Ad Sales Mission Possible: Save the Day with Research!


Save your advertiser’s day with the ultimate weapon: Research!

Can you imagine your clients desperately needing you to save the day? Do they call you a bunch now because they know you are a trusted resource?  If not, do you know how to become so indispensable that your clients can’t imagine not working with you?

Here are 4 ways research can be your ultimate magazine ad sales weapon: [Read more…]

Media Ad Sales: “No” Can Lead to “Yes!”


Yeah, this prospect so wants to say “No.” But you can overcome it with Nancy’s tips for handling objections.

“No money.”    
“Too expensive!”
“Timing isn’t right.”
“We tried it before and it didn’t work.”

We can’t avoid them, but almost every sales call with a prospect has them.

I’m talking about objections. And I’m going to tell you why they are actually a good thing in the sales process. So how do we learn to handle them? [Read more…]

Savvy Selling Tips from the Magazine Ad Sales Experts

In ad sales, you are always looking for something to keep you inspired and focused. Here are 3 great bits of timeless advice from our niche publishing experts to kick-off your magazine ad-selling week:

picture-454Audience-centric selling
Publisher Geoff Hird on finding your audience-centric mojo:
“Our experience is that advertisers are always keen to meet, or make time on the phone, if you have something ‘of value’ to share with them – and audience demographic data that fits their potential customer profile is a door opener like no other.  [Read more…]

Ad Sales: Are You Losing a Client to the Competition?


Ad sales superstar Nancy O’Brien tells us how to keep a client on track…and not sign with the other guys!

You’re smoothly sailing along, knowing how to take care of your client and making your sales goals. Then all of a sudden, it seems like they somehow perceive your competition as a better fit! Yikes! Unsure how to proceed? Thinking that maybe you’ve lost the client and should move on?

Think again! We chatted up ad sales superstar Nancy O’Brien to find out how to re-direct this client’s misguided perceptions and get your advertiser back on track…with YOU.

[Read more…]

Putting It All Together: Integrated Ad Proposal Perfection


Ad Sales expert Nancy O’Brien gives her insights into the perfect product packaging.

Do you try to sell a little of everything, sometimes wondering if you’ve got the right mix? Do your your prospective clients understand the value of each of your products? We caught up with with Ad Sales superstar Nancy O’Brien to get insight on this ad sales hot topic.

NMHQ: First, how should publishers and their sales teams determine the value of each of their products?

Nancy O: The value for selling advertising should be based on the size and quality of the audience it reaches. If you have an e-newsletter with 10,000 recipients but they have not opted-in to receive it and the open rate is less than 20%, then that would be priced less than one with opt-in subscribers and a higher open rate.

The same goes for website advertising – how many impressions will the ad get each month? The more impressions the higher the value. As for print advertising, we have always looked at CPM as a gauge for determining the value and the price of advertising.

Most importantly, however, is to be in tune with the competitors and their pricing. Sales reps should always be prepared to defend their pricing, and their value, with data.

NMHQ: What are 3 key guidelines for niche publishers to consider when creating a truly integrated ad proposal? [Read more…]

Top 4 Digital Ad Selling Tips!


There are lotsa great digital ad sales ideas out there. Grab one that works for you!

Do you need a quick sales kick start as you head into 2015? Digital ad selling has become a high art form in niche media. Why? Because the possibilities for customization are almost endless–for your magazine AND for your advertisers.

Here are some of our most popular digital ad sales posts to get you inspired:

From ad sales superstar, speaker, and trainer Nancy O’Brien on creating better relationships:  Maximize the Potential of Your Magazine’s Online Advertising by Transforming Your Relationship with Media Buyers

Working with your advertisers on their mobile ad strategy can be tricky. Here’s some tips on getting it right:  Help Your Advertisers Build Their Mobile Ad Strategy [Read more…]

Turn “Absolutely Not!” into “Tell Me More!”


NDC Speaker Nancy O’Brien tells us why overcoming tough objections is possible.

Ad salespeople—do some days feel like you are smacking up against a brick wall of “No?”  Do you encounter prospects who cross their arms and purse their lips tightly, all the while glancing at their cell phone or desktop every 30 seconds?

Everyone in the ad sales profession faces rejection. But how do you overcome the persistent, teflon-coated objections of a really good prospect—one you know you can help? We checked in with Nancy O’Brien of Aviation International News—and ad sales rock star in her own right—to see what works best.

