INK+BEYOND speaker Adam Burnham shares his advice for building a successful sales model

Publishers need to give their sales team more time to sell, says Adam Burnham of Affinity Express. The Vice President of Interactive Sales and Operations shared his advice and successful sales strategies at the INK+BEYOND conference in Charlottetown, PEI last week.

Burnham believes giving sales teams more time to sell fosters creativity and new ways to sell your product. Deadlines don’t inspire anyone. He views Google and Yahoo as competitors and advocates for doing anything to get an edge. One way newspapers can beat large companies is by taking advantage of being local. Burnham says to get your “feet on the street” and own your market.

According to Burnham, there’s been a shift in where local advertisers are spending their money. He has seen the digital advertising landscape grow three times more than that of print.

There was a question from the crowd about SMB (Small & Medium Businesses) and how they often lack advertising strategies. What can publishers do about that? Burnham encourages newspapers to help their local advertisers come up with a comprehensive promotional strategy. He stressed that you’ve got to charge for that service of course.

The next question was about one-size fits all sales approaches and what Burnham thought of them? He said it’s best to avoid them and that it’s always better to be flexible and offer custom products that cater to specific customers.

Burnham threw around the idea of testing out different social media, as they don’t cost anything but time, and to get serious about SEO (search engine optimization).

Ultimately, sales teams need to focus on what you can do, and to do it. Burnham says there will always be reasons why you can’t do something or people telling you why you can’t do it, but that can’t stop you. Get out there and sell and don’t let anything stand in your way.

Major takeaways:

  • You’ve got to sell what advertisers want to buy.
  • Prioritize your efforts.
  • Organize to win.