As an advertising or media sales representative, you'll be working for an employer in the media industry, such as a newspaper or magazine publisher, or a radio or TV station.
Essentially, you'll be selling media 'space' or airtime to advertisers.
So, what will I actually be doing?
Your role will vary according to the nature of your employer's business. However, your day-to-day tasks are likely to include:
- Persuading clients to buy advertising space or time
- Finding out who controls the advertising budget in target organisations and contacting them
- Explaining the benefits of your medium, using statistics on readership or viewing figures
- Offering a price and negotiating around it
- Closing the deal and recording the details
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The nitty gritty
In theory your working will be around 37 hours, although generally you'll work longer, with late finishes a regular feature.
You will be office-based, although may do some travelling to visit clients and prospects.
Most companies have a promotion structure you could progress through, moving from sales executive to sales manager, area or regional sales manager and eventually sales director. Promotion is based on results, and rapid progress is a real possibility in sales. If you specialise in an area such as vehicle sales, you could become manager of a dealership.
You could move out of sales and into training and education or recruitment. You could move into an advertising or marketing agency. It's also common to move companies for promotion or a higher salary.
Money, money, money
Figures are a guideline only.
Your starting salary is likely to be around £18,000, although you can probably enhance this with bonuses.
Experienced executives reaching OTE (on-target earnings) can earn over £30,000.
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The good points...
Is your dream to become your own boss? It's possible to set up your own company on the back of your media sales skills.
...and the bad
It's likely that you'll spend most of your working day on the telephone.
Is there study involved?
Academic qualifications are less important than attitude and ability, and there are no minimum requirements. However, for graduates subjects in most demand are journalism or media studies.
Larger employers operate graduate training schemes, although usually you'll need a 2:1 or above. If you've been involved with university activities or have relevant work experience so much the better.
You may well find it an advantage to have work-based qualifications, such as NVQs in sales or qualifications from professional bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Marketing, the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM) and the Managing and Marketing Sales Association (MAMSA).
Training is normally in house and includes role-play exercises.
As a trainee, you'll usually spend a short period gaining experience without being under pressure to achieve sales. After this you'll be expected to progress rapidly.
OK, I'm interested... But is it really the job for me?
For a career in advertising sales, you'll need:
- A good telephone manner
- Persuasive ability
- Confidence and an outgoing personality
- The ability to build relationships with customers
- Diplomacy and patience
- The ability to work under pressure and meet targets
- Be good with numbers