Niche Media HQ: We have featured posts from you in the past on this blog where you talk about overcoming objections. What are some early warning signals that clients show so an ad salesperson can know they are heading for trouble? What can they do to turn it around? [Read more…]

Sell More Ads with Surveys, Service and NOT Selling!

Nancy O’Brien is the ultimate ad sales pro. In addition to her Associate Publisher responsibilities and traveling the globe for her magazine and industry, Nancy is always at the leading edge in niche magazine ad sales. (Somehow we are able to snag Nancy every year from her busy schedule to help lead our conference sales training workshops, too.)


Kick off your ad sales week with great advice from Nancy O’Brien.

Nancy knows niche magazine ad sales in her bones and she always does her homework. Here’s a quick pick-me-up to jolt your Monday morning routine:

First, don’t we all talk about doing surveys all the time? Check this out and make it happen this week:  Just the Facts Ma’am – Better Magazine Ad Sales Research with Surveys [Read more…]

Pro Ad Sales Insights from the Niche Media Conference


Tips from the Ad Sales Pros: Training is the key to success!

Nancy O’Brien and Ryan Dohrn are seasoned ad sales professionals who also happen to have time to be our conference directors. They always want to know what’s on the minds of ad sales reps.

They just returned from the Niche Media Conference in Charleston last month. They shared some insights from the Ad Sales Training workshop:

Nancy O’Brien: It is always fun to teach the sales training workshop at the conference because I get to meet so many different people from widely diverse publishing companies.  Some attendees work for regional magazines serving their cities while others sell advertising for very technical B2B trade journals, and then there are all of the others in between.

However, here is one common thread among them all: every sales rep wants to learn how to overcome the objections that keep them from closing the sale.  It seems that most people who come to our sales training programs know their products well and understand the process of sales – they just get hung up when the client raises doubts or questions that causes them to say no to the sale.  What can sales people do to minimize these objections or answer them quickly and confidently when they do come up?  In the future, I’d like to see us do an entire session focused on overcoming the objections.

Ryan Dohrn: I am always surprised how much ad sales reps do not really understand their digital products and the power that these products bring to the total multi-media ad buy for their clients.  Further to this point, the number of basic digital questions surprises me.  To remedy this, I would suggest that ad sales reps commit to attending webinars, reading blogs, find ongoing ad sales training and attend yes, conference workshops.  

When an ad sales rep says they do not have extra time to “learn,” I always give them this example: What if Tiger Woods said he had no time to practice?  Sure, he would be a great golfer, but would he have been the best in the world?

Another popular discussion topic came from one of the observations of an attendee in Charleston this year: Ad sales reps must make a strong commitment to better time management.  I agree 1,000%!  Becoming a master of your calendar is critical to your success as a sales person.  The very best ad sales reps I know have a detailed plan to manage each day.  What a great goal to set for yourself this month!

As Nancy points out, overcoming objections isn’t anything new in the ad sales biz, but ongoing training can help sales reps master their craft. And as Ryan observed, digital ad selling is still new to some–but shouldn’t be!

The bottom line is ALL ad sales reps need to be open to getting more education. Constant learning and improvement leads to success.


picture-132More about Nancy: Nancy O’Brien is an Ad Sales expert, Camp Niche Ad Sales Training speaker and Associate Publisher at Aviation International News.



Ryan_New_HeadshotMore about Ryan: Ryan is President of 360 Ad Sales Training, an internet & sales consulting firm focused on developing print and online revenue strategies for magazine publishers.



Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years, including the upcoming Niche Digital Conference this fall in Nashville. 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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Ad Sales Advice From a Pro: Interactivity, Lead Gen and the Future of Ad Sales!

Nancy O’Brien, Associate Publisher of Aviation International News, has also been a successful ad sales rockstar for decades. We caught up with her recently and asked her to share some of her insights with us (you know, so we can fly high in ad sales…) on interactivity!

Increased options for making tablet editions interactive has lead to an explosion in MEASUREABILITY that is driving big data, ad sales, and lead gen. This can mean big revenue for you!


Nancy O’Brien gives us some insights on the wonderful, wide world of niche magazine ad sales.

Niche Media HQ:  What is the biggest trend on the horizon for niche magazine ad sales?

Nancy: The biggest trend I see for niche publishers right now is interactive tablet editions.  We’ve seen a lot on tablet editions in the last few years but advertisers seem to be catching on to the technology and building multi-level, interactive advertisements for the tablet.  These ads include videos, surveys, webcasts, etc. and they are measurable[Read more…]