Why You Should Adopt the Two-Month Rule for Selling Ahead

by Matt Chaney Second Street

Why should you sell two months before a promotion launches?

You can be much more strategic when you plan ahead than when you are rushing to sell something at the last minute, and it’s much easier for your sales reps to stay focused when they have an established road map of what to sell when.

Finally, selling two months ahead makes it easier for you to work interdepartmentally because you have an agreed-upon plan. Interdepartmental alignment is good for the whole company, because it keeps everything more tightly organized and allows you to align your promotions more closely with other sales efforts like print special sections and online gift guides.

How can you start selling ahead?

Here are a few tips to help you get started selling promotions two-months before they are scheduled to run:

  • Create a calendar (and stick to it!). You should create an integrated promotions calendar for the entire year that maps out when you will be running contests, ballots, and deals and how they will align with special sections, holidays, events, or other sales initiatives. This year-long calendar does not need to be incredibly detailed. Here’s an example of what one might look like (click here to learn more about how to plan your year-long promotions calendar):

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In addition to the high-level calendar, you should also have a more detailed calendar mapped out for the upcoming two months. As you are creating these more detailed calendars, consider the following:

  • Internal factors (sales initiatives, audience growth initiatives, your high-level promotions calendar)
  • External factors (holidays, seasons, local events)
  • Historical data (promotions you ran last year at this time and the results you saw)

Have a monthly planning meeting. Get all of the departments involved in promotions – typically at least Sales, Marketing, and Digital or Editorial – together on a monthly basis for a planning meeting. During this time, go over the calendar to make sure the everything is going according to plan. This is also a good time to map out the details for next month you need to fill in.

Run a sales blitz. A sales blitz is a great way to focus your entire sales team on a specific initiative for a short period of time. A typical sales blitz lasts one day. You can learn more about how to run an effective sales blitz in this article.

Once you have a plan in place, selling promotions two months before they’re scheduled to run is much simpler!

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