If you have questions or need advice about any aspect of selling please let me know or if you would like to receive more Successful Selling Secrets drop me an email

Ps:- I am writing more success secrets about Prospecting that apply to all types of Selling to business owners. I've had thousands of appointments,you can believe that what I tell you works! I will keep you posted on new info. Best wishes, Don.

Selling Advertising to Motor Dealers.


Persistence Pays

My next goal in selling advertising arose when I was asked to develope the Classified Motor section in the South Wales Echo. There were number of regular advertisers in the motor section of the newspaper but they were mainly once a week advertisers.

My job was to turn them into series advertisers throughout the week.

I was successful with one particular dealer, a young and aggressive businessman named Jones. He changed his once a week advertisement into a series that ran four days a week, for this he earned a discount, as the fourth day was free of charge.

As a consequence of the repeat advertising he was selling more cars.

He realised this and after a while, then it was not difficult to increase the size of his regular advertising budget which we did a number of times.

By now his annual budget equalled 10 times my annual salary. I tried to increase his budget yet again, at which point he said ‘This is ridiculous. I'm already your largest advertiser. I’m selling more cars than anyone else in the city.

Why should I spend more money in your newspaper?’

The power of the prospects Ego At that point I was stuck. No other dealer in the city was prepared to challenge this man’s position in the motor section.

He always took top position in the page.

I tried for a while to find someone to compete with this man but there was no one amongst the other traders, who was prepared to spend that kind of money on advertising.

I went to my manager and told him of my dilemma,

I asked him if he knew of anyone in the city, who had the kind of money to be able to challenge this man.

He thought about this and told me that there was a dealer who used to advertise but because of an incident a couple of years before, the dealer told the Echo staff that he would never ever advertise in that newspaper again. I asked what had happened to cause this.

It appeared that the dealer had been involved in a road accident, which might have led to a case of manslaughter. The editor of our paper had put a big headline in the early edition of the Echo with the man's picture under it.

The dealer rang the editor and asked that the article be pulled from the later editions, he said he was a regular advertiser and the article would damage his business.

Apparently, the editor told him to "get lost", whereupon the client, told the editor to cancel his advertisements and he said he would never advertise again in our newspapers.

I learned the advertiser's name was Davies, whose showroom was very near our office.

I decided that he was my target.

My goal was to make Davies into an advertiser again, and I would get him to compete with Jones.

So I set about the task.

I walked up to his showroom, which had a broad, open front, with a long row of cars, toed up to a white line. At each end of the row stood a salesman.

I approached the nearest salesmen and introduced myself. I told him I was from the Western mail and Echo and asked if I could speak to the proprietor.

The salesman was very short with me. He said he had been told by his employer that if he allowed anyone from the Echo ever to cross the white line he would be fired.

Not wishing to antagonise the salesmen I left.

The next day I called again, and spoke to the same man. I said I understood his position and I didn't want to cause him a problem but, like him I had a job to do. I wondered if there was any way he could tell how I could meet his employer without crossing the line.

He was hesitant at first but then he suggested that I could wait on the other side of the garage by the petrol pump, because Mr Davies came to the garage almost every day, at about 10 o'clock in the morning and parked his Rolls-Royce on that side of the building.

With that information, I then thanked him and took my leave.

The next day I took up a position near the petrol pumps. Shortly after 10 a.m., the Rolls-Royce appeared and stopped near the pumps.

Out stepped my potential client.

He was a huge man, burly, red-faced, thuggish looking with only one or two teeth in his top set. Not a man to mess with.

He scarcely looked up as he walked straight past me, into the showroom. I returned to my office and carried on the rest of day, training other salesmen.

The following day I took up my station near the pumps but that day he didn't appear.

The next day, almost the same thing happened as on the first day, but I'm sure he noticed me that day but chose to ignore me.

Two weeks later, I was still doing the same thing, on a daily basis - but on this day it was pouring with rain and he was late arriving.

By the time he arrived and got out of his car I was like a drowned rat, standing by the petrol pumps, with a sodden newspaper tucked under my arm.

This time, he looked at me as though I were a freak and said, ‘Who the hell are you and what the hell do you want?’.

I told him who I was, and why I was there.

