An advertising sales representative works for companies that generate revenue by selling some aspect of their media space to advertisers. Typically, the advertising sales representative works for a media outlet such as a television or radio station, newspaper, or magazine. However, an increasing number of large companies are using advertising sales representatives to help generate online ad revenue as well.
As in any sales profession, the advertising sales representative must be outgoing and have excellent interpersonal communication skills. The representative must work to identify possible new clients and initiate contact with them. It is important that the advertising sales representative understand the businesses he or she is selling ad space to and tailor their approach to these businesses' branding and image. Additionally, the advertising sales representative must continue to serve existing business clients and ensure their ongoing happiness with their ad placement.
For many sales representatives, negotiating skills are also a key part of the job. While a media outlet may have published ad rates, it is not atypical for a sales representative to be given the power to negotiate these rates based upon duration of contract and expected future business. The sales representative must also know their own company well; few prospective customers will sign off on an advertising contract without receiving guarantees on circulation, ratings, and/or page visits.
This is a position where practical experience is typically valued over formal education, although most companies who hire advertising sales representatives prefer individuals with a related educational background (such as a bachelor's degree in business). While many advertising sales representative may work in an office environment, sales work often involves visiting clients. Because of this, the advertising sales representative must also be organized and punctual.
Advertising Sales Representative Tasks
- Recommend appropriate sizes and formats for advertising, depending on medium being used.
- Sell or solicit advertising, including graphic art, advertising space in publications, custom made signs, or TV and radio advertising time.
- Deliver advertising or illustration proofs to customers for approval.