September 18, 2006 / Advertising / Fall 2006 / Five Simple Ideas

Five Simple Ideas for… Ad sales preparation

Written by Robin Sawyer

Once you have your sales assignment and know the places you are going to try to sell a yearbook ad, it is time to do your homework. Never walk into a business unprepared.

  1. Make a stealth visit.
    Go to the business to find out everything you can about what they sell that can be marketed to your readers. Make a list of these items.
  2. Look for their ads.
    Look at professional publications to see if you can find ads this business is currently using. This includes local newspapers and phone books. These ads will prove two points:

    • They should indicate that the business values print advertising.
    • These ads will give you something tangible to show to the advertiser in making your pitch.
  3. List why they should buy.
    Make a list of reasons why this advertiser should buy ads from you. Your reasons should include value to the business, such as reaching the company’s target audience of teens or parents and faculty, or showing parents that the business supports the school. Work through some sample rates, especially if they have bought advertising from your publication in the past.
  4. Call ahead.
    Call the business to get the name of the person who handles its advertising. Find out the hours this person generally works so you can plan your visit for when they are available.
  5. Prepare your packet. Organize your media packet and sales tools so you are prepared to answer buyer questions and get contracts signed. These tools should include:
    • Rate sheets
    • Sample ads
    • Copies of the publication
    • Two ink pens
    • A calculator
    • Contracts

Lesson plan

Robin Sawyer