Be a Better Ad Salesperson: Become a ‘Hit Man for Hire!’


Better watch out. This niche magazine ad sales pro is comin’ for ya. Or at least you’ll get a good kick outta what we have to tell you…

I want to make it clear that I’m very anti-violence, but in the ad sales game I’ve always had a “Hit List” on my desk.

What the heck am I talking about?

My “Hit List is the 5-10 advertising accounts that are perfectly targeted for our publication or website… but aren’t advertising with us at all. (Despite my sincere effort to work the account hard.) And they are running integrated plans with our biggest competitors. This really burns me. I failed.

There are two approaches to these “problem” accounts.

1) The Ostrich: I can bury my head in the proverbial sand. I can ignore that this situation is eeeeven happening.

2) The Head-Banger: Super-aggressive, this is the for those scoring at home.


3) My strategy is do the opposite. Whatever I’ve been doing is not working, so I should stop doing it. Let’s change things up!

My 5 Steps for Dealing with Your Advertising Sales “Hit List”:

1. I actually write down my “Hit List of Accounts” that I want to get. This is taped to my computer monitor so I look at it every single day.

2. I widen my contacts at the client. Maybe the key contact is the Advertising & Communication Manager. I’ll start contacting 4 or 5 other people within the organizers including Product Managers, Marketing Managers, Sales Managers, and even the company President. Anyone who will listen.

3. I send a personalized email or weird mailing once a week to everyone at the account. Try to find marketing information or idea that is unique enough to interest them. Many of these ideas have little to do with advertising in my publication. I’m just trying to proved that I really understand and care about their product or service.

4. Personally meet with them. It’s so easy to ignore an email or phone call. But, you can get your point across so much easier in person. If you are dealing with an account worth $25,000+, take the effort and shake their hand in person. Twenty minutes in someone’s office, live and in person, changes EVERYTHING!

5. Bring in the reinforcements. Sometimes if another rep or contact can bring the Publisher or Editor into the conversation it can be a game changer. Sometimes it’s an ego thing and the client just wants attention from Mr. Big or Ms. Big Deal.

I love dealing with the accounts where I’m getting NO business. I have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain. What is the worse thing that can happen? You continue to get no business?

You will be amazed at the amount of “hits” you will make by changing it all up!


Carl LandauAbout 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 – launched a new blog this year, all about creating and marketing targeted events –  Check it out!

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