Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Geri Price has been an advertising representative at the Advocate-Messenger newspaper in Danville, KY, for the past three years (this November!). She took a moment out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions about life as a sales rep in Kentucky.

It’s the nature of a salesperson to strive to sell more and make more money. But the push to make money can make it easy to resort to a hard sell. However, that’s not always the most effective sales technique. It’s important to build a rapport with your clients, so you can be perceived as more than just trying to make a sale.

Four tips to be a better problem solver.

Motivation is internal. It begins and ends within your own perception and determination. It’s no one else’s responsibility to keep you motivated; you’re in complete control. As a sales representative, motivation is vital to your success.  Unfortunately, people commonly mistake motivation to come merely by the aide of a muse, an external inspiration.  Keep it in you and watch your sales soar.

People who know how to listen are able to communicate more efficiently. Most people think communication is simply about speaking and devalue the significance of listening. Listening helps people learn more, care more and ultimately become more social, as people want to be around them more, personally and professionally.

It’s that time again; it seems to sneak up without warning—your yearly performance review. No matter how good of an employee you are, it’s intimidating. But don’t be scared. You have the power and responsibility to manage your performance, and your manager’s view of your performance. Here are a few sure-fire steps to receiving the perfect performance review.

I was talking to Vic about the challenges of selling frequency. “In today’s economy, advertisers are looking for ways to trim costs,” he said. “Frequency is one of the first places they look. No matter how many ads they have run within the past year–a hundred or a dozen–they are putting everything under the microscope.”

The fear of cold calling is a painful struggle for many sales representatives.  It’s a silent, psychological struggle that occurs within. But, why the fuss? Is it rejection? Are you afraid you’re going to encounter rudeness on the other line? Do you worry you’re going to sound silly?  Usually, it’s all three in some sort of combination. Very few people are truly confident going to the phone, calling 200 people a day without hesitation to make a sale. Most have at least a fragment of resistance to cold calling; some go further with an emotional fear that causes them to completely avoid the classic technique all together. 

As a sales representative, you are the face of your newspaper. Advertisers look to you to gain trust in the publication. So what if you’re unprepared or caught off-guard? While this should never be the case, there are unexpected instances that can throw any sales representative off balance—that is if they don’t keep a tool kit with them. If you have a hammer and screwdriver, but need pliers, you can hammer and screw all you want, but you still won’t get the job done right. Now, I’m not saying go to your hardware store and pick out hammers and nails, but take that concept to the sales floor. Keep your essentials on hand in order to be prepared for hammering, screwing and plying. 

Like it or not, a first impression can make or break a sale.  Details of your appearance can show a lot about your work ethic, integrity, passion and professionalism.  If what you demonstrate upon a first encounter is slouchy, people assume your business habits are probably equally slouchy. Say you’re a car salesman driving a less than representable vehicle, it’s clear to see the client has the foreground to create a preconceived opinion of your work habits. It’s the same concept with your physical appearance. The key to a successful first impression is to present yourself appropriately, while paying attention to detail.

If you’re in sales, you already know that it’s far from a 40-hour a week job.  Sales is about getting seen, being heard, building relationships and ultimately, making money.  Luckily, we live in “generation gadget” where technology is creeping its way into each aspect of sales, marketing, advertising and pretty much every other facet of everyday life.  So with technology everywhere, how do you turn the craze into cash? You find the users—build the relationships, get seen, be heard and make the money. 

Incentive programs are a time-honored tradition in the sales industry. They have proven to help motivate employees to achieve higher results. But in today’s economy, can you really afford a monetary-based incentive program? Instead, think of new and creative ways to motivate your employees.