I considered sales to be an easy task. Boy, was I wrong. It all started last year, when I took an Ad Sales class. I assumed it would be an easy night class. From the looks of the syllabus, my professor seemed friendly, engaging and the content seemed interesting. I’ve taken multiple, if not all of, the advertising classes offered at Temple University. After the sixth and seventh one I’ve noticed a lot of repetitive work. So walking into this five thirty class, I was confidently awaiting my A.
A week later, I was sitting on the train with a headache, a copybook full of new notes and the realization that I was not prepared for it. When it comes to learning new subjects or topics, it was a cut and dry situation. For selling, it was completely different. There are factors you have to consider. My professor had excellent knowledge of this subject and was openly willing to help anyone who needed it. He explained that sales is a game and to win the game, you have to know how to play the field. The number one rule was to gain acceptance from your client. You have to get them to like you. It wasn’t about the money, or the product, or the media you were trying to pursue. It was who you were as a person, and how well you can portray yourself to someone. It’s a concept I’ve thought about in the past, but never put much depth into. I felt as though I had to revaluate how I come across to people.
When I took my internship position as an Advertising Sales Representative for the Temple Newspaper, I decided to challenge myself. Four months later and I feel confident that I am able to walk into a meeting with the strategies and understanding that is needed to pursue my clients. I highlight the client’s strengths, their growth and progress, along with how well they are already doing on their ROI’s. I want to come across that I am not selling them ad space, I’m selling them a solution to their problem. I’m selling how I can help them fix issues regarding their business. I get a lot of no’s, I don’t need it or I’m doing fine already. But, with the help of my manager and adviser I can confidently explain that every great business has some sort of small issues. I believe the consistency is what allows them to hear me out.
Before my sales class, I would have simply said okay and walked away from a no. But after learning determination and having the strength to pursue, I am happy I was able to grow. Will I pursue sales after graduation? I don’t know, but I’ve realized that it was something advertising majors definitely need under their belt.