Engaging Advertisers Effectively: A Modern Guide to Selling Billboard Space

In today's competitive advertising landscape, understanding and aligning with your advertisers' goals is more crucial than ever. The key to successfully leasing billboard space is not just in presenting your offering but in speaking the language of profitability and value from the perspective of your clients. This mindset shift can significantly enhance your sales effectiveness and foster long-term client relationships.

Understanding Your Advertiser’s Profit Margins

Start by getting to grips with the fundamental question: How much profit does your advertiser make from each sale? This understanding is vital. For instance, if an auto dealership profits $1,000 from each car sold, and your billboard rental is priced at $1,000 monthly, the equation is simple. They need to sell at least one car per month through the billboard to break even on their advertising spend.

Consider a hotel that profits $100 for every room booked per night. To cover a $1,000 monthly billboard rental, it needs to ensure at least 10 additional room bookings a month. Recognizing the profit margin across different businesses, from high-margin restaurants to low-margin grocery stores, allows you to tailor your pitch to the specific financial realities and goals of each advertiser.

Volume of Sales: The Billboard Impact

Equally important is assessing the potential volume of sales a billboard can drive. A strategically placed billboard might lead a hotel to gain an extra booking each night, a car dealership to sell an additional car weekly, and a shoe store to sell an extra pair of shoes daily. By understanding and communicating the balance between profitability per sale and the volume of sales, you provide a clear picture of the billboard's value proposition.

Reverse Engineering Success

Take the example of a hotel located near a busy highway with a daily traffic count of 50,000 vehicles. Even if only a fraction of these travelers are persuaded to book a room, the billboard can significantly impact the hotel's bottom line. If the billboard helps book just one extra room per night, it translates to approximately $3,000 in monthly profit from a $1,000 investment in billboard advertising.

Contrast this with a shoe store that enjoys a 50% profit margin on a $60 pair of shoes. Selling one additional pair daily via billboard advertising equates to a $900 monthly profit, which still presents a positive, albeit different, value proposition compared to the hotel or car dealership scenarios.

The Ultimate Goal: Profitability

The examples above underscore a universal truth: the ultimate aim for advertisers is to generate a profit from their billboard advertising investment. Whether it's a hotel netting an additional $1,500 per month after billboard expenses or a car dealership enhancing its bottom line by $4,000 monthly, the principle remains the same. Advertisers seek to maximize return on investment (ROI), and your role is to demonstrate how billboard advertising can contribute to achieving this goal.


By adopting the perspective of your advertisers and focusing on the language of profitability, you not only enhance your ability to sell more billboard space but also build enduring partnerships. In today's dynamic market, where advertisers are bombarded with myriad advertising options, showing a clear, tangible return on their investment is more compelling than ever. Equip yourself with these insights, and you'll not only meet but exceed your advertisers' expectations, securing their loyalty and fostering a thriving advertising ecosystem around your billboard spaces.

Frank Rolfe started his billboard company off of his coffee table, immediately after graduating from college. Although he had no formal training on the industry, he learned as he went, and developed his own unique systems to accomplish things, such as renting advertising space. Frank was formerly the largest private owner of billboards in Dallas/Ft. Worth, as well as a major player in the Los Angeles market.