just as an afterthought on advertising...For anyone out there who is nodding their head in agreement at the last post because they know what it means to sell advertising (to people who really NEED it, I might add) , I have a quick anecdote for you, but first some more preaching:
The message in your advertising is always the most important thing. Not whether you paid Kiefer Sutherland to voice it, or if you secured the back cover of Vanity Fair, but rather: What is it about your message that matters to the customer. If you use this rule as a guide, you'll have much greater success.
Now the juicy bit: I used to have clients that would try to tell me that advertising didn't work. I would always politely disagree, stifling my laughter, then I would offer to PROVE that it works, as long as the message was something that your customers will respond to. My Sales Manager at the time, a hyper gent named Bob Inglis, shared this little nugget with me; I used it in my arsenal any time I was faced with the ignorant "advertising doesn't work" statement. He taught me to respond with something to the effect of:
"I can prove that advertising works. In fact, I'll even give you a free ad, as long as I can write it for you, carte blanche."
"Free ad?" They would inevitably respond, "Sure. What will it say?"
To which I replied: "Well, it doesn't have to be very big, and I think I can fill your store with just four words of copy, actually."
"Oh? What four words are those?"
"Today only, everything free."