What the heck do I mean? In ad sales, you have LOTS of continual pressure from the competition, your clients, your advertising director, and Publisher (Big P). Your days are filled with looming deadlines, renewal mandates, and irksome budget challenges.

So what.

That’s right, I’m telling you to lighten up! Unlike a scientist who’s dealing with potentially life or death decisions, it’s important to remember you are selling advertising. Not having a job like a rocket scientist liberates you to have a little fun. Try to remember that when you’re selling and relax. It’s all about perspective.

Here are some of my tips on selling advertising successfully and having fun while doing it:

  1. Get a little goofy in your phone calls. For example, if I am talking to someone who is having a really bad day, I acknowledge it: “Wow! Sounds like you guys are really having tons of fun over there!” This approach lightens the grumpy client’s mood. Then you can both take a moment and talk about why you were calling them in the first place.
  2. Send attention-grabbing, humorous emails. I have often used subject lines that are funny, offbeat and successfully get a response from the client: Don’t you love me anymore? or It’s not me, it’s you? Another tactic is to email them a funny video that they can relate to. It works!
  3. Send memorable gifts in snail mail. Think about it, hardly anyone sends fun stuff in the mail anymore. You’ll stand out. Candy like “PayDay” bars and “100 Grand” used to be a big hit and still are—so are Pop-rocks. For some reason, clients love them.
  4. Connect in person. It’s way easier to connect with someone face-to-face. Bring treats or a silly toy—again, something the client can relate to. Are they crazy about their Fido? Bring them a bone. Or bring pizza for lunch for their whole staff. Spread your happy.

Bonus tip: Humor and generosity go hand-in-hand. You are helping your clients try to solve their problem and reach their goals.

So don’t take your daily sales routine so seriously. Enjoy it. Keep your perspective and remember you’re not saving the world. What’s the worst that can happen? A prospect says no? Believe me, your clients and co-workers will appreciate the new you. Plus, you’ll smile more, your blood pressure might go down … and you’ll sell more advertising!



More about Carl: Carl Landau is Grand Poobah of Niche Media. In his past life, he launched 5 successful niche magazines. He is a media/event guru, SF Giants fan, podcast host and part-time blogger. Carl’s 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.


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