Sanjeev Kotnala: Stop selling, media salespersons!

30 Sep,2015

By Sanjeev Kotnala


The festival period is right here. It will decide the fortune of many media brands.

There is nothing new in the system. Every trick has been experimented with. The relationship strengthening parties are over. The experiential engagements are on the high. The contest and rewards have slowly started lost their sheen.


If you are in the plan, there is nothing much to worry about.

The preferred media vehicle, the over-the-agency-commission commission, the slabs and all of them exist. They covertly work on an individual agency-client, agency- media or media – client combination. A true loyalty programme does not exist in media. Someday it will be launched. Till then, life will be different.


The media plans are sealed or maybe there is a chance to get in.

If you are not in by now, then you are not the natural choice. You are not even a choice governed by the unethical associations. That means you need to be sold.


And here lies the issue. You must been at the wrong lamppost.

You are a B2B media most likely selling to someone, who is not the final decision maker. It’s ritualistic for you to you to meet her/him. As per the guidelines you make yet another typical templatised presentations. A few cups of coffee and may be a few puffs are shared before you return to office. You are confident of now being in the plan.


The agonising wait to hear the mobile ring or the RO on mail starts.

So, the right question to ask is, why are you not in the plan in the first place? Forget you had the numbers or not. Forget if there were preferred associations between you-agency and/or the client. Forget how many rounds of mailers you have shared. Forget the Diwali gift that is still being wrapped.


The answer is not complicated. It is simple and it stares at you.

You have given it your best. You have tried selling your media. But, these have been wasted efforts. You have failed to create a passionate brand ambassador or an on-site salesperson within the agency and the client.


If only there was a perfect clone.

You need to create another salesperson, not in your organisation’s rolls. A person that best understand you and the media you represent. Someone, who believes in you, who has been primed up with insightful information. Who shares your enthusiasm and passion. Who is willing to question a plan without your media.


Re-evaluate your job.

You cannot get results by just selling the media you represent. If your media is a natural choice for some reason, then you are not contributing  enough. I have heard media owners say that 70% of the media business comes irrespective of the sales team and its efforts. Maybe they are being polite. The truth is that your contribution is required to raise this percentage and to bridge the gap.


Increase efficiency of your efforts.

To do so, you have just one alternative. Create clones of yourself at the media agency and the client’s office. Fire their imagination with possibilities. Pass on the passion, confidence and the aura of your media. Feed in information. Share all that will help your new onsite sales persons to look smarter. Help them promote your media as a recommended choice. And win arguments, if any.


More importantly, live with the promise of fulfilling every promise you make. Ensure every promise made by your onsite sales person (in agency or clients’ office) while internally selling your media is respected.


Is that not the easiest promotion you can earn?


Sanjeev Kotnala is Founder at Intradia World. A Brand, Marketing & Management UnConsult Advisor. He conducts specialised workshops in the area of IDEATION (Harvest and Liberate) and Innovation (InNoWait). He focuses energy in enhancing client’s internal team’s potential and capabilities. In process decreasing their dependence  on external resources. To contact email  or tweet at s_kotnala visit


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