My Facebook is filled with cute pictures of first days of school, be it kindergarten, middle school or high school. The start of the school year is an annual landmark occasion. Seniors are apprehensive about living up to expectations, while freshmen are wondering if they have what it takes, and hiding their nervousness about the unknown behind a glow of excitement and confidence.
There are similarities with your media sales organization. Senior sellers appear to know it all, having done it their way for – like – ever! But they need to let go and grow, and learn and embrace new technology and selling strategies. Last week’s blog addressed these Old Schoolers, so let’s check in with those who consider themselves New School.
If you are New School and proud of it, consider these thoughts:
- Those who have been doing this for a long time didn’t get where they are by being stupid. They have been working hard and have a lot of knowledge about people and systems. You may have more formal education, and you may be quicker at grasping how to make technology work for you, but you might not be as adept at relationships or the inner workings of a station, agency, or big client. Experience IS education. Respect that your senior sellers may have been “schooled” more than you have over time.
- Be a student. Learn the history of your accounts and the people who control your income. Learn the inner workings of your station. You probably have a teacher or two who would be willing to answer your questions at a desk near you.
- Be a teacher. If you can zip around a software program, know how to manage contacts on an iPad, or send out killer e-marketing campaigns, help those who are still struggling to create a PowerPoint presentation