How To Bring a Dead Advertiser Back To Life

How To Bring a Dead Advertiser Back To Life

Happy Halloween!  All to often a qualified advertiser will go dead on us. Meaning, they said they liked our idea and you agreed to send them a proposal. But now, they are not responding at all. Basically, they are dead.  So, how do you bring them back to life? To understand how to get the advertiser to move forward, we have to look back. This is an essential topic in my ad sales training book Selling Backwards. ( ) In this blog, I will give you six highlights to fix this common ad sales problem.

  1. Did the advertiser actually want a proposal? All to often an advertiser will ask for a proposal as a way to shut you up. This is a waste of your time. To avoid this situation, try and set up a time to review the proposal during the sales call where you are asked for the proposal. If the advertiser will not grant you a follow-up meeting, it is very likely that they do not actually want a proposal.
  2. It is often easier for an advertiser to ignore you than to face you and tell you no. Again, you need to go back to your initial sales call. Did you make that advertiser feel comfortable enough with you that if they did not like the idea they can tell you without fear of “the hard sell”? Because we know that advertiser death is common, talk about this on the sales call. This is called managing expectations from the get go!  
  3. What is your after proposal follow-up process? Do you have process at all for follow-up? Or, is follow-up like everything else in your sales life… a random occurrence of actions with no plan of attack? You are delete-able and forgettable by an advertiser if they feel no pressure at all to call you back. My follow-up pattern is a unique and variable message via email and phone every other day.  Do not fear that you are being a pest. Polite persistence is critical to your success as a sales person. It is so important that it is an ad sales training 101 function that is often pushed to the side.  
  4. Do not negotiate against yourself. If you are not getting a call back, begin a pattern of messages that target the potential obstacles holding your advertiser back. Do not give away the farm in an effort to re-engage the advertiser. Instead, structure your voice mails to be results oriented. For example, “Hi Bob, I know you want to out market Davidson Automotive and I feel like we can help you. If price is holding you back from moving forward with us, please let me know where I need to be on the finances and I will work hard to earn your business.”  
  5. Avoid “checking in” with advertisers. The very nature of “checking in” is a waste of time. Call them with a purpose. Be sure to vary your message and keep track in your CRM the messages you leave and send.
  6. Use competitive angles to your advantage. If you see your dead advertisers competition doing something solid in the marketing space, call your dead advertiser and point it out. Then, offer a solution to fix the problem.

Advertisers that fall dead on us are very common. Look at the six suggestions above and analysis how you can take this knowledge and apply it to your sales life today.

Remember, if you keep doing what you are doing, you will get what you have always gotten. More dead advertisers.

Want to learn more about this subject? Check out my ad sales book, Selling Backwards. Quantity discounts available for your entire team. Read a free preview online at