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Hopefully you are well into your 2015-2016 program book advertising sales campaign. We are often asked the question—what is the best sales aid to use to sell program book advertising? We have found that there are actually two sales aids that are key to a successful program book advertising sales campaign.

The first is what we refer to as the Fast Facts sheet. There is nothing like the excitement with the announcement of the new season. The season line-up should be a talking point every time you talk with a program book advertising prospect. We typically drill down the season line-up into a one page piece that highlights the season. It is important that this piece be only one page. It is important to keep in mind that we are not talking about the season brochure–we have to remember that our goal is to sell advertising, not tickets. We have found that inundating a prospective advertiser with too much information can result in overload and failure.

This one page piece should contain the following:

The Venue. Do not always assume that everyone knows where the performance is. This is very important because it will explain to a prospective advertiser where their marketing message will be seen.

The number of performances along with dates for the season. Once again, don’t assume that everyone knows when the season begins and ends. Including this information into the sales aid can be impressive especially when the season is strong. Including the dates is a key piece of information because it will explain to a prospective advertiser when their marketing message will be seen.

Awesome images. The majority of the rate sheets that we see typically look exactly the same—total distribution, rates by size, and of course the ad dimensions. The dimensions will typically be a visual of the actual ad size with the dimensions. BORING! Don’t be afraid to add flair to your Fast Facts.

Some general demographic information about the audience. Once again, don’t go overboard with facts and figures. We have experimented with many different formats and have found that less is more. If one asks for more specifics, you can always accommodate with necessary stat’s.

Don’t include rates on your Fast Facts sheet and never send over a list of rates and sizes and allow the prospect to decide what they think they should purchase. If the job was done properly, the professional advertising account executive has earned the right to make the recommendation of the proper advertising for their particular prospect.

Finally, in addition to the Fast Facts sales aid, the other most important sales aid is the actual program book itself. In today’s day and age, it is not practical or cost effective to mail out the program book to every prospect. Nor is it very speedy—“let me mail it, and get back to you in a few days” means that you’re going to have to now wait to get a contract signed as well as potentially having the prospect lose interest. The best way to make this as speedy as possible is to have all of your program books digitized and nicely presented somewhere on your website. This way, a link for that page can easily be emailed to your prospective advertiser all while on the phone with them. The importance of showing the current program book is so that the prospective advertiser is able to see all the advertisers and their potential competitor’s. Remember, ads sell ads! Happy selling.

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