My friend Jill Konrath likes to talk about using "trigger events" when selling to big companies. The idea is to monitor news about the company you are trying to sell for reports that could trigger a response favorable to a sale. 9/11 was the biggest "trigger event" any media salesperson in the security field had ever seen.
Selling with "trigger events" is an especially good approach for media sales people. Think about it. If bad news or good news comes out about an advertiser or industry, we sell communication products that can counter or enhance that news.
A classic execution of this approach unfolded last Friday as Google Health Advertising offered Health Care Advertisers an opportunity to present a contrasting view of their industry than the one about to be released in Michael Moore’s documentary film, Sicko.
Google identifies the "trigger event:"
"The New York Times calls Sicko a “cinematic indictment of the American health care system.” The film is generating significant buzz and is sure to spur a lively conversation about health coverage, care, and quality in America...Moore attacks health insurers, health providers, and pharmaceutical companies by connecting them to isolated and emotional stories of the system at its worst."
Then Google offers a solution to their Health Care clients:
"Many of our clients face these issues; companies come to us hoping we can help them better manage their reputations through “Get the Facts” or issue management campaigns. Your brand or corporate site may already have these informational assets, but can users easily find them?
We can place text ads, video ads, and rich media ads in paid search results or in relevant websites within our ever-expanding content network. Whatever the problem, Google can act as a platform for educating the public and promoting your message. We help you connect your company’s assets while helping users find the information they seek."
Think about the next "trigger event" in your industry or category. If you can link it to an advertiser's desire to communicate with your readers, you are well on the way to making a sale.