Have you ever wondered how some program book sales reps just seem to be very “lucky” in their program book advertising sales? They’re the ones that are always on top of the leader board, the ones that are always on a call or emailing a prospective advertiser. They just always seem to be in selling mode.

Well, wonder no more. because it is not luck! It is just a very good understanding of the right program book advertiser prospect.

Understanding what makes a good program book advertiser prospect will lead you to more play bill ad sales than you can handle.

First you need to understand the demographic of the particular performance or show that you’re selling into. For example, the demographic of a classical symphony series is going to be much different than a Broadway series. Understanding this will enable you to narrow down your advertiser prospects.

Once you know the demographic for the particular performance, you will want to start to think about businesses that would like to have this particular demographic as a customer.

There will be some obvious assumptions on your part. For example, you’re probably not going to call on a low-end used car dealership since the demographic does not point to this. But on the other hand, you don’t want to rule out all used car dealerships because there may be a high-end used car dealership in your area that would appeal to this demographic.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a new program book rep full of fire in their belly start calling any and every business without giving any thought to what type of customer is being targeted. You need to take a high caliber approach as opposed to a shot-gun approach.

Once you’ve narrowed down this pool of ideal play bill advertiser prospects, and built a classification list for yourself, you’ll want to use the tools available to you.

Strong CRM

First and foremost, you’ll want to have a strong CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. At Onstage Publications, we are just in the midst of switching over to Salesforce from Sugar. After a ton of research, Salesforce is going to give us a lot more tools that we currently don’t have with Sugar. It’s a pretty large investment for us, but I am confident it will pay for itself by enabling us to be better at what we do.

By loading all of your calls and notes into your CRM, you’ll start to build a robust database of program book advertiser prospects. And with the right CRM, you’ll be able to mine these prospects for play bill advertising “gold.”

Google Is Your Friend!

Google is going to be a great tool once you have your ideal program book advertiser classifications narrowed down. All you have to do is type into the Google search bar the business classification, and the area you’re calling on, and bingo!–you’ll find a list of program book advertiser leads.

Online Directories

Online directories such as,, Better Business Bureau, etc. are great resources once you’ve narrowed down your ideal prospect.

Chamber Sites

Chamber sites are great, especially for new businesses. If your mainly using Google for your prospects, you won’t always find the brand new businesses in the area since they haven’t built up enough SEO to be present on the first couple pages.


Don’t forget your most important tool in your toolbox—your telephone. That’s right, once you find your perfect program book advertiser prospect, you’re going to have to pick up the phone. You can email all day long, but nothing is going to beat a real live voice introducing yourself to a prospect.

All of these tools will help you in your search for the perfect program book advertiser prospect, not to mention tons of them at your fingertips.

One last tip is to always keep your eyes peeled when out and about. You’ll start to look at the world in a whole new light when you have your program book sales goggles on! Good selling.

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