5 Questions Every Ad Sales Person Should Ask

By Ryan Dohrn, President of 360 Ad Sales Training  

If you want to make more and bigger advertising sales for your magazine, then you need to have a plan for success before every call. I preach a lot about having an ad sales process and holding meetings that win business. Ad sales training is mostly about understanding that there are several ways to win an advertiser’s business, but the secret is finding the one that is most likely to result in a sale and will maximize the buy. So what’s the secret formula?

I have found that most meetings that win business are centered on the advertiser and have very little to do with the media you are selling. Sure, what you have to offer is an important factor, but if you spend 20 minutes talking about your offerings right off the bat you will get nowhere. The meeting must be about the advertiser. Their needs. Their desires. The things which are meaningful to them, like making money. So, how do you get to that winning moment where you ask for the order? You must first ask some really good questions of the advertiser. Lead them to the point where they realize that they need you more than you need them.

Here are 5 of the most critical sales questions every ad sales rep should ask on every sales call:

1. “If we could create the perfect ad for you, what would it look like and what is the outcome you expect from it?” Don’t be afraid to have them get specific. The more you know about what they expect from an ad campaign, the better equipped you are to put together the perfect package to meet their needs.

2.  “How many times does a new customer of yours need to see your advertising message before they make a decision to do business with you?” You can’t build an advertising plan for them without knowing what it takes to get a customer response.

3. “What ad campaigns/types of ads have worked for you over the last 12 months to meet your goals? Why did the ads work? What ads have not? Why did they not work?” Really listen. Later this will prepare you to respond to objections and to improve upon what they have done before.

4. “Are there any new products or services you will debut in the next 6 months?” You will be their hero if you can build a package that will help make their next venture a success.

5.  “What are the three main goals you are trying to accomplish with your advertising? Be specific.  How long have you been trying to reach these goals?”

Take lots of notes. Now you are prepared to make more and bigger sales by putting together the perfect integrated sales package for their needs!


  1. This was a great quick recap on ad sales!!

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