Ad Sales: You’re Not Curing Cancer!


Yep, Carl said it. Ad salespeople need to relax, find some perspective and get their funny on.

What the heck do I mean? In ad sales, you have LOTS of continual pressure from the competition, your clients and your advertising director and Publisher (Big P). Your days are filled with looming deadlines, renewal mandates and irksome budget challenges.

So what. That’s right, I’m telling you to lighten up! Unlike a surgeon, who is dealing with life and death, it’s important to remember you are selling advertising. Not having a job that cures cancer liberates you to have some fun. So try to remember that when you’re selling. Relax. It’s all about perspective.

Here are some of my tips on selling advertising successfully and having fun while doing it:

  1. Get a little goofy in your phone calls. For example, if I am talking to someone who is having a really bad day, I acknowledge it: “Wow! Sounds like you guys are really having tons of fun over there!” This approach lightens the grumpy client’s mood. Then you can both take a moment and talk about why you were calling them in the first place.
  2. Send attention-grabbing, humorous emails. I have often used subject lines that are funny, offbeat and successfully get a response from the client: Don’t you love me anymore? or It’s not me, it’s you? Another tactic is to email them a funny video that they can relate to. It works!
  3. Send memorable gifts in snail mail. Think about it, hardly anyone sends fun stuff in the mail anymore. You’ll stand out. Candy like “PayDay” bars and “100 Grand” used to be a big hit and still are—so are Pop-rocks. For some reason, clients love them.
  4. Connect in person. It’s way easier to connect with someone face-to-face. Bring treats or a silly toy—again, something the client can relate to. Are they crazy about their Fido? Bring them a bone. Or bring pizza for lunch for their whole staff. Spread your happy.

Bonus tip: Humor and generosity go hand-in-hand. You are not hitting up clients, you are helping your clients by trying to solve their problem and reach their goals.

So don’t take your daily sales routine so seriously. Enjoy it. Keep your perspective and remember you are not saving the world. What’s the worst that can happen? A prospect says “no”? Believe me, your clients and co-workers will appreciate the new you. Plus, you’ll smile more, your blood pressure might go down…and you’ll sell more advertising!!



Carl Landau

About the blogger: Carl Landau is Grand Poobah of Niche Media. He is a media/event guru, SF Giants fan and part-time blogger. His 15 minutes of fame took place in the mid-eighties when he launched his famous, “Buy an Ad, Get a Cat” ad campaign. He has long since patched things up with the SPCA.


Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Plus, Carl Landau–Niche Media’s Grand Poobah–also created a blog all about creating and marketing targeted events:  Check it out!

– Web:
– Blog:  Niche Media HQ
– Twitter: @NicheMediaH
– Facebook: NicheMediaHQ
– LinkedIn: Niche Media Inc Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ
– Google+: +NicheMediaHQ

Image from


  1. I so agree with every piece of advice given here. That is how I practice and it does definitely give an alternative to the same old “Professional” approach they receive day in and day out. Being down to earth and showing your do care about growing their business is especially valuable and great selling techniques!

  2. Good reminder Carl! Picking up some $100 Grand on the way home tonite!

Speak Your Mind