Selling the Exception.

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Selling the ExceptionPeople in the business ask me all the time about my position in The Great Debate on Viewability. Truth is, I don’t have one. That doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s important; it most certainly is. But it’s important in the way that long term inflation or interest rates or derivative trading laws are important. Companies and experts will engage in long-term trench warfare over the issue, eventually coming up with a set of compromises. But in the meantime, the rest of us have to make a living.

If you suddenly find that your dollars only buy one bag of groceries instead of two, you don’t argue with the supermarket cashier about the value of the currency. He can’t help you with that. You’re also not going to get very far if you offer to pay instead in Euros or to barter some live chickens. No, you’ve either got to accept the current rules and currency of the transaction or find someone who can grant you an exception or agree to a different kind of currency.

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The great sellers and sales organizations are the ones who are doing just this: carving out exceptions to current buying policies and metrics or getting the customer to trade in a different currency or at a higher rate. They’re not wasting time arguing at the cash register. The media planning team can’t help you: they are either stuck with the same policies and exchange rates that you are, or are using those policies as a convenient cover for a buying decision they just don’t want to make with you anyway. You think your inventory or services are worth a premium? Or that you should be valued based on engagement levels or social interaction instead of impressions and clicks? The bank teller can only shrug sympathetically or close the window on you. (Oh, by the way…that bank teller is about to be replaced by a programmatic ATM.)

If you’re a seller or manager who’s wringing your hands over issues like viewability or the ROI metrics you’re seeing in RFPs, you’re wasting valuable time and energy. The job now is selling the exception, getting a carve-out for your offering. You won’t get it if you only spend time at the point of transaction. You’ve got to find clients, agency management and others who can consider your ideas way before the budget is formed, the rules are imposed and the RFP is sent to you and 150 of your closest friends.

I work with thousands of sellers and dozens of companies every year. This kind of creative, enterprise sale get executed every day. Great sellers and great companies are having these conversations all the time. Why aren’t you?

You might have noticed that The Drift has a new look. You may also be interested in the remodeling we’ve done back at our company site. Have a look and tell us what you think.

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