A must-read sales book from Jerry Bellune

TWO OF THE BRIGHTEST people I know are newspaper consultants. No, I’m not talking about me…or the other me.

Jerry Bellune is a master at sales and marketing. And Ken Blum is a wizard at organization, management and controlling the bottom line.

BELLUNE BOOK COVERBoth also are fine writers. Each has been writing a column for Publishers’ Auxiliary (and state press association bulletins) for longer that I can remember.

So it’s fascinating when the stars align: Ken has just written a review of Jerry’s new book, “Selling by the Numbers.”

Jerry’s book is a must-read for community newspapers. Ken’s review follows.

By Ken Blum | Black Ink

THE RECESSION is taking a lot of the fun out of selling advertising for a community newspaper.

No, hometown papers for the most part aren’t facing the disastrous scenarios at metro papers. But count our industry among the fraternity of nearly all types of businesses that seek any and every way to get through this economic downturn.

And the brunt of the pressure is on the department that produces 70-90% of a weekly or smaller daily’s revenue—advertising.

The people who manage our ad departments can use every bit of solid advice and encouragement they can get and, in this vein, a new workbook created by Publishers’ Auxiliary columnist Jerry Bellune provides solid techniques for building and rebuilding sales, as well as welcome words of encouragement.

A few of you are likely unaware that Mr. Bellune, a successful veteran weekly publisher who has long shared his helpful advice and wisdom for newspapers in PubAux, is also a renowned sales trainer, management consultant and motivational speaker.

HIS NEW WORKBOOK is titled “Selling by the Numbers” and it combines Mr. Bellune’s expertise in newspaper ad sales with practical guidance on how to think out personal and sales goals, and successfully attain them in a methodical, fun way. In these troubled financial times, it’s a gift to sales managers.

The workbook takes the sales manager through exercises to build self-confidence, create a vision, set goals and monitor progress.

Then, it gets into practical systems such as: how to identify hot prospects and referrals, how to outsmart the competition,  how to narrow your focus to increase revenue, and how tobuild your newspaper as a brand.

Some of the advice is surprising but it makes sense. For example, one section points out that you should “fire your losers” – accounts that aren’t worth you time and talent . . . that drag you down and take all the fun out of what you do.”

THESE PROBLEM ACCOUNTS:

1. Make appointments but don’t keep them.

2. Waste precious time by being indecisive about what they want.

3. Waste our designers’ time by making us rework their ads several times.

4. Don’t appreciate what we do for them.

5. Think they’re marketing geniuses who are smarter than you are.

An exercise in the workbook helps you decide which accounts deserve “firing.”

Examples of other exercises include strategies to outsmart the competition, prepare a surefire sales script and increase sales dramatically by setting a schedule and refusing to deviate from it.

Jerry’s workbook costs only $55 including shipping, but that’s only part of the deal. Buyers are welcome call Jerry for two personal 30-minute coaching sessions.

By all means take advantage of this offer to vent your spleen or shoot the breeze with a sales-oriented publisher who has been there and done that. Frankly, this offer amazes me, and you’ll talk with one of the finest fellows in the business.

To order the book and the bonus coaching sessions go to www.jerrybellune.com.

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