Hiring and paying a sales representative

To find and hire an ad sales representative we recommend looking for an experienced media sales person, not a person well versed in your industry. It's easier for a media sales rep to learn a market than it is for a person to learn media ad sales.
 
Hiring commission based advertising sales representatives is often a key part of a magazines sales strategy. Below are a number of resources to help you find the right sales reps for your publication:
 
FINDING A QUALIFIED SALES REPRESENTATIVE
 
1) Use a Rep Matching Service. Here are two services that specialize in connecting independent sales reps with companies they can represent:
  • www.rephunter.net
  • www.repright.com
2) Social Media. Posting and searching for jobs can be very helpful.
  • LinkedIn. Join relevant industry groups and/or use the search function to find relevant independent reps.
  • Facebook. Their search function can be very helpful
  • Twitter. Tweet out your job opening.
 
3) Online Job Search Sites. Post your position, with very good job description so you attract the right type of candidates. Sites include:
  • http://careers.foliomag.com/
  • www.indeed.com
  • www.monster.com
  • www.ziprecruiter.com
  • www.workpop.com
  • www.glassdoor.com
  • www.careerbuilder.com
4) Google & Yahoo Groups. You can often find groups dedicated to your publications subject matter and publishing itself.
  • https://groups.google.com
  • https://groups.yahoo.com/neo
 
SAMPLE ADVERTISING SALES REPRESENTATIVE AD
 

Digital Magazine Advertising Sales 

This January we are launching a global state-of-the-art digital magazine on natural health for consumers. We are looking for an experienced digital advertising sales professional to lead our sales effort and evangelize our amazing new ad technology and value proposition to prospects.

The editorial content is science based, by doctors, but is written for the layman on topics of interest like: natural health, supplements, organic food, retreats, holistic wellness, health tools, etc. We expect our core advertisers to be health based companies that provide products/services on these topics.

If you're the right person you will have media sales experience with excellent computer, prospecting and communication skills. Knowledge of holistic health and existing relationships in this space is a plus.

You can work out of your own office and the hours are flexible. Compensation is performance based with the first year expected to be $60-$100,000.

If this feels like a good fit, we can't to hear from you. Please detail why you feel this way in your cover letter and do include current resume with your relevant experience.

Job Type: Commission

Required education:

  • High school or equivalent

Required experience:

  • Media Sales
 
COMPENSATION
 
To find a quality person we recommend offering a predominantly commission based compensation. A 15- 20% commission is standard, however if you're willing to offer a draw against commission you'll often be able to recruit a more experienced representative and lower the total amount you pay to a sales representative. Often the sales representative will worker under and independent contractor arrangement, instead of as an employee of the company, covering their own expenses and taxes.  
 
Note: A draw is a guaranteed minimum amount of monthly compensation that a sales representative will receive. Typically the draw will be offset by future commissions and is not a debt by the representative should you ever part ways. 
 
Here are a couple scenarios of how a draw can work.
 
Draw Scenario #1: $2,500 Draw/20% Commission 
 
 
In this scenario, it is 4 months before the sales rep makes their first sales. The rep receives her draw monthly, accruing a draw balance of $7,500. In month 4 when $16,000 in commissions were earned, the sales rep only received $8,500 as the remainder was used to pay off the draw balance. 
 
 
Draw Scenario #1: $2,500 Draw/20% Commission 
 
 
In month 1, commissions exceeded the draw. 
 
In month 2, there were no sales, so the rep was paid a draw of $2500.
 
In month 3, there were some sales, but the commissions ($1,500) were not enough to cover the draw ($2,500), so the publisher paid an additional 1,000 to get the representative to the $2,500 monthly minimum. This increased the draw balance to $3,500.
 
In month 4, the commission exceeded the draw, but because there was a draw balance due, the amount they were paid was decreased to $2,500, which reduced the draw balance to $3,000.
 
If there is a draw balance and commissions earned exceed the monthly minimum of $2,500, the rep would not be paid any more than the monthly minimum until the draw balance was down to $0.
 
 
INDEPENDENT REP AGREEMENT TEMPLATE
 
Here is a sample Independent Sales Representative agreement you can download and customize. (Please consult with your attorney and relevant financial professional before using.)
 
Download Independent Rep Agreement Template: http://bit.ly/independentrepagreement
 
 
INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
 
Objective: Get a sense for their advertising sales experience
  • Have you ever sold advertising? 
  • If so, where....and tell me about those experiences?
  • Have you ever sold online advertising? Tell me about that?
  • Tell me about a time where you closed a significant digital sale?
  • Why do you think you would be good at selling digital advertising in ___?
  • What is your approach to selling advertising? (Look for a consultative, not transactional, approach)
  • What are the hardest objections for you to overcome?
Objective: Get a sense of their computer skills (you really want someone who is computer savvy)
  • On a scale of 1-10 how computer savvy are you? What would you have to improve at to get you up to a 9 or 10?
  • How do you typically prospect for sales leads?
  • How do you keep track of what is happening with your prospects? (Look for some digital, non-paper, approach. CRM, spreadsheet are good answers.)
  • What kind of computer do you use?
  • What browser to you use most frequently? (Your looking to see if they know what a browser is. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Internet Explorer are all appropriate answers)
  • On a scale of 1-10 how fast of a typist are you? (If they can't type fast, they are likely not very computer savvy)
 
Objective: Assess their communication skills (listen throughout to how they speak, that tells volumes)
  • Are you better and written or spoken communications? What is it that you would like to improve about ___? (Choose the opposite method than what they selected)
  • What is your preferred way of communicating with prospects? Why? 
  • What do you feel is the appropriate amount of pressure in sales?
 
Objective: Assess their work ethic and identify where else they are spending their time
  • What other jobs are you working on currently?
  • How much time to you realistically believe you'll have to work on ___?
  • How much money are you hoping to earn with ___?
 
Objective: Assess their knowledge/passion for your subject matter and product
  • How well versed on ___ are you? 
  • What do you know about ___?
  • Do you read/listen to anything related to ___?