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Booze Me. Schmooze Me. Or Lose Me

The single most important employees at a Billboard Company

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Booze Me, Schmooze Me, or Lose Me

An OOH Salesman’s Mantra


by Nick Coston, OOH Media Buyer and Agent (and longtime salesman)


“You can’t learn anything if you are doing all the talking”. CCO sales rep.

My first and only real career besides the motion picture industry, was selling print advertising, from regional magazines to daily newspapers to weekly newspaper supplements and finally a weekly political magazine. But the events of 9/11 ended all that. The print world fell apart and magazines closed or cut back. Someone told me about an opening in the outdoor world. I took it because in the outdoor world no one cares about their politics, they don’t lean right, they don’t lean left. They just post ads. That was 2001 and I’ve never left.

“Come in early, stay late, ride and learn your market then make more calls”. —CCO Sales Rep

The first 12 years I was an OOH regional sales person in the Washington DC area. It really was the best job I ever had. I liked sales, I liked being in front of people and I certainly liked the money.

… he sucked at sales. That’s why he was a manager

So did the guys above me. They loved the money I made. They also wanted the money I made, since at one point for several years, I made way more than they did. One manager yelled at me as I exited his office, “for the last five years all I wanted is your job.” Really. But unfortunately he sucked at sales. That’s why he was a manager.

“There are 3 choices in life, be good, get good or give up.” — Lamar Adv sales rep

Most importantly, I learned that in our industry absolutely nothing happened, nothing moved forward, nothing went anywhere until salespeople sold something. Everybody else was expendable. Except good sales people.

“Nothing happens until someone sells something” is an infamous quote that I came up with in the 1980’s. OK, not really, but I told everyone that. “Red” Motley, the long time Publisher of Parade Magazine is said to have taken credit for it. Of course a guy named Red gets credit, right?

Mary Kay from Mary Kay cosmetics

sales people are the single most important employees at a Billboard Company

My point is that sales people are the single most important employees at a Billboard Company. In most cases its the only source of revenue, the revenue that sales people are responsible for.

“Through pleasant persistence, I persevere” — Lamar Adv sales rep.

Dead Poets Society

That’s why it always amazed me that at the yearly OAAA/TAB/GeoPath Conference hardly any local or regional sales people were invited by their companies. It was all national guys, sales managers, general managers and assorted executives. Only in a few cases certain OOH companies brought a local sales person. I guarantee you if one of the speakers at one of these conventions stood up and asked the thousand or so in the audience “if you’re a local sales person please stand up” that no more than 25 people would stand. And then the speakers microphone would be cut.

“If you are not taking care of your customer your competitor will”. –Interstate Outdoor Sales Rep.

The last OAAA Convention was Las Vegas, 2019. I thought I would be rebellious and as a media buyer I invited who I thought was that year’s best sales rep. He was, and we had an awesome time, and I made sure people understood why he was there. I did it so that others would follow suit. I did it to make a point of the importance of treating your sales people.

Don’t know if they were actually listening because in 2020 even though I had announced that year’s winner the convention got canceled due to Covid. There are a lot of exceptional OOH sales reps so I don’t feel that was ever going to be a shortage of winners.

“Never give up”. —Premier Outdoor sales rep.

So if you are at home or in your car, well maybe not in your car, but at your desk, at your office or even in a waiting room to see a client, and you’re an OOH sales person, please stand up. Look around and see if anyone else is standing. Then take a bow. You are what makes our industry tick and I applaud all of you. Even if you were the only one standing.

Salute, OOH salespeople and thank you.

“The harder I work the luckier I get”. —retired Outfront sales rep


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