That First Time: 5 “Don’ts” When Contacting New Advertising Prospects


Sometimes it’s a little stressful when contacting a prospect for the first time. Here’s Carl’s 5 DON’TS to keep in mind.

It can be kinda nerve-wracking that first time you contact a brand new magazine ad sales prospect, especially if they don’t know much about you or your niche publication. You know what you want to achieve. You are homed in your goal, at least in front of the mirror. Now it’s time to make actual contact…that’s the hard part.

The last thing you want to do is make a poor first impression. So what should you avoid doing to get it right?

Here’s my short list of 5 DON’TS when contacting new prospects for the first time:

  1. Don’t lead off by going on and on about your magazine or site. Your prospect does NOT want to hear all about how wonderful you and your product are. This is the time to ask questions and listen to the answers.

  1. Don’t call without knowing your prospect’s business and audience. It’s your own dang fault if you don’t do thorough research on your client, their business, their audience, their mission. You can’t offer them advertising solutions if you don’t know anything about them.
  1. Don’t talk too much. Sure, contacting new prospects is a little stressful, but don’t start filling up the silences with an info-dump. Ask good questions and let the prospect tell you what they want or help them figure out what they want. This is your chance to learn their pain points and goals.
  1. Don’t use the line, “I’m just checking in.” Why? Because it’s been used before, about 10 million times. When you call or leave a message, give the prospect some useful information about their market, for example. Be memorable!
  1. Don’t call a prospect without having a good idea for them. This is the most important part of a call in my experience. If you want to be successful and secure that new prospect, you need to study them, understand how you can help them. Give them some really good ideas on that very first connection to help them attain their goals or solve one of their problems and you’re on the road to building a strong business relationship.

Try to keep these 5 points in mind when contacting new prospects that first time. The first call is one of the most critical steps because you are making an all-important first impression. You want that initial contact to ultimately lead to a successful business relationship for the long term!



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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  1. Good advice & timely, as I’m about to make an important call in half an hour.

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