It amazes me, not to mention amuses me, how many cold calls I get from sales representatives wanting to pitch me about their product or service and not knowing one iota about what our business does. I like to quiz these people and then let them know that the next time they call me to know a little bit about my business before they waste my time. Because wasting my time is exactly what they’re doing. They’re just going through the motion of picking up the phone and dialing. Could you imagine having a job like that? Better yet, could you imagine being the manager of that person? “Good job George, you dialed the phone 1,000 times today!” Both of them need to be fired!

To get the most out of every program book advertising sales call, you need to do what we call in our program book sales training class “account preparation.”

What is account preparation you ask? It is broadly defined as everything done by the program book advertising sales representative prior to the initial call to contribute to its success. Program book advertising account preparation involves thinking of a plan before picking up the phone, pre-determining the nature of the customer’s business needs and how they can fulfill those needs with an ad in the program book. It is the purpose of program book advertising account preparation to train them to think, to instill confidence, and to excite the imagination.

So why prepare? This is a question that can be posed in many forms. However, putting a different twist on it, consider this:

  1. Preparation accomplishes seeing the customer’s business through the customer’s eyes and to listen with the customer’s ears.
  2. The customer will generally listen to the program book advertising sales representative who really knows his or her business.
  3. Begin with knowing the product and deciding how to present it. There is a multitude of ways to present it, bounded only by one’s creativity.
  4. It is a job requirement—not because they are not liked or because of company policies, it is imperative that the functions and benefits derived from account preparation be carried out.

Don’t Pre-Judge Accounts

Saying this, it is of the utmost importance to keep a good account preparation attitude. In sales speak, never pre-judge assigned accounts. There is a trap into which program book sales representatives frequently fall into.

Here’s the scenario—on receipt of assignments from their sales manager, there is a strong tendency for the program book advertising sales rep to give their accounts a cursory glance and make snap judgements. It is extremely important for the program book sales advertising rep to not make the mistake of pre-judging an account on the basis of what they may “feel” about the business, etc. They need to assume that each customer represents a sale and must prepare accordingly.

Your program book advertising sales reps won’t sell them all, but their batting average will certainly be higher.

The Root of Program Book Advertising Account Preparation Reluctance

Defeatism plays a large part in not wanting to do program book advertising account preparation for an initial call, and the program book sales rep starts to come up with reasons not to prepare:

“Why should I prepare for this customer, he/she won’t buy anything anyway”

“It’s a waste of time for this customer”

“I’ll wait and see how the initial call goes and if it sounds good, I’ll back out and call back later”

“I already know all I need to know about this business”

And on and on!


In our program book advertising sales training class, we talk a lot about being confident in the program book advertising product when approaching the customer, but that is easier said than done. But what it really boils down to is that if the customer is approached with full preparation and they fail, it’s unfortunately them. But the good news with this, is that they now can hone in on what went wrong and practice their skill for the next phone call and improve what they’re doing. Most importantly, their sales manager can now also work with them on these identified problem areas. This will build anyone’s confidence and put them on the road to program book advertising sales success.

Program book advertising sales, like sales representatives, don’t just happen. They are made. How well program book advertising sales are made and how soon they are made depends largely on how thoroughly the program book advertising sales rep is prepared. Careful preparation for each call is not merely helpful, it is in fact the program book advertising sales representative’s obligation to the customer. Good selling!

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