Keely Layne, Managing Director of b3-media, has over 20 years’ experience of dealing with what makes the ideal sales person for the media industry. Having started in classified sales, then worked her way up to management and now recruiting for C-Suite executives of media companies, Keely gives us the lowdown on what makes a brilliant media sales person.
Can any normal Joe Bloggs do the job of media sales?
No, in a nutshell! The media industry is diverse, so you may be selling conferences and events, magazines and/or digital advertising. Knowledge is power, so if you enjoy learning, building long term relationships, can listen and create opportunities, then you can be successful.
Ok, what are the skills you look for then?
I look for the ability to listen, be creative in your thinking and be articulate – all round communication skills really. Don’t forget, one of the most important things you will need to be able to do is to adapt your sales technique to each client, and you can only do that by asking relevant questions and listening to their answers.
What type of personality suits the job?
It depends on the product and audience but having a personality is always a good thing! I always think confidence, but not over-confidence is a good trait. All media companies have different cultures, so finding a work home that matches the candidate’s personality is always best. I need to meet you or speak to you to find that out though.
When you are looking at the more senior roles such as Media Sales Manager or Director, what would make you jump at a CV?
Longevity and consistency in positions, achievements and career development.
If there was just one attribute that you would look for in a candidate to make them top of the CV pile for media sales, what would it be?
Communication and ambition – difficult to choose between the two!
And just one thing that would put them at the bottom?
Lack of drive. Media sales is all about achievement.
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