Reduce your new ad rep’s learning curve

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Reduce your new ad rep’s learning curve

This self-paced outline and course is designed to do one thing—help a brand new, inexperienced ad rep stabilize their territory quickly.

Wouldn’t it be nice if a salesperson could quickly learn everything they need to know to take over, stabilize, and begin growing a territory fast?

While it’s not designed as a long-term approach for making dramatic growth happen in their territory, it will help an ad rep get their territory back to how it was when the previous ad rep was in it and productive.

Lesson 1: The newspaper’s departments

Salespeople first get an overview of the newspaper to better understand each department and how the advertising department relates to each. Topics include:

  • Editorial department
  • Production
  • Circulation
  • Marketing/research
  • Credit/Billing
  • Advertising sales dept.
  • Classified
  • Retail
  • National/Majors
  • Sales assistants

Lesson 2: Getting to know your territory

Sometimes your first priority is just getting a warm body out into that empty territory, keeping current advertisers running and getting advertisers who ran in last year’s special section/feature/page running again this year. This lesson teaches salespeople how to identify and approach these accounts to maximize revenue from day one. Topics include:

  • What to do first
  • Learning about the territory
  • Activity reports to look for
  • Keeping current advertisers running

Lesson 3: Ad Layout

Even more important than selling skills at this early stage, the salesperson will need to know how to get these existing advertisers into the newspaper. The first step is learning how to put an ad together that will get in the newspaper correctly. Topics include:

  • Ad layout
  • The layout sheet
  • Indicating copy and art
  • The copy sheet
  • Keying copy to layout
  • Keying artwork to layout
  • Acceptable artwork
  • Scaling artwork
  • Model release forms
  • Proofs
  • Credits and adjustments

Lesson 4: The rate card and contracts

In this lesson, salespeople learn the in’s and out’s of the rate card. It covers how to calculate rates based on various rate structures as well as explaining all the other issues that’s discussed there. Topics include:

  • Volume discounts
  • Frequency discounts
  • Combination discounts
  • Modular rates -Contracts
  • Ad agencies
  • Other parts of a rate card
  • Coverage map
  • Readership vs. circulation
  • Co-op information
  • Color
  • Electronic ads
  • Deadlines
  • Special section schedule
  • Column widths
  • Line screens
  • Odd sizes
  • Disclaimers
  • What’s acceptable
  • Billing periods

Lesson 5: Reserving space

After salespeople learn how to lay an ad out and are comfortable with the rate card, salespeople learn how to reserve space, including all the stumbling blocks to watch out for. Topics include:

  • The ad reservation form
  • Salesperson and ad info
  • Ad size info
  • Co-op
  • Group page
  • Coupons
  • Proofs
  • Ad types
  • Pickup ads
  • Camera-ready ads
  • Advertiser information
  • Color
  • Special instructions
  • Position/special charges
  • Credit hold


Lesson 6: Spec ads

Now that your new hire has learned to stabilize their territory, now they can learn more about how to grow their territory fast. Since spec ads (or visuals if you’re from the U.K.) are the foundation of selling newspaper advertising, this is covered here. Topics include:

  • Spec ad intro
  • Information you’ll need
  • Securing artwork
  • Determining ad size
  • Elements of a good spec ad
  • The graphic
  • The headline
  • Copy
  • Logos, etc.


Lesson 7: New accounts

If everything goes well, your new salesperson will be selling accounts who haven’t run before. This lesson teaches salespeople what’s involved when their advertiser doesn’t already have an existing account or needs credit. As with the rest of this course, we keep things general and direct the salesperson to ask how you deal with the specifics. Topics include:

  • New account form
  • Credit application


Lesson 8: Your various products, your competitors, and what’s important

In this lesson, we explain what types of products they may be selling at a typical newspaper as well as typical competitors. Also, salespeople learn about demographics, circulation, and readership and other ways to evaluate and sell against each medium, as well as better communicate their own products’ advantages. Topics include:

  • What ad agencies look for
  • Demographics
  • Circulation/readership
  • Possible competitors
  • Dailies
  • Weeklies
  • Shoppers
  • Your products
  • ROP
  • Special sections
  • Preprint inserts
  • TMC products


Lesson 9: More advanced approaches to managing your territory

In this lesson, salespeople learn solid territory management techniques with tips and tricks that only the most experienced salespeople know. We also discuss the pitfalls of territory management including not planning ahead, fear of cold calls, believing nobody wants to advertise, and not getting discouraged when everyone’s telling them your rates are are too high. Topics include:

  • Identifying best prospects
  • Special section prospects
  • General time management
  • Special section approaches


Lesson 10: The sales call

Here’s where you teach your new hire about how to approach a sale. We believe in the consultative selling approach where the salesperson first listens to the account’s needs and then, often in a second sales call, the salesperson recommends a strategy based on those needs.

All aspects of the sale is covered, including how to deal with the typical objections they’re likely to face.

Topics include:

  • Introduction
  • First sales call
  • Second sales call
  • Overcoming objections


Reduce your new ad rep's learning curve

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