In this economy, magazine advertising sales can be a challenge. That’s why it’s more important than ever to make sure your ad sales team is getting the support they need from you to be successful. We recently held an annual advertising sales meeting for the sellers of MyBusiness magazine, which we publish for our client the National Federation of Independent Business. We partner with the advertising sales rep firm the James G. Elliott Company on the advertising for MyBusiness. With our recent meeting still fresh in my mind, here are five tips to consider when conducting your annual magazine sales meetings:

  1. Make the meeting a priority
    Everyone is busy and it can be difficult to assemble the group involved in advertising sales together—but it’s worth it. It’s also important to commit to getting everyone together at a minimum once a year. Having the opportunity to interact face-to-face and spend time together will make for stronger working relationships throughout the year.
  2. Get input from all parties
    In advance of the meeting, be sure to shape the agenda so that it is most helpful for the sellers. Don’t make assumptions about what they might want covered in the meeting. They are on the front lines selling your magazine and integrated media. Listen to them and let them guide your agenda.
  3. Be thorough and organized
    When you take time away from sellers to sell, you must make it valuable. To make sure your sales meeting is an effective one, plan properly. Get copies of all slide decks in advance. Make copies of all handouts. Test all necessary technology. Taking these steps should help avoid any unnecessary surprises during the meeting.
  4. Celebrate successes
    While it’s important to discuss the meat of the agenda like recent research, performance and new opportunities, time should also be allotted to celebrate the work and success of the sellers in the past year. If you have the time and budget, consider holding a lunch or dinner for the group in honor of their work over the last year.
  5. Set goals and establish action items
    The team should leave the meeting energized and excited about their work ahead. Don’t lose this momentum by not following up on the discussions from the meeting. Create a list of action items that come out of the meeting and follow up on them. This way you can use all of the new ideas generated in the meeting to build new sales for the coming year.