Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Sales Professional Talks to Sales Class

Today in my Electronic Media Sales course, T343, we had a departmental alumn come and speak about his 18 year career as an Account Executive at WGN Radio. I first met Tom Bortz at last year's Multivisions Convention and he was kind enough to agree to come talk to my class this semester. (It helps that he, like so MANY IU alumni loves Bloomington...and that tonight was IU senior night for the basketball team!).
Tom did a wonderful job of connecting with the students and reinforcing some of the things that I've been teaching and that they have been reading.

For example:

  1. Sales is not for the thin-skinned, but rejecction from a prospect is not a rejection of YOU. But, you need to learn how to turn the objections into positives...and the more you can practice it the better you get at it.

  2. The importance of finding out as much information about the prospect as you can in the discovery meeting.

  3. It is helpful to learn as much as you can about the station and its product [For example, new AEs at WGN begin by spending their first weeks sitting in on all the show hosts/talent].

  4. The world of media sales is not are always looking for prospects, clients, ideas.

  5. The client renewal starts the first day you get the must service them.

But, there were also new pieces of information--things that I haven't gotten to yet (or that I might never have gotten to). For example

  1. He discussed intricacies of commission...that commission is based on net sales while goals are set on gross--prior to subtracting of agency commissions etc.

  2. And that even when the client goes with an ad agency it is important to retain a good direct relationship with a client. If the client likes/respects you they can influence the agency buy because the agency buyer works for the client.

  3. We learned about tools like Media Monitors and how they can use it to estimate how much a prospect is spending on media in a city like Chicago.

  4. That WGN radio has internships...including sales internships.

In fact, here's a picture of a student talking with Tom afterwards about an internship possibility.

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