Winning Back Lost Customers

Being a Sales Rep for your student newspaper is a great way to learn what it takes to be successful in any sales role. Part of this experience is learning how to work through the different challenges you may encounter as a salesperson. Good news though! If you’re prepared to face these challenges, you can absolutely crush it and be an ad sales champ (with my help, of course.)

That brings me to today’s topic: winning back lost customers. Winning back lost customers is challenging because you are responsible for finding a solution for someone who is unhappy with your product, service, or both. But not to worry my friends; I’ve developed the following tips to help you win back customers by repairing your relationships.

1. Be Prepared

Though I’m not a fan of Scar from the Lion King, we should play a little bit of his song “Be Prepared” in the background for this tip. It’s important to know ahead of time if this customer is upset about a past problem. Be sure to research past client notes or discuss the situation with other staff members to gather as much info as possible.

2. Apologize

Contrary to One Republic’s hit song, it’s never too late to apologize. If you meet with a customer who is upset about a past situation, it is important for you to sincerely apologize, even if you were not the person responsible for the customer’s bad experience.

3. Ask about Details of What Went Wrong Last Time

You want the 411! Definitely ask about what happened last time so you can express that you fully understand the situation from the customer’s perspective. Not only does this help mend the relationship, it also allows you to provide the best solution possible.

4. Include the Customer in the Solution

It is important to ask “If I could address your concerns, would you consider working with us again?” If no, apologize and keep in touch with them throughout the year. If yes, ask what you could do to make them confident about doing business with you. This shows that you are willing to listen and learn from past mistakes, even if it wasn’t your fault. Once you have their ideas, tell them you are going to talk with your manager to see what you can do.

5. Explain That You Are Different, then Back It Up!

Now that you understand the situation and want to provide a solution, you need to back, back, back it up! It’s important to follow through on all the promises you have made to your customer. For example, if he or she wants you to drop by in person with information about upcoming special issues, you must visit on a regular basis with all the necessary information. This is your opportunity to show this customer how much his or her business means to you by providing incredible service.

Local Advertising Sales Training at UMASS Amherst - Lead Generation

Although I love jumping on planes and flying to our schools, there’s nothing better than driving to a school in our home state of Massachusetts school for ad sales training. On this particular occasion, I journeyed to UMASS Amherst to train a group of Student Sales Representatives for their student newspaper, The Daily Collegian.

I met The Daily Collegian sales team in a cute little coffee shop in Amherst, MA to review the Sales Manual and discuss some tactics for selling advertising. This was the perfect opportunity for me to get to know the team and to scout the area they would be selling in. These students crushed this part of training and asked a lot of great questions! Needless to say, I was impressed.

After we reviewed the Sales Manual, it was time for us to walk around town and pop into some local businesses. As we began walking, one student asked how she should determine which businesses to sell to. Great question; especially because lead generation is so important in sales! To answer her question, I mentioned that most sales professionals are assigned territories, so I suggested the students divide the area around the campus. That way, each Rep could focus on businesses in his or her own territory. Next, I suggested walking around during certain times of the day to identify which businesses need to reach students. For example, we began door-to-door training around 2pm (LUNCH TIME). So I told the team to be on the look-out for restaurants that are relatively empty during this time. They could then mention how students are always looking for new places to eat off campus. A fabulous selling point! Perhaps that particular restaurant has an awesome lunch special that students aren’t aware of. The Student Rep can suggest advertising in The Daily Collegian to promote this special to students.

Moral of the story: it’s important for a salesperson to view what they’re selling from the perspective of the business owner. In this case, if the restaurant is depending on students to buy the lunch special, the owner will want to promote to them!

After walking around for a few hours, I could see confidence building in the Daily Collegian Student Sales Reps. For me, that’s the best part! They couldn’t wait to hit the ground running and devise their sales plans for the Spring, which eventually led them to great success. This story is an awesome example of how lead generation is important and can make a big difference in the long run! Proud of The Daily Collegian sales team!


Local Advertising Sales Training at Virginia Tech

After I returned from Ohio State, it wasn’t long before I packed my bags for a campus visit to Virginia Tech! On February 29th, my colleague Amanda and I traveled to Blacksburg, VA for sales training with three Student Sales Representatives for the student newspaper, the Collegiate Times. We were so excited for this training because two of our new reps are selling local advertising as part of a sales course with Professor Brian Collins.


Before the training, Amanda and I met with Professor Brian Collins: a seasoned sales professional and a wicked cool guy. Based on his experience, Professor Collins believes students should get some applicable sales practice before applying to jobs, especially if they’re interested in a sales career. Since our program provides students with real world experience, Professor Collins is excited to partner with us and help coach the students through their sales endeavors with the Collegiate Times.

After chatting with Professor Collins, we met with our Collegiate Times sales team and began reviewing our sales manual. We discussed a variety of techniques for door-to-door sales including how to generate and qualify leads, ask discovery questions, respond to objections and create proposals from a media kit. The students were awesome during this portion of the training and asked so many great questions. We loved their enthusiasm!

After sales manual training, we walked to College Avenue and met with local businesses. The students quickly identified why some of these businesses would be qualified to advertise in the Collegiate Times. Although they were a little nervous at first, our new reps finished door-to-door training with increasing confidence. They even made a group text message to help each other with sales! With this much enthusiasm for their new roles, I am confident they will bring some new advertisers to the Collegiate Times this spring!



Local Advertising Sales Training at The Ohio State University

I really love traveling to our schools. Nothing gets me amped like the opportunity to visit a college campus! Every semester, I travel to our schools and train students to sell advertising to local businesses and on-campus departments. This is one of the most exciting aspects of my job, as I love sales and I have a secret passion for teaching.

On February 25th, I traveled to Columbus, Ohio and trained three Student Sales Representatives for The Lantern, the student newspaper at The Ohio State. As soon as I arrived, the students were excited to start training, so we began reviewing the media kit and discussed how to develop proposals for potential advertisers. We also chatted about ways our reps could search for new advertisers and determine whether or not they’d be a fit for college advertising. Last but not least, we focused on the “discovery questions” portion of our training guide. Discovery questions are incredibly important because they help us identify which advertising options could help local businesses.

After our classroom session, we walked to High Street and started meeting with local businesses. This is a very hands-on component of training that allows students to practice their sales pitches and generate leads. The students excelled in this part of training and entered businesses with confidence. I was incredibly proud of this group for having some great conversations with potential advertisers. After I returned from my trip, one student had already sold an advertising package with a local business! I’m confident these students will keep up the good work and bring some new advertisers to The Lantern this spring!


Welcome! CHALK TALK with Nancy

Hey, team! Welcome to CHALK TALK: your go-to source for the hottest topics in student media. I'm Nancy Scandura, a Partnership Development Associate here at MediaMate. It's great to meet you! I'll be posting exciting and relevant content on a variety of topics including social media management, resumé/portfolio development, advertising sales, and much more.

If you're passionate about your university's student media channels and want to know how to make the most of your experience, you've come to the right blog. Here I'll help you develop a "playbook" of information to bring your A game and take student media to the next level (and beyond)!

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