It wasn’t too long ago that we were very adamant about selling performing arts program book advertising by the season.
It was very easy to schedule our program book ad sales canvases this way, and it was the way we trained all our program book advertising sales reps to sell. And quite frankly this was the way program book advertising was always sold when we first started in this business over fifteen years ago!
But as our business grew, and we started to bring on more, and more program book publishing clients that have non-traditional performance seasons, we found we were selling program book advertising all wrong. Think summer festivals, summer playhouses, etc.
This was our Ah Ha moment!
You see, the bottom line is advertisers don’t care when they are sold. All they really care about is the demographics, print runs, and cost.
And so, we slowly shifted our selling window.
This helped in other ways as well. Primarily, it opened up this huge bottleneck that we would always experience right around August.
When we were selling by the traditional performing arts season, it would never fail—all the program book advertisers that procrastinated would all hit at the same time so they wouldn’t be left out of the program books.
So, by selling all year long, our selling time shifted from approximately 7-8 months to 12 months. Allowing us to call advertisers much earlier than they had ever been approached.
The other huge benefit we realized by doing this, was that our capacity for each one of our program book sales reps nearly tripled.
Remember, we trained them that their selling window was 8 months top. Now they instantly gained 4-5 months of more selling time! Which means they can handle more advertising accounts.
This was truly a win-win. A win for them because they get to put more money in their pockets, and a win for us because we can bring on more business knowing they can handle it.
But most importantly, we gained more time to replace lost program book advertising.
When you consider that every year 30% or more of the current advertisers will drop out of the program book, selling time is evermore precious. Because not only do you now need to replace this 30% with new advertisers, you need to sell on top of that 30% whatever percentage you may be targeting for your new season goal. But by changing from selling the season to selling all year long, you can be sure to hit your goals. Good selling!