Bob Berting Article

More Successful Ways of Getting New Business

By Bob Berting, Berting Communications


One of the biggest waste of time for an advertising salesperson is the number of sales calls to call on and close a prospect. Over many years, there is the consistent message that 80% of sales are made after the 5th call—and in some cases, well beyond the 5th call. This effort only happens because advertising salespeople keep calling through dogged determination. When the sales manager wants to know why so many calls on a prospect, the answer many times is about building a relationship and this takes time.

More effective prospecting

Let’s start off with some basic guidelines that will be helpful to know. First of all, patience is a virtue that needs attention. The prospect is usually impatient. They want to get into price and product right away which might cause the salesperson to be confused about what to say. On the other hand, the salesperson could also be impatient, thinking they have given all the benefits of their publication and the prospect isn’t buying his or her presentation.

Be a trusted advisor

When prospecting, it’s wise to think about thoroughly understanding the business of individual prospects. The mindset has to be helping them with the right combination of ideas and solutions that will achieve their objectives. This means being an expert in all advertising solutions and asking the right questions.

What prospects do you call on?

Think about the businesses where you speak their language. Are they a business that has the size and ability to take on more business? When you do a Google search for that business, don’t just look at the first page of rankings, but look at the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th pages where those businesses need more help. Sometimes it pays to stay with the same type of business until you’ve sold a few of them.

Questions to think about

Really dig into the following questions:

What do they sell—how do they make money?

Who are they selling to—what target groups?

What are the buying factors—what do their potential customers care about?

More effective advanced planning

Check out their website. Make a list of things NOT on their website and prioritize them. Then do a Google search. Many times there are extremely valuable bits of information like “10 questions to ask a particular business”. Some of these questions may be questions that can be answered on the prospect’s website. It’s all about thoroughly understanding their business or industry.

Approaching the prospect

Actually the best way is still to do it in person. If the preference is to contact them first by phone, then talk to the right person on the phone. Many times you need to ask for the person who is either the owner or a management person who can authorize an advertising program. If you leave a voice mail message, a very effective message can be “I couldn’t find this on your website and I wanted to talk to you about it.” If by e-mail, the subject line can have 3 quick questions, again the same reference to their website. Body copy in an e-mail is more effective in bullet format, rather than paragraphs.

Thoughts about gatekeepers

Ask for their name. Remember their name. Sometimes, you have to treat them as if they are the decision maker. Tell them you don’t want to waste their time. Ask for their opinion. In most cases, they will decide who to let in to see the actual decision maker.

Saving tons of time and effort

In my opinion,the flow of actual contact calls with a prospect can many times be divided into the following sequence:

First call—Establish Credibility

Second call—Building Trust

Third Call–Solidifying Belief

The goal is to make cold calling much more efficient by saving more time and effort and by having a campaign or long range program solidified and closed by the 3rd call. …not the first call as advocated by many other advertising sales counselors. You are not there to high pressure your prospects on the first call.


For immediate Release:    New e-book  for print media advertising salespeople

Bob Berting, print media marketing consultant, is offering his 4th e-book “Smart Customer Connections For Advertising Salespeople” to the print media industry. This new e-book is designed for the advertising salespeople who want to build better connections with their customers, especially in these stressful times of lost advertising revenue.

Bob’s expertise in advertising sales can be the guide for advertising salespeople to be a trusted advisor who can work with their customers in very creative and innovative ways.

This 12 chapter e-book will help increase sales and build the image of publications in the print media industry. Bob’s new e-book and other 3 e-books can be ordered by going to his website:

Bob Berting is a professional speaker, advertising sales trainer, publisher marketing consultant and featured columnist in several national and regional newspaper trade association publications. He is President of Berting Communications, 6330 Woburn Drive, Indianapolis In 46250 and can be reached at or 317-849-5408