Tips for Selling Ad Space in Today’s Economy


When business slows down, you must get creative with your advertising sales strategies to re-engage your clientele. Seven lean ones have followed seven prosperous years since biblical times. Feathers today, a chicken tomorrow.

The lean years have finally arrived. (Here’s hoping they don’t last for another seven years…) It would be best if you made some deals you wouldn’t consider during the good times and that an inexperienced salesperson will never believe.

The BONUS or SERIES OF BONUSES is the first tactic savvy direct mail offers use. You can use this to boost your sales. Just how many extra points do we get? Marlon Saunders offers a training course with EIGHT extras to entice potential customers.

I agree. In addition to the product itself, he is offering EIGHT free bonuses if you decide to buy from him (which he has already spent a thousand words telling you about). Most of them contain valuable data. Nothing he bought was free.

You’ll find secrets in Bonuses 1, 4, 5, and 7. These are things you should know if you’re going to be taking his course. Third, you’ll get a FREE DEMO of someone else’s product as a BONUS. So, how do we steal these brilliant concepts? What ‘bonuses’ can we currently provide to excite our customers?


Who are the TOP AD CREATORS in the industry that you regularly recommend to your clients? You interact with each of them daily. Each of your clients uses different people.

Ad firms, freelancers, and independents constantly call you with copy, deadline questions, etc.

Is there a top group? In what ways are people the worst? To whom would you refer your sibling? Create a unique selling proposition (USP) from your expertise that will entice customers to book with you rather than your competitors. [They have no idea how much you know.]


Compose three or four in-depth reports (each between six and ten pages long) on topics such as:

1. The ten most successful advertisements from the past three years in our publication, city, and industry.

Where to get your brochures printed, number two. Where to look, and six strategies for haggling with printers.

Thirdly, promoting with visual aids. Here are the four DEADLY sins that can put an end to your advertisement.

COMPLIMENTARY ADVICE Do you recall when Marlon provided a free demo of some competitor’s program?

Now, how many of your patrons would appreciate a no-cost, one-hour consultation with a highly skilled writer or artist? And how many graphic designers and copywriters do you know who are desperate for work?

If the copywriter agrees to meet with potential new clients for free, and if the client books an ad with you, you will benefit from a free consultation.


In the form of PDFs of freely available books on advertising.

If a client books an ad with you, you can offer them a copy of the Claude Hopkins classic “Scientific Advertising” as a gift on CD from our website, which they can copy as often as they like. Many other works on advertising are available in the “public domain” and could be copied and distributed.


Create a 16-page guidebook on face-to-face selling techniques, similar to the one we gave to all readers last year. Topic flexibility is welcome, as are suggestions for increasing sales regardless of specific advertising themes. Give away the booklet of helpful hints.

IDENTIFICATIONS from your mailing lists

This sort of naming is typically a cash cow for you. Start giving away thousands of names for free to anyone who books an ad of a specific size. For example, if you fill a quarter page with names, you’ll get 1,000 extra characters.

Finally, establish a VALUE for each incentive. This is not what you’ll charge the client, but it does illustrate the value you’re providing. If, in addition to the $950 for the ad, you also include the following:

a special report worth $56

a CD @ $43,

3,000 names @$115,

$0 down, $140 consultation,

Your shopper receives $354 in free extras with their ad… Keep offering incentives, and eventually, they’ll get a free advertisement. (It’s not quite, but you get the idea.

If a client books an ad with you TODAY, how many incentives can you give them?


Important point.

The word “because” must be included in all incentives for customers to do business with you.

This is a crucial word. When presenting a client with a BONUS or DEAL, you should always preface the offer with “I can make this offer BECAUSE…”

There are two benefits to explaining every bonus or discount.

One, it calms down the customer. Their unspoken question is thus answered: “Any catches? Exactly WHY am I being extended this offer?” (Is this a sketchy deal? Is bankruptcy imminent? Does this bonus/deal entail any commitment on my part?

Second, you don’t have to give them this discount or perk again. You explain why this offer is one of a kind.

Tell your client, “Only today, because…. (It’s a Christmas special; another advertiser pulled their ad at the last moment; the cops have just hauled your publisher off to jail; ANY reason which seems reasonable)” if you’re offering them a discount on their ad.

You can refuse the rebate or bonus when you contact the advertiser again to place a new ad. They shout, “Hey!” “You discounted my order by sixty percent the last time!” You respond, “That was weird.” I made that deal with you before because (you fill in the blank) last time.

New deals and bonuses can be offered anytime, with justification given each time. However, YOU are in charge. The bonus/deal is only offered under YOUR terms. Your customer has no legal standing to ask for a rebate.

If you do a client a favor without explaining WHY you’re doing so, they may come to expect the turn every time they do business with you. The 10% savings, once considered a “deal,” have become “the norm.” They now demand an additional 10% discount off the already low price to rebook. More 10%, please. Still another! Because. It would be best to use this term frequently over the next few months in your sales conversations.

Roy Preece has sold advertising space, trained new salespeople, and managed advertising agencies for over twenty years. For over eight years, the salespeople’s website has provided helpful tips, encouragement, and sales tools. It’s at:

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