What Your PR Team Can Learn From Sales

What Your PR Team Can Learn From The Sales Team

After digging into the sales funnel to identify marketings KPIs that are worth measuring last week we deiced to take this another step forward and think about if sales pros and PR pros could have something in common too.

When you take a high-level look at the sales funnel,

  • Awareness: something seems wrong
  • Consideration: what are my options to fix it
  • Decision: X will fix my problem

This actually doesn’t look that different from what the PR team does,

  • Awareness: identify opportunities
  • Consideration: build up value
  • Decision: secure placement

It’s really not all that different at all. The PR pitch is very much a sales pitch as both are in the business of using a story to build relationships and solve problems. The sales team might use a story to pitch product or services while the PR team is using their story to pitch to influencers and publications to work with.

So after thinking about PR this way, what are some qualities that make up a successful sales team that PR pros could leverage for their next media pitch?

Advice From A Sales Team

1. Relationships

Anyone and everyone will tell you that in sales it’s all about relationships. Tapping into everything that could provide some type of network and the same should be done by PR professionals. Whether that’s attending conferences, workshops, or even meeting a local journalist for lunch to try to build up your network is a must.

Once you have made these introductions, it’s then going to take some work to maintain those relationships. You don’t only want to come to these people when you need them- that can make the ask that much harder! But if you work on the relationship, staying in touch over time, figuring out ways to help them, you never know when knowing and having John Smith’s number and influence will come in good use. 

2. Audience

Who are you speaking to and why?

Social media has made it so much easier to do your RESEARCH. Whether you use Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, there is something you can learn from taking the time getting to know the person who you’re speaking to.

  • What are their interests?
  • Who is their audience?
  • Have they written content?
  • Or do you have a mutual friend you can tap into to give you more in sight?

The more research you do about this person, the easier it will be to craft a pitch that is effective and relatable to the person you’re speaking to.

3. Call

I know, I hate calling people too, I always feel like such an inconvenience. While a text or email may feel more relaxed and less intrusive many journalist and influencers don’t have time to respond to them. Especially when you are on a deadline or just need a little bit of information (or have a few questions-I hate one question emails that go back and forth). In these cases, it might be best to pick up the phone. Think about how many emails you pass over or put into the trash right away? Chances are the person you have a pitch for does that too and you don’t want your email to get missed.

4. Wait

This could be the hardest part. Very rarely will you get the answer you want right away. You have to be patient and maybe even follow up. If someone turns you down make sure you ask why or what was missing from your pitch so you know what to do better next time you reach out to her. Treat every NO you hear as a learning experience and it won’t feel like a huge fail but more like on the job training.

Wrap It Up

Your pitch is your product.

Your story is your sell.

The media is your prospects.

Sales is hard and so is PR. But the more you put yourself out there and take the time to tell your story to influencers and journalists the better you will get at it and the more Yeses you will hear. You will become persistent and confident and maybe even persuasive. You know how to tell your story, now just use the four tips above to get it heard by the right person!