Joseph Thomas

While fellow ad:tech attendees were traveling around the Exhibit Hall partaking in an informal networkirng “Pub Crawl” a group of dedicated attendees packed Room 3020 to learn what buyers want. The lively session was moderated by Kendall Allen, an advertising guru with extensive agency-side experience. Allen is a client and business developer, deal maker and trainer…she wears many hats!

Panelists include Adam Kleinberg, Skip Brand, Tamara Bousquet, and Lucy Jacobs. Kleinberg is the founder and CEO of Traction with extensive Creative Agency experience, bringing scope, scrutiny and perspective to the buying process. Brand is the CEO of Martini Media and has been in the deal buying and selling business for nearly two decades. Bousquet is the Executive Vice President and Media Director of MEA Digital and is an agency-side “pitch artist.” Last, but certainly not least, Lucy Jacobs is the Chief Operating Officer of Spruce and is a performance media expert.

The panelists urge marketers to have a sales philosophy and strategy, whether good or bad. A good sales philosophy leverages opportunities, utilizes resources, has a decision maker, provides solutions and fosters relationships.

Every marketer needs to know the basics of good buyer/seller relationships. Do your homework before contacting a potential customer. Ask them about their most active clients to gauge their current focus. And view their LinkedIn profile to better understand their background and target your meeting accordingly. Make yourself – and your company – relevant to the client. Most importantly, respect their time, limiting your meeting to 15-20 minutes.

Panelists admit that is the bare minimum. In order to succeed in today’s economy, you need to go above and beyond. Provide your client with added value by sending them interesting, industry-related articles and case studies. Limit the amount of collateral you send and ensure the content is focused on your client’s current scope. Keeping in touch naturally leads to a mutually beneficial relationship, don’t be a “leech,” rather help your client whenever possible.

If you can handle the heat, empower yourself to become a superstar. Educate yourself on the client before meeting them, make the conversation personable and hold yourself accountable for your actions. Don’t waste the other person's time – create a one-sheet to keep yourself on schedule. And lastly, don’t be pushy or outright salesy.

Planning ahead is the easiest, most foolproof way to ensure you will have a successful deal. Set up meetings two weeks in advance and reach out before to find out if there is a focus. Confirm the meeting 48 hours in advance and if bringing lunch, ask if any employees have food allergies.

This article is part of Allvoices’ series on ad:tech, the largest digital marketing and technology conferences and expositions. Check out for more of Allvoices’ ad:tech San Francisco event coverage. This series is supported by ad:tech.