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.

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How to Prepare for that First Call to a New Ad Sales Prospect

We’re all nervous making that first sales call to a prospective client. Will they like me?  Will they be interested?  Will they hang up? (What, are we in 4th grade calling a girl for the first time?) Who knows. That’s what makes it so exciting!


Make the right first impression on that first prospect call.

But, to take some of the fear and anxiety out of the equation (and get better results!), here’s an idea: How about being ready?

Before you make that first call to a new prospect you should do these two things:

  1. Be familiar with their current print and online ads.
  2. Have a sense of who their “target audience” is and get an idea of the company’s philosophy/vibe by visiting their company…

               – Website
               – Facebook page
               – Twitter page
               – LinkedIn Page (see if you have any connections to the prospect)

This research should take all of 10 minutes, but it has a huge impact on your ad sales success. Now when you actually talk to a prospect or send an email to them you will at the very least be able to show some knowledge of the company and the product or service they’re marketing.

This seems like just the basics, I know, but doing this actually separates you from 95% of “the great unwashed” ad sales people who want to sell prospects ads without knowing anything about their markets or what their companies actually do.  Meanwhile,  YOU can actually have a meaningful conversation about how to help them get the most benefit from advertising with you. That’s something the prospect actually wants.  I’m just saying.



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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