About 15 years ago, I was leading a panel of recent grads in NYC to help them understand what careers were open to them, how to go about landing one, and what coursework would be helpful. At the end of the session, a hand went up in the back with the question, “We are a group of MBAs, where do we fit?” At that time, I truthfully answered, “Today nowhere, but you are the seller of tomorrow.”
As we have seen over recent years, a seller today needs vastly different skills than in the past. Not only are sellers in media representing multiple stations, we are also having them sell digital and create new events and promotions. It is a competitive landscape so it is critical that when we hire a seller, they have sales skills, curiosity, knowledge of the competition, what should work and what won’t, etc. On many job profiles we are now seeing an overview of the position include “creating solutions for our clients.” Our job now is much more marketing, branding, and event based.
Let’s add those Millennials to the workplace. They want to work with companies who are passionate about giving back to the community. This will be important to both listeners and employees.
When we work with a client who needs to find local sellers, we identify businesses that employee these types of people, outside of media, to target when looking to fill their pipeline. One of the industries we like to approach are hospitality sellers – they need to call on local businesses so they have contacts, a high amount of competition, and have goals to meet; many are involved in setting up special events too. What a great background to sell radio.
Recently, a friend told me about her nephew and how he has worked in the hospitality industry for a digital company. His job includes selling his product line, creating events, including branding and marketing, and often tying it in to benefit a community organization. He has a lot of local contacts in a variety of businesses and with local vendors, who by the way, also need to advertise! I started thinking about this young man’s career and think he is in an ideal situation for an exceptional career.
Today, with the need for more events, promotions, and community service, wouldn’t you agree that he is an ideal candidate?
Too many times we dismiss people for not being a fit or not having the right background for radio sales jobs. There are many people in your communities who would be great additions and they don’t have radio or even media sales in their background. Consider who in your market is in hospitality sales – catering, hotels, resorts, food service, beverages, and rentals of party supplies for large gatherings or party planners.
Look for people who have strong marketing experience, who are creative and have a strong attention to detail. If selling is all about creating solutions and leading a buyer to YES, why not consider some of these people?
Personally, I think these are wonderful types to pursue.