The Advertising Agency community refuses to acknowledge the term “Sales”.  It has long associated the word as something dirty.  After all, we don’t SELL our services; we partner with clients and provide revenue generation and imaging solutions.  For prospecting purposes, we refer to this activity as “New Business Hunting”, a term that inspires images of a crafty stalker, in a relentless pursuit of Big Game.  The fact of the matter is, many of us rely so heavily on referrals and networking that we’ve actually become New Business “Farmers” instead of “Hunters”. I’m not sure when it happened, but soon after we stopped using the term “Sales”, we stopped ‘Selling”.  So now, we are a community with something to sell, without “Salespeople”… Which makes us a community with something to “Buy”.  I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that there are a lot fewer Buyers, out there. I think we’ve spent so much breath justifying our fees by convincing the world that we are NOT an expendable line item that we actually started believing it.  It came as a cold, heartless, back handed, slap-in-the-face when our “Creative Partners” began cutting unnecessary expenses, because they didn’t accomplish this by lowering the thermostats in their office or cutting back on paper supplies… They cut US!?!?!  How dare they?  Don’t they realize how important we are? I’m not saying that you have to adopt the term Sales, go ahead and call the process New Business, or whatever, but 2009 will be the year to adopt Sales tactics and be a Salesperson in sheep’s clothing. Tomorrow, I’ll offer 10 basic sales tips that will help you survive, if not thrive, in 2009. (to be continued…)