Before you focus on the right questions to ask when interviewing for a a new ad salesperson, it is just as important for sales leaders to know the right questions to ask themselves.
Often clients ask me to pass along the names of top-producing media ad sales reps, as they are always looking for good prospects to hire now and in the future. “We need 7-10 years of ad sales experience, great communication and computer skills, the ability to work with little or no supervision and be highly motivated.” Sound familiar?
There’s A LOT more to it than that.
Here are 3 questions for you to think about before hiring a new Ad Salesperson:
What do your desired qualifications really mean, exactly?
Should it be assumed that a veteran rep will out-perform a brand new rep?
What does a BAD hire actually cost you? (Note: Some experts say a bad sales hire can cost a media company over $100,000!)
Evaluate the performance at each employer that lead to “7-10 years experience.” With so many ways to communicate out there, think about what a “great communicator” means to your organization and your clients.
Here are 3 more questions you may want to ask yourself before you begin the hiring process:
Should I use pre-hire testing?
The answer to this question is…..100% yes! Pre-employment testing can lead to additional company benefits, saving time and cost in the selection process, decreasing turnover and even improving morale. Use the Google search pre-hire sales testing to locate a number of companies offering this service. You will find that the upfront expense of the pre-hire testing is a wise investment that will reap long-term benefits.
What will you do to ensure the success of the new ad sales person?
All too often media company leaders hire a new ad sales rep and then walk away with no plan in place. This practice results in a scenario that almost guarantees poor performance on the part of the ad sales rep. Their success is your success! Establish a formal training process that will support the new sales rep during the critical first few months. Include valuable mentoring time.
Do you really want an experienced media sales person or do you want to teach someone from scratch?
Consider hiring a person who has NOT sold media before. Why? Ad Sales is a new world now. The old methods often used by veteran sales reps simply do not work as effectively anymore. (Of course, not all veteran media sales reps are old school in how they sell. It just means that you will want to explore this question.)
Many of my ad sales training and coaching clients ask me to “just re-train” their veteran reps. I think this only works about 50% of the time. When times get tough, people tend to return to their defensive comfort zone, using old habits and sales approach methodologies. Consider adding a brand new ad sales rep to your team, who has no preconceptions and doesn’t see the barriers that some veterans often do.
The right combination of experience within your sales team benefits everyone.
These are straightforward and important questions to consider before hiring your next new ad sales rep. Dig deeper into your strategy and plan FIRST before you leap into adding a new person to your ad sales team. It will go a long way toward helping your achieve your hiring goals.
About this blogger: Ryan Dohrn is an award wining ad sales training coach, a nationally recognized internet sales consultant, international business speaker and is the President and founder of 360 Ad Sales Training, a boutique internet revenue consulting firm with a detailed focus on ad sales training, internet consulting and media revenue generation. Ryan teaches media sales training classes and offers detailed coaching help to business owners and media companies looking to make money online.
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