He then told me he didn't want anything to do with my newspaper.

I said, I was being paid to visit him and I was only trying to do my job but I couldn't understand why he wouldn’t talk to me.

He said ‘Come in here, and I'll tell you why’ He almost dragged me across the line and into his office.

For the next hour and a half he lambasted me, with his thoughts on, my editor, the rest of the staff and the whole of the newspaper business. His tirade was full of expletives. He told me I was an idiot to work for such a company and I my only reward would be a clock at my retirement and nothing else.

I stood there, absorbing it all, agreeing that he was justified in his views. When he had finished venting his spleen, I told him I had learned so much from him in such a short time and because there was so much more he could teach me, could I please call again. He said, ‘Of course, you can.’

I called the next day and the next,

It became a routine. By the time a week had passed I was sitting down with him and he was giving me a treatise- his version, on how to be a success in business.

All this while, I had not made any mention of advertising, but I had begun to speak about Jones, the motor dealer who was our largest advertiser, who was also selling more cars than anyone else in the city.

Every week, I would tell Davies of the successes of our advertiser and gradually he began to make utterances about how he could ‘see him off if he had a mind to’

I would sit with Davies for an hour or so in the mornings, then in the afternoons I would visit Jones, telling him all the while that Mr Davies would be advertising soon, and he would no doubt prove to be a tough competitor. Jones did not believe this.

Meanwhile my manager was beginning to get worried about the time I was spending with Davies and still not producing any business. I asked him not to worry and said that one day it would happen.

Some weeks later, it still hadn't happened, so my manager ordered me to stop calling and to spend my time training the other salesmen.

I had no intention of giving up on my goal at this point, so I started calling on Davies during my lunch hour. Soon he invited me to join him for lunch in his office.

I began to enjoy our conversations. Although he was a rough character he was very intelligent and interesting. One day he told me he was opening a new petrol station later that week. He said he was going to sell 5000gallons of petrol at half price to launch the station.

Seize the Day This was my opportunity. I implored him to advertise. I said ‘Where's the point in selling petrol at half price, and not telling anyone about it. How will people know, you might as well not bother cutting the price.’

He thought about this and said “Right, spend 100 pounds on an advert, just tell them the petrol is half price.”

I said “Great, but I can do better than that for you. If I split your money and buy three small ads I can give you a fourth advert free. You might as well take advantage of the discount from the newspaper’. He said “Yes, you’r my kind of guy, do that.”

I wrote the copy and ran the advert the night before the petrol station opened.

The next morning at about 11 a.m. I went to the new petrol station. There was a long stream of cars waiting along the road outside the station waiting for petrol. Davies, his wife, and the petrol pump attendant were working frantically to keep pumping the petrol. As soon as he saw me he shouted, ‘For God's sake stop that advertisement I will be sold out of petrol by midday.

I said ‘Great, but rather than waste the other three advertisements. I could break the rules for you, and fill the space with a list of your cars.

He said ‘Okay go to the garage and tell my son to give you a list. I said ‘Any cars that you sell I will take out of the advert and put new ones in their place’. He said ‘Good lad’, and off I went in a rush for the list.

I persuaded the print shop manager at or offices to take the petrol advert out of that night’s paper and replace it with the list of cars.

I had to appease the typesetters, because resetting type in series adverts was not allowed. The fact that the type did not have to be reset was why our advertisers earned a discount for series advertising.

I explained to the typesetters they were helping me bring a new big advertiser into the paper.

The prospects Ego at work

Persistence Pays

So I set about the task.

I walked up to his showroom, which had a broad, open front, with a long row of cars, toed up to a white line.

At each end of the row stood a salesman.

I approached the nearest salesmen and introduced myself. I told him I was from the Western mail and Echo and asked if I could speak to the proprietor.

The salesman was very short with me and said he had been told by his employer that if he allowed anyone from the Echo ever to cross the white line he would be fired.

Not wishing to antagonise the salesmen I left.

The next day I called again, and spoke to the same man and told him I understood his position, I didn't want to cause him a problem but, like him I had a job to do.

I wondered if there was any way he could tell how I could meet his employer without crossing the line.

