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Panpa Bulletin : March 2012
HOW TO SELL DIGITAL THE transformation by newspaper publishers to a mix of digital and print products is offering new op- portunities in our industry. Digital looks scary for sales col- leagues embedded in print. It has buzzwords and buying op- tions that are a world away from selling column centimetres. The domain seems to be ruled by the whizz-kids of Google, Yahoo! and Facebook. Is this really the domain of news- paper people? You bet. Newspapers across the PANPA membership and merging sales forces that were once split in to dig- ital and print products. This separation of skills is ending. Digital alone is not a new frontier anymore. Success will belong to those sales people who can sell cross-platform solutions. Publishers have the audiences . . . and now their sales teams must show advertisers how they can profitably reach them on any platform, at any time of the day. For those who have spent a career selling column centimetres, the capacity to grow their client base and commissions with new digital products has arrived. “No matter what you’re selling, the same rules apply,” says Tony Pren- tice, the chief commercial officer for News Limited’s new integrated sales force, News Australia – Sales. “The briefs from the agencies on behalf of the clients are the same, ‘I want to reach a type of person who is interested in a type of product’. “You do need to know the key dif- ferences but there is no mystery to selling digital,” says Mr Prentice. Sales effectiveness leader for APN Regional Media, Kristy Harwood, has a 12-step outline for her teams that can be tailored to digital sales. These steps are split into two parts: process and administration. The process side begins with pros- pecting – researching every prospect and then calling them. Research includes determining whether they use a website, what products they offer, their buyers and market, current strategy and how digital might fit into it. “The better you know the client, the better you know their business,” says Ms Harwood. “The more that you’re a part of their business, the better you can service their needs.” Even with digital, it’s all about ask- ing questions. Top sales trainer Lisa Mah-Chut says: “Stop trying to sell your prod- ucts. “The clients don’t care about your products. “They care about their own goals.” Ms Mah-Chut, who works with US-based Value Selling Associates, says sales colleagues must under- stand the client’s answers to four questions: What is the business trying to • achieve? What challenges does it face in • achieving those outcomes? What solutions can solve these • problems? What would be the impact on • their business of you providing a solution? SECrEtS of SEllinG DIgITal New careers beckon as changes create an industry of opportunity, writes trEVor AllEn 5-PAGE SPECIAL it’s easier to fix a “ problem than win a new client to replace an unhappy one” CONTINUED PAGE 12 Clare morton, group account manager, fairfax media Tony prentice, chief commercial officer, news australia – sales Yarna halton, account manager, fairfax media Go to PAnPA’s youtube channel to watch videos of sales colleagues and industry executives