Niche publishers produce their magazines with a small- to medium-sized staff. Having a team that works closely and well together is vital. Publishers often have to be concerned about driving and meeting advertising goals and turnover in the sales department.
So how do you find and retain the best salespeople? We listened in on the hot topic roundtable discussions at the last Niche CEO Summit and here are some of their top tips:
1. Find the right match: Hire people who possess the characteristics that you think fit with your culture. Don’t have a defined set of organizational values? Create some so everyone understands what’s important.
2. Think outside the box when hiring. Non-salespeople can have the qualities it takes to be a great salesperson, plus they don’t come with a bunch of baggage. (Look for life-long learners!)
3. Take advantage of private college recruitment days. Smaller institutions often have soon-to-be-grads that can be a good fit. Ask them what their plans are after graduation. Do they have a vision for their future?
4. Always consider presentation. Can you see this person not just as a salesperson but also as an ambassador for your media brand?
5. Hire with a 90-day test period. You will know in 3 months or less if this new hire is going to work. Waiting longer, to see if there is improvement, rarely ever, ever, ever, ever works.
6. Make a change if needed. Maybe having a full staff of salespeople in-house has become too much to manage on a daily basis. Consider hiring independent contractors who work from home. (A B2C publisher added they’ve always done this and it works very well.)
Bonus tip: Don’t do all the sales yourself! Many of the CEOs said they do all the sales themselves and they are really tired, frustrated and well, you know–they dream of a great sales team. You have to delegate some or all of the sales to a salesperson or a team to effectively run your media company, help your staff see the vision and be prepared for the challenges of growth.
As a niche publisher, you already KNOW most of these tips. It’s all about putting it into daily practice in your business. So turn your “to-do” list into an action plan today.
P.S. Trying to determine the best way to help the sales team you already have? Here’s a popular post on team dynamics from the experts at Mequoda: Are you an ad sales introvert or extrovert?
Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Plus, Carl Landau–Niche Media’s Grand Poobah–also created a blog all about creating and marketing targeted events: blog.NicheEventNation.com Check it out!
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