3 Ways Media Sales Teams Can Improve Agency Relationships

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter

In October, I had the privilege of being selected to sit on a panel with other media experts across New York State for the NAB Show New York 2017. As Quinlan’s media director, it was pretty cool to speak to broadcast professionals from across the nation.

If you’re not familiar with the event, I’ll break it down for you real quick:

Who: The NAB Show is a unique conference organized by the National Association of Broadcasters.

What: The show featured workshops to learn best practices in social media, new technology releases for production equipment and virtual reality. It also included speakers from reputable companies such as DraftKings, McAfee, Wall Street, NBCUniversal, Mashable and the New York Jets.

Where: Javits Convention Center in New York City.

When: October 18-19, 2017.

Why: The goal of the conference was to bring all of the industries involved in broadcasting together for innovation and education.

Digital Leadership Academy: Advanced Digital Training and Digital 101


Our panel, Digital Leadership Academy: Advanced Digital Training and Digital 101, was produced by the New York State Broadcasters Association. The objective was to educate the sales representatives from the broadcast companies on the trends we’ve seen as a result of digital media growth and the increasingly challenging media market. We also aimed to educate them on the changes we’ve seen in recent years in the agency world and the impact that has had on our vendor relationships.

The panel consisted of:

  • Scott Hopeck, New York region president at iHeartMedia
  • Paul Potratz, president of Potratz Advertising
  • Sara Poe, vice president at media and content at Tipping Point Advertising
  • Lisa Kleinman, vice president of AMD broadcast at Hill Holliday
  • Malorie Benjamin, media director at Quinlan (me)

Throughout the panel discussion, we went into depth about the digital revolution of the industry, the changing needs from research and attribution and everything in between. All of the panelists seemed to come back to three main themes that would lead to successful agency relationships for the sales teams — so I thought I’d break them down for you.

3 Ways Media Sales Teams Can Improve Agency Relationships


1. Learn about our clients’ goals and objectives.

Regardless of the question or situation discussed, we all came back to this as a first step when working with any agency partner. Today, agencies are bombarded with sales opportunities and products so we have to look for those that stand out. One of the best ways to do this is to get involved in the account and learn about the goals and objectives of the client.

Ask relevant questions such as: What is the agency trying to solve for the client? What business problem does the client have? What assets and strategies might already be enacted? What are their competitors currently doing? Your customer focus should be first priority.

Taking the time to learn this information and have this discussion will make your value much higher in this relationship. You will stand out from the other salespeople and products, and if you’re smart, you can use this information to build an impactful strategy that sells your products and meets the client’s needs. The agency partner will also see value in continuing a relationship since they’ve invested the time into this discussion and bringing you into the account.

2. Be an agency partner.

Now that you’ve earned the agency’s trust by asking the right questions and taking an active interest in the client, you need to make sure to bring value and insights back to your next meeting. The biggest way to lose an agency partner is to come back and bring a sales pitch that doesn’t achieve any of the goals you discussed for the client. You need to make sure that you align whatever you are selling with these initially laid out goals.

Agency partners LOVE when you can create a unique opportunity for their client that hasn’t been done before (as long as it achieves their goals). Don’t be limited to the sell sheet or the products you currently have. The most exciting part of broadcast media is the fact that you have access to so many more sales opportunities through digital, broadcast, partnerships and sponsorships. There is no limit to the advertising opportunities that can be developed. So be a partner, work closely with your agency teams and come up with ideas that make you all look good.

3. Don’t push your own agendas or sales goals.

We all know they exist, but the last thing that any agency wants is to be passed along a sales packet that is going out to all of the local agencies and would be a “fit for your client.”

I think Sara Poe said it best when she stated that “There is nothing that more clearly demonstrates how little you understand my clients than sending me a packet on a sales opportunity and telling me that this would be a fit for five of my current clients.”

We all agree that it would be easier if we could just buy packages like the good old days, but this isn’t the current media landscape. We all face more demanding client needs, more difficult sales goals and a more challenging advertising environment to stand out within. Succeeding in media on the agency and sales sides requires a strong ability to solve problems, develop creative solutions and build partnerships. Sending along a pre-existing package won’t help with any of these items.

Let’s talk media sales.

Want to learn more ways your media sales team can improve agency relationships? We’d love to chat. Contact us online or tweet us at @QuinlanCompany.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *