Mission NOT Impossible: 10 Tips for Ad Sales Prospecting

Prospecting is hard work. You can have the best product and be the best closer in the world, but if you don’t know how to prospect new business, you are not going to get anywhere. So where do we start? How can we be better at it?

Here are my 10 tips for successful prospecting:

      1. Have a prospecting process. Create and stick to a process that includes CRM expertise, pre-call client research, email and voice mail templates, and tested-out subject lines.

      2. Be relevant and specific. If you are relevant and specific in your emails, voice mails and face-to-face meetings, it will change everything. According to WSJ.com, 57% of email recipients consider a message spam if it isn’t relevant to their needs, even if they know the vendor well.

      3. Create subject lines that drive open rates. 35% of email recipients open emails based on subject line–and nothing else. (Convince and Convert) Here are some examples that work well:

  • May 29th?
  • New idea for you
  • Have your considered this?
  • I was wondering
  • Competitive edge over Company X (their competition)

      4. Structure your emails to increase response rates. Short, concise messages that show you’ve done your research, plus a promise not to waste their valuable time, will increase your response rate.

      5. Share success stories to increase response rates. Sharing recent success stories that your prospect can relate to will develop trust…and an eventual “yes.”

      6. Call and email at the best time for your clients. That means in the client’s time zone. I find 11:15am (before lunch) and 4:15pm (day wrap up) are the most effective times.

      7. Use the phone! Phone calls are 10 times more likely to lead to sales, according to Grasshopper Research.

      8. Be polite but be persistent. Have a plan and stick to it until you get a “yes.”

      9. Do not give up! 92% of people give up after 4 “no’s.” However, 80% of prospects say “no” four times before they say “yes.” (Marketing Donut)

      10. Work your plan. Use your CRM to drive your process. Don’t let your inbox drive your daily actions.

And remember, if being in sales was easy, everyone would be doing it!


About Ryan: Ryan Dohrn is an award-winning ad sales training coach, a nationally recognized internet sales consultant and in international motivational speaker. He is the author of the best-selling ad sales book, Selling Backwards.  He is the President and founder of Brain Swell Media and 360 Ad Sales Training, a boutique ad sales training and sales coaching firm with a detailed focus on ad sales training, internet consulting and media revenue generation. Ryan is also the Publisher of Sales Training World.


Niche Media has the best events, education, and training in media! Our super niched-out events & content give target-audience publishers in the B2C, hobbyist, B2B, city & regional, and association markets the tools they need to build revenue, audience, and more.