What made you go into the industry sector you work in?
I work in the broadcast technology market and was drawn to this sector because of the challenge of working in a niche market. We are constantly looking at developing new revenue streams to meet the ever-changing needs of our advertisers. We have advertisers from all over the world so there is international travel involved with the role, both with client visits and attending international trade shows.
Why did you choose a sales career?
I was always very target-driven and money orientated; both extremely important characteristics of a sales person. The idea of going above and beyond your sales target resulting in commission, gives me a sense of urgency on a day-to-day basis.
How often does your company hold sales or target-setting meetings?
We have a weekly sales meeting on a Monday morning as well as a monthly brand meeting. The weekly meeting with focus on where we are against target and pipelines while the monthly meeting is a more proactive meeting, looking at opportunities going forward.
What sets your employer apart from the rest?
We are the market leader in the European broadcast space in terms of advertising and editorial pages printed and still the only European broadcast magazine to be published monthly. We are also chosen by IBC, Europe's largest broadcast exhibition, to publish the show daily.
Do you feel your company/industrial sector offers sufficient high-earning potential?
Yes. There is a clear path of how I can progress in this industry. In my current position, the next logical step would be to sales director. I also feel that with working in media sales, you can move to different markets quite easily. As long as you understand the needs of the customers you are dealing with, you can transfer your skills to other industries.
What methods do you employ to help your motivation to reach performance goals?
The only motivation I need in sales is money. This drives me to exceed target which pays me commission and, in turn, helps progress your career as your superiors are more likely to promote you through achieving targets.
What do you see as the main key to successful sales?
A good relationship with clients is paramount, even if they are currently not spending. I aim to be at the forefront of their mind when they do have available budget. It is also important to be target-driven and tenacious, especially during these more challenging times.
What was the most useful sales training/experience you have had?
We often have a trainer that will come to face-to-face meetings with us, giving feedback on how we build rapport with the client, how we ask and respond to questions and body language. I have also taken part in Lumina training which basically gives you a summary of you as a person, and was surprisingly accurate. The training teaches you to determine the type of person your client is, determining how you would deal with them.
Who has been your biggest influencer and why?
I can honestly say I have never had an influence to move into sales. My first job was management in a food factory and this was my real driver to move into a sales position, where you are rewarded financially for exceeding targets.
What is the most memorable sale you have ever made?
I am always more satisfied when I close a sale that I have been canvassing from a competitor magazine. There was a machinery company I had been working on when I was at Farmers Weekly. I had met them at every trade over the course of year and had regular phone conversations, even though they were not spending with us but with our competitors. The meetings all went well and a good relationship developed, helping them out with press releases. The following year when their budgets started again, they moved their marketing to us resulting in an £18k deal. Testament that persevering will pay off!
What’s the funniest sales situation you can share with SI?
Back when I was working for Farmers Weekly, I went to a trade show suited-and-booted without Wellington boots. The trade show was in a field and had been raining all night. As you would imagine, the ground turned to a mud bath causing my suit to be caked with mud, to the delight of all my clients that I saw that day!
What is the best part and worst part of your job?
I really enjoy being able to travel abroad for client meetings. I have seen a lot of the world since starting this role. Worst part? Not hitting target. But we obviously try to prevent that from happening.
Now here’s your chance to tell the industry what drives you forward. Just email your answers back to SI’s editor, Paul Myles, firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to attach a photo (that we can publish!). Alternatively just let us know what you think about the challenges facing the sales professional today.