Ask questions to keep your sales prospect involved

It’s important to keep your prospect thinking about your product in terms of his or her own situation. Often the prospect will ask questions about how the product relates to his specific needs. These questions should be encouraged. They’re valuable opportunities to talk about the benefits which are most meaningful to him.

But if the prospect sits quietly and says nothing, it’s a good idea to ask questions which force him to take an active role in your presentation: “This automatic timer will save about 5 minutes per hour per machine. How many machines do you have, Mr. Johnson?”

“We have 20 machines,” he says.

“Well, then, we could save you a total of an hour and 40 minutes of machine time in your plant every hour—or nearly 12 hours of machine time on every seven-hour shift. That’s just about like having the extra productivity of 2 additional machines, isn’t it?”

“Let’s see,” he says, “I guess it is.”

Your questions keep your prospect alert and involved.

Questions should also be used as “trial closes.” As you make key sales points tactfully ask your client if he agrees with them. His responses will tell you if he’s getting ready to buy, or if you have to go back and review product benefits until he’s convinced.

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TV is a costly medium

Broadcast television is the best advertising medium there is. It can sing and dance, all in living color, and get big audiences to watch. The Ford Motor Company uses it. General Foods uses. Geico uses it.

But television advertising is not for small budgets. Ad time is costly, and you shouldn’t try to play in the TV game unless you have a substantial war chest. It can take time for a TV ad campaign to catch on, and you have to have the wherewithal to keep going until it does.

Local cable is a better bet for you.

Some experts advise using television only when you can pay for 150 gross rating points a month, for a minimum of 3 months. A gross rating point (GRP) is 1 percent of the TV households in the local marketing area. If a program reaches 50 thousand TV homes in a market with a million TV homes, it delivers 5 GRPs. GRPs cost more in big markets, less in small markets. In any case, TV takes lots of money and lots of faith.

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Strong design is important

It’s the layout of your ad for newspapers and magazines that draws attention to your message, puts the elements of your advertisement in logical order so it’s clear to readers, and communicates a sense of style.

Unless you’re an experienced graphic designer, you probably shouldn’t use your own designs. Here are some ways you can get your ad designed:

Find an advertisement with a good design that will work for your message, and simply lay out your advertisement using the same design, but with your own content.

Some print publications will provide limited design services to their advertisers, at little or no cost. It probably won’t be top quality, but an ad layout provided by a newspaper or magazine art department can get the job done. But don’t let the publication write the ad for you. If you do, your ad will be just like many others in the publication.

If you’re located in the vicinity of a school that teaches graphic arts, you may be able to find a talented student who will do the job for you at a good price.

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