He was hesitant at first but then suggested that I could wait on the other side of the garage by the petrol pump, because Mr Davies came to the garage almost every day, at about 10 o'clock in the morning and parked his Rolls-Royce on that side of the building.

With that information, I thanked him and took my leave.

The next day I took up a position near the petrol pumps. Shortly after 10 a.m., the Rolls-Royce appeared and parked near the pumps.

Out stepped my potential client.

He was a huge man, burly, red-faced, thuggish looking with only one or two teeth in his top set. Not a man to mess with.

He scarcely looked up as he walked straight past me, into the showroom. I returned to my office and carried on the rest of day, training other salesmen.

The following day I took up my station near the pumps but that day he didn't appear.

The next day, almost the same thing happened as on the first day, but I'm sure he noticed me that day but chose to ignore me.

Two weeks later, I was still doing the same thing, on a daily basis - but on this day it was pouring with rain and he was late arriving.

By the time he arrived and got out of his car I was like a drowned rat, standing by the petrol pumps, with a sodden newspaper tucked under my arm.

This time, he looked at me as though I were a freak and said, ‘Who the hell are you and what the hell do you want?’.

I told him who I was, and why I was there.

He then told me he didn't want anything to do with my newspaper.

I said, I was being paid to visit him, and I was only trying to do my job, I couldn't understood why he wouldn’t talk to me.

He said ‘Come in here, and I'll tell you why’ He almost dragged me across the line and into his office.

For the next hour and a half he lambasted me, with his thoughts on, my editor, the rest of the staff and the whole of the newspaper business. His tirade was full of expletives. He told me I was an idiot to work for such a company and I my only reward would be a clock at my retirement and nothing else.

I stood there, absorbing it all, agreeing that he was justified in his views. When he had finished venting his spleen, I told him I had learned so much from him in such a short time and because there was so much more he could teach me, could I please call again. He said, ‘Of course, you can.’

I called the next day and the next,

It became a routine. By the time a week had passed I was sitting down with him and he was giving me a treatise- his version, on how to be a success in business.

All this while, I had not made any mention of advertising, but I had begun to speak about Jones, the motor dealer,who was our largest advertiser, who was also selling more cars than anyone else in the city.

Every week, I would tell Davies of the successes of our advertiser and gradually he began to make utterances about how he could ‘see him off if he had a mind to’

I would sit with Davies for an hour or so in the mornings, then in the afternoons I would visit Jones, telling him all the while that Mr Davies would be advertising soon, and he would no doubt prove to be a tough competitor. Jones did not believe this.

Meanwhile my manager was beginning to get worried about the time I was spending with Davies and still not producing any business. I asked him not to worry and said that one day it would happen.

Some weeks later, it still hadn't happened, so my manager ordered me to stop calling and to spend my time training the other salesmen.

I had no intention of giving up on my goal at this point, so I started calling on Davies during my lunch hour. Soon he invited me to join him for lunch in his office.

I began to enjoy our conversations. Although he was a rough character he was very intelligent and interesting. One day he told me he was opening a new petrol station later that week. He said he was going to sell 5000 gallons of petrol at half price to launch the station.

Sieze the Day

This was my opportunity.

I implored him to advertise.. I said ‘Where's the point in selling petrol at half price, and not telling anyone about it. How will people know, you might as well not bother cutting the price.’

He thought about this and said ‘Right, spend 100 pounds on an advert , just tell them the petrol is half price’.

I said ‘Great, but I can do better than that for you. If I split your money and buy three small ads I can give you a fourth advert free. You might as well take advantage of the discount from the newspaper’. He said ‘Yes, your my kind of guy, do that’.

I wrote the copy and ran the advert the night before the petrol station opened.

The next morning at about 11 a.m. I went to the new petrol station. There was a long stream of cars waiting along the road outside the station waiting for petrol.

Davies, his wife, and the petrol pump attendant were working frantically to keep pumping the petrol. As soon as he saw me he shouted, ‘For God's sake stop that advertisement I will be sold out of petrol by midday.

I said ‘Great, but rather than waste the other three advertisements. I could break the rules for you, and fill the space with a list of your cars.

He said ‘Okay go to the garage and tell my son to give you a list. I said ‘Any cars that you sell I will take out of the advert and put new ones in their place’. He said ‘Good lad’, and off I went in a rush for the list.

I persuaded the print shop manager at or offices to take the petrol advert out of that nights paper and replace it with the list of cars.

I had to appease the type setters, as resetting type in series adverts was not allowed as this was why our advertisers earned a discount for series advertising.

I explained to them that they were helping me bring a new big advertiser into the paper.

The Prospects Ego at Work

The next afternoon, I went to Jones and said, ‘I told you he would be advertising soon. I think he'll be chasing you’. He said ‘Rubbish it's just a flash in the pan’.

Davies sold a few extra cars that week and I changed the copy,as promised.

I kept up a daily contact with both clients.

Before the last of the four advertisements appeared I said to Davies ‘It's a pity you can’t get on top of Jones's advert.

He said ‘Why can't I’ I told him that the largest advertisement had to go on top of the others. At this point we had not discussed any further advertising.

He didn't say so but he was obviously pleased with the results of the petrol sales and he had sold a few extra cars as a result of that week's ads.

He then said, ‘Make my advert bigger than his next week and make sure I go on top’.

I waited until this advert appeared in the newspaper, then I went to Jones and said, ‘I told you, Davies did well last week, and he’s now decided to stay in the paper. He’s taken top position’. Jones said, ‘I am a regular advertiser. I should be on top’. I explained that the rule was largest Advert takes top position.

He then said ‘Right, next week make mine bigger than his and make sure it goes on top.’

The following week, I made Jones's advertisement appear on top of Davies's and then went to Davies and said ‘He was quite niggled about you taking the top spot, that’s why he has increased the size of his advert for this week’

All the while, I was monitoring the car sales that each client was making. I could tell that, despite the increased cost of the advertising, both clients were making money. I made sure that both dealers knew that they were both doing extra business as a result of their advertising.

My strategy was based entirely on the ego’s of these two successful businessmen.

By now these two advertisers were dominating the motor section of the newspaper, as week by week they crept up in size from quarter page to half page.

I still used the same strategy.

When I had each of them up to a half page, I put one on top of the other.

I said to each of them. ‘You can take it in turns to go on top or once you go over the half page size, each of you would go to the top of two facing pages.

They both agreed to take this option and off we went again, I gradually increased the size of their adverts from half page, to two thirds of a page and finally, I persuaded each of them to take a full page advertisement facing each other.

Then I would alternate these from left to right hand pages on a weekly basis.

By now, they were the only two motor dealers doing business in the city of Cardiff.

They were both selling between 60 and 70 cars each, per week. I wondered what I could do next, to increase our revenue from these two clients.

Then I hit on the idea of producing one with spot colour at an extra premium.

I sold this idea first to Davies. This was the first time that colour had been used in any classified advertisement in the Thompson group of newspapers.

The week after that both full pages were in spot colour, and I know, in that week Jones sold 81 cars.

This contest went on at this level for two months. The revenue from these two contestants on an annual basis, equalled 156 years of my salary at that time!

Sadly a sudden downturn in the economy caused the government to introduce drastic changes to Hire Purchase arrangements, which virtually killed the possibility of selling large numbers of cars.

As soon as this was announced I went straight to both my clients and told them that they should cancel their advertisements because there was no way they would be able to sell enough cars to justify the cost.

As a result of this campaign I was ‘guest of honour’ at the annual luncheon for all the UK ‘classified ad managers’ hosted by Lord Thompson.

He presented me with a trophy as ‘classified ad manager of the year’. I also had to give a presentationto all the other managers at the meeting on how I had accomplished, this volume of advertising.

Soon after this, I was promoted to become the classified advertising manager of a group of weekly newspapers,

The training I received in selling advertising and in Telesales proved to be the cornerstone of the rest of my career in the newspapers and later in my next career in Insurance.
If you have questions or need advice about any aspect of selling please let me know or if you would like to receive more Successful Selling Secrets drop me an email

Ps:- I am writing more success secrets about Prospecting that apply to all types of Selling to business owners. I've had thousands of appointments,you can believe that what I tell you works! I will keep you posted on new info. Best wishes, Don.

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