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As a business owner, you’re probably inundated with advertising offers and salespeople who want your money to advertise on billboards , radio and television, in newspapers and magazines. These salespeople promise massive exposure and hint at lucrative results and return on your investment. But you’re concerned about the risk. A lot of advertising simply won’t work for you. The good news is that there is an alternative.

The advertisers have space available and it costs them very little. That’s why they’re trying to sell it. Here’s what I did. (I always talk with the Decision Maker, not the salesperson, who only wants a commission). I was approached by a well-known national business magazine to advertise my marketing seminars.

Robin: “Tell me honestly: for me to advertise in your magazine, I will need to sign up at least 50 people per seminar, per city. Then I will make a profit and be able to pay for your adverts. I know you can’t guarantee anything, but, if you were me, would you go ahead with this advertising?”

Magazine: “Oh, yes, no question about it, Robin – I would write out a check right now.”

Robin: “What I’d like to do is to pay you DOUBLE for this advertisement. You’re being

honest with me, right?”

Magazine: “Of course, but why pay me double what I’m asking?”

Robin: “You place the adverts, people respond to you (so you have full control) and you send me the replies. When they pay and sign up for the seminars, I will pay you $X per sign-up. That way, if I reach the target which you have assured me is a very reasonable expectation, you get paid double. When can we start?”

You will have worked out the numbers and calculated how much you could comfortably afford to pay them per sale. They assured you that they would take the advertising investment risk if they were you, so it is logical that they should take the risk themselves. After all, they do mean what they say, don’t they?

This is called Contingency Advertising. Pay for results, not promises. Remove the risk – let the advertiser take the risk. Naturally, not every advertiser will do this, but it’s a numbers game. Ask enough advertisers and you’ll get a few takers. I have done this numerous times. When the ads didn’t work, I walked away with free exposure. When they did work, we all did well.

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