sales staff,
    assessing their strengths, weaknesses, and various talents in relation to your current market
    positions. What support systems are in place, both within the sales department and within the
    entire newspaper? What rate programs and products currently exist? Which of them are
    growing? Which are shrinking? What are your newspaper product's individual strongest selling
    points? What's your overall competitive advantage? What do you do better than other media in
    your market?
    !
    • Where Do You Want To Be? What are your newspaper's objectives, in terms of sales, sales
    team growth and overall market expertise, both short term and long term? What opportunities,
    threats, or obstacles lie in your sales staff’s path? How do you envision further developing your
    individual sales people, your staff overall, yourself and newspaper? New rate programs? New
    products? Is there another segment of the population or market (social media? mobile?) you
    would like to develop or enhance? Identify what is missing between where you are and where
    you want to be.
    !
    • What Needs to Happen? What must occur to move you from where you are to where you want
    to be? Enhancing your web site? Contacting and selling a larger number of small retailers, service
    providers, or businesses? Launching a new niche product? Establishing a quarterly sales training
    program? Will enhancing available resources generate the results desired? Making a part time

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  2. sales support position full time? Or do new resources and support systems need to be identified,
    designed and implemented? What benchmarks need to be put in place to identify desired
    outcomes and results that move you toward your short term or long term goals? What red flags
    or midcourse adjustments need to be identified to assure success, reduce unexpected slow downs
    and prevent failure?
    !
    • Measure and Reward. Are your benchmarks clearly defined as measurements for attaining or
    not attaining your newspaper's objectives? Are they challenging but not impossible? Are they fair
    and equitable? Has your sales staff been asked and encourage for some input? Careful!! Do not
    clutter your measurements of success with unimportant parameters. Will monthly revenue goals,
    special section lineage goals, or quarterly 'team' achievements be your sales benchmark or should
    you develop other criteria? How will your support teams and non-revenue teams be able to
    measure successful goal achievement? Are you measuring what you want to accomplish?
    !
    Likewise, are you rewarding your sales staff on desired outcomes (95% or better goal
    attainment) in a timely and consistent fashion? Do your rewards allow for continued growth and
    achievement (sell more, earn more)? Do your rewards also take into account excellent customer
    service, reduced sales adjustments, new creative ideas/strategies, and individual personal career
    growth in addition to revenue goal attainment?
    !
    • Eyes To See, Ears To Hear. Do you continue to fine tune, enhance and develop your resources?
    Do you encourage your sales staff to ask their advertising clients how your newspaper and its
    various products might consider and subsequently implement ongoing changes to meet their
    (your advertising clients) needs and those of your market? Are you listening to your sales staff to
    tell you what you can do to fine tune, enhance, and grow the newspaper?
    !
    More importantly, are you asking your staff what needs to be done to enhance their success, both
    internally (systems and environment) and externally (training, sales tools, resources)? Do you
    continually observe the way your goals are achieved in order to prepare for forming new goals
    and objectives, so that you can continue the process of growth and development at your
    newspaper in the future?
    !
    • Give Honest Feedback. Tell your sales staff how they are doing, sharing equally in success and
    failure, on a timely and consistent basis. Communicate to them so they can understand where you
    are, where you want to be, and how you are going to get there. Encourage and support them as
    you implement midcourse corrections to keep on target. Support an open dialogue for ideas,
    suggestions, and observations. Let them know when they have arrived.
    !
    Your sales staff needs appropriate, carefully considered benchmarks to measure their
    achievement, thereby giving them an opportunity to make adjustment to their sales efforts
    quickly and responsibly by themselves or with assistance from you and your management team.
    Setting appropriate, well-thought out "points of reference" enables you to measure sales staff
    performance and the progress being made towards the achievement of those goals. Clear and
    well-developed benchmarks help you and your staff stay focused on the "big picture" and on track
    and on time to achieve it. Good luck!
    © Murray & Nau, Inc.

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  3. !
    © Murray & Nau, Inc. Chuck Nau of Murray & Nau, Inc. is a Seattle area based publishing
    consultant and sales and management trainer. He has been a speaker for and conducted
    advertising, marketing, management and sales training workshops with newspapers, niche
    publishers, publishing groups and press associations, throughout North America.
    !
    Comments and questions are welcome and may be directed to Chuck via email:
    [email protected]. or at (425) 603 - 0984.
    !

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