Are you being as assertive as you need to be on sales calls? Hmmm, do any of these approaches sound familiar? 

  • “Did you get the media kit?”
  • “Hi, I’m just calling to check in……”
  • “Is this a good time to talk?”

These are NOT good opening lines! Sure you want to be approachable, but these questions will not produce the results you want. Plus you’ve just made it way too easy for the answer to be “No!”

I think this is one of the biggest problems salespeople have when making calls. Why use the same approach as everyone else? That is soooo boring. You’re not going to capture the client’s attention that way.

Top tips to shake things up and make the sale:

  1. Take chances! Try approaches that will shift the clients’ current mindset and make them take notice of……YOU.
  2. Customize your call. The best openings involve giving your client specific opportunities that are unique to them.
  3. Ask your clients direct questions about their competition. Then ask,  “What can we do to help you?”
  4. Try being funny. It can create an instant, memorable bond with your client. (And if you don’t have a sense of humor, well, then sales might not be for you.)
  5. Challenge your clients. Ask them directly, “Are you really getting the benefits from your other sponsorships or ads? How?”
  6. Try offbeat, quirky ways to grab attention. For example, “Hi, Joe Client. If you weren’t at your desk working hard right now, what would you really like to be doing today?”
  7. If all else fails, go around them. When you get an immediate “no” then go to their boss, even the super-boss! Think high.

Finally, try to be more confident and self-assured in your approach. Have fun with it. I promise your attitude will rub off on your advertisers and they’ll loosen up too.

Now get out there and shake things up!



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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