Yearbook ad sales are a great way for your yearbook to earn extra funds, but approaching local businesses can be daunting to students on your staff. Spend a class or meeting preparing your students to make these sales calls, and you will be giving them not only the confidence they need to succeed, but a life skill that could help them in their careers later on.
Brainstorm as a Class
As a group, make a list of reasons why businesses should advertise in your yearbook. Because the students are their target audience? Because they want to show support for the school? Because your ads are so well priced?
Know that not every sales call will end with a resounding, “Yes please!” Next, brainstorm some excuses or objections that business owners might make, and ways the students might overcome these hurdles. For example, if a business owner says, “A yearbook ad isn’t in my budget,” students may offer them a smaller, less expensive ad, and remind them that the yearbook will be seen by hundreds of people and could pay for itself down the line.
Write the Script
Now that you’ve brainstormed a few reasons why businesses should advertise, and a few excuses they might make not to, put that information to use by creating a loose template for a sales script. Have students write three sample scripts for a business sales call that use the reasons businesses should buy. Most of your students have probably never had to make a sales call before, so make sure they are prepared ahead of time. They’re more likely to succeed if they are confident in what they’re doing.
Now that your students have some scripts, pair them up and have them role play a sales call or meeting, with one student playing the business owner. Be sure that the student playing the business owner is not an easy sell every time – have them put some of those objections to use, which challenges the other student to use some of the alternate responses previously mentioned.
Create a Sales Packet
Send your students armed with information about the yearbook and all the tools they’ll need to get a contract signed on the dotted line. A sales packet should include information about the school, ad samples, rate sheets, copied pages from the yearbook (or a sample yearbook), and contracts.
Things to Remember
Don’t let local businesses assume that teenagers don’t have buying power. According to Forbes, May and June are the biggest months for teen spending all year, due to graduation and prom. If your yearbook comes out during one of those months, it’s the perfect opportunity for businesses to reach teenagers who have money to spend!
If you’re trying to sell to a restaurant or retail location, have some students go in and check it out first. The more information you have about the business ahead of time, the more prepared you’ll feel when making a sales call!
Kids love incentives! Give your students a sales goal to work toward, and reward them if they reach it. Rewards could be a pizza party for the whole class, individual bonus points, candy – anything students respond to.