Lori Collier Waran
Chief Revenue Officer, Virginia Business Magazine
Editor and Publisher
How did you get your start in media sales? Eighteen years ago, I started as a commercial account executive for Auto Trader. Who had the most influence in helping you become successful in sales? My general manager at Auto Trader was the most impactful sales influencer for me. He walked into every auto dealership with me for the first month on the job to teach me the “auto dealership” language, show me the ropes and give me the confidence to put together marketing solutions. He also explained there would be days I would be shoveling snow off cars to take pictures and days I would walk out with annual contracts. Luckily, he was patient, and I was a quick study. What advice would you give to others struggling with media sales or those who have become frustrated with the new digital solutions they must master to represent their company to advertisers? The need for professional growth is not unique to our industry. Sales in any industry can be complex to learn – pharma, manufacturing – even HVAC. But every day you show up to work, you make a conscious decision to embrace learning and education, no matter how “seasoned” you believe yourself to be. What an awesome feeling to struggle and then to rise up. It’s our gift to ourselves! Is there a single sales book, video, or sales trainer you recommend to others? There are too many to mention – but the one go-to I have is a sales statistic piece that I inherited a few years ago from a conference at the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. And, it has helped so many team members when they are on the down cycle of a sales cycle: • 48% of salespeople never follow up with a prospect. • 25% of salespeople make a second contact and stop. • 12% of salespeople make three contacts and stop. • Only 10% of salespeople make more than three contacts. • 80% of sales are made on the 5th through the 12th contact.