Start out with Renewal Advertisers. Look at previous yearbooks to determine businesses that advertised in prior years. Send them a letter thanking them for last year’s ad and encourage them to expand to an even bigger and better ad this year.
Next, start out with a letter to as many businesses in the school district. Using the internet will help you get a through listing of all the business in your area. Split the list up with the other yearbook members. Follow those up with a phone call. Talk to the owner and ask if they received the letter. Then set up an appointment to meet with them. Don’t try to sell them an ad over the phone. I know it is easier to talk to strangers over the phone, but likewise it is easier for them to tell you they are not interested over the phone. Get an appointment to meet with them. Assure them it will just take a few minutes of their time.
On appointment day be on time, dress sharp, be prepared and be friendly. For the most part sales are about the customer liking the seller and less about the product they are selling. Your best pitch is the business displaying their community support through the yearbook. Tell them they will be a good corporate neighbor to their fellow businessmen. Don’t take no for an answer. Follow these guidelines and you should do ok.
Another suggestion is to sell parent or friend ads. Send out ad samples to the the parents of the “graduating” class.
These ads are a great way for a parent, friend, teacher or relative to congratulate a student on an accomplishment — graduation, honor roll, athletic achievement, etc. Recognition ads are also a popular way for students to congratulate their friends. Be specific about the type and size of ad that may be bought, the number of words permitted, the cost, a deadline date and payment information. Also, provide recognition and order forms to all of the students in your school.