It’s “Controlled Panic Time” for Ad Salespeople!


Control the ad sales panic this time of year with Carl’s “how-to prioritize your calls” list!

It’s mid-September—such a beautiful time of the year. Temperatures are beginning to cool a bit, the leaves on the trees are getting ready to change colors, the kids are back in school. How wonderful!

Oh………except if you’re in ad sales. Then this time of year means “GO TIME!!”

Like most of ad sales, organization is the key. For example, most ad sales people have something like 300 – 400 clients they need to contact in some way in the next 6 weeks to sell them some sort of 2015 schedule. How in the heck do you do that?

Well, by now I hope you’ve sent your 2015 promo pieces out. You’ve sent emails out to everyone. You have laid the foundation. But now is the tough part: Calling all the clients!

First piece of advice: Don’t panic! Or at least make it an organized, controlled panic. It is best to come up with a plan for who you are going to contact how and in what order.

Here’s my sure-fire priority list for making phone calls and face-to-face meetings:

First Priority: These are your prospects that are on your “A” list (larger accounts with big budgets and multiple layers of contacts) that don’t advertise with you now…BUT SHOULD. You need to contact them first because these are the prospects that will take the most time.

Second Priority:  Your “B” list of prospects. Mid- to small-size budgets that don’t advertise with you now but also should.

Third Priority: Your current clients that were under contract for 2014. They know your properties already. They know you. It should be a shorter sales cycle with these clients. Now just up-sell them! (Note: If they don’t love you madly by now, figure out why to keep them renewing.)

Fourth Priority: These are your long shots: prospects that aren’t a dead-on fit, start- ups, even former advertisers that haven’t been with you for several years.

Last Priority: Pay attention to this one—the last priority is advertisers that will probably only just go in a show only or special issue. 

The point of this prioritization is that you need to contact EVERYONE this time of year and make the very best use of your time and energy. To do that, you’ve got to organize your efforts and prioritize the calls you make, so you can have success!


P.S. Best of luck all my ad sales peeps. I will be rooting for you!


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 – just launched a blog all about creating and marketing targeted events –  Check it out!

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