What Do Advertising Sales Agents Do?
Media outlets like television networks need revenue to run. Companies need for consumers to know about their products and services in order to make sales. The professional in the middle that brings the two together is the advertising sales agent. He or she sells time or space for commercial messages on television, radio, the Internet, in print media, on signs or in public spaces. Labor projections forecast 4,750 job openings for advertising sales agents each year.
Advertising Sales Agents Skills and Abilities
Effective advertising sales agents have great people skills. They speak English well and are not afraid to talk. They learn their customers and listen for better ways to serve them. They are good at writing and have knowledge of traditional and alternative media production. They know the principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling advertising time and space. They not only have great sales techniques, but use excellent organizational control systems as well.
Advertising Sales Agents Duties
Advertising sales agents keep current customers coming back for repeat business and develop new accounts. They are able to explain how products and services benefit customers and persuade those customers to change their minds when necessary. Agents know their customers’ needs, advertising history and business practices. Specific job tasks include:
- Providing clients with estimates of the costs of advertising products or services.
- Consulting with company officials, sales departments, and advertising agencies to develop promotional plans.
- Identifying new advertising markets and proposing products to serve customers.
- Determining advertising medium to be used and preparing samples.Agents continuously develop professional networks. Identifying potential customers, managing accounts, and making sales presentations are all part of the advertising sales agent’s job. Writing contracts and processing sales are very important. Agents are sometimes called on to collect payment. Attending trade shows and other events are ways agents continue professional development. Work routinely involves:
- Contacting current or potential customers to promote products or services.
- Developing marketing plans or strategies.
- Explaining technical product or service information to customers.
- Gathering customer or product information to determine customer needs.
- Studying product information to acquire professional knowledge
Advertising Sales Agents Tools and Technology
To provide excellent customer service and make their job the most efficient, advertising sales agents use computers and the following software:
- Calendar and scheduling software – Contact management software
- Database user interface and query software – FileMaker Pro software, Microsoft Access, Oracle software
- Desktop publishing software – QuarkXPress
- Electronic mail software – Email software, Microsoft Outlook
- Internet browser software – Web browser software
Education and Training for Advertising Sales Agents
A high school diploma or equivalent is needed to begin as an entry level advertising sales agent. A large part of learning is through on-the-job training. The ability to listen, learn customers’ needs, and sales techniques are keys to advancement.
Advertising Sales Agents Salary
Those that are highly motivated can make good money as an advertising sales agent. As time on the job and customer base grows, so does pay. The average salary is $48,000. However, 90 percent of advertising sales agents make $113,000 a year.
Advertising Sales Agent Jobs by Geography
Advertising sales agents are most in demand in New York and California. This is no surprise because New York City and Hollywood are the headquarters for major television, film and print production. In addition to New York and California, Connecticut is in the top three states where advertising sales agents have the highest salaries. Don’t overlook Florida, Illinois, and Texas as you apply to companies you’d like to work for. Those states also rank in the top five when it comes to employing advertising sales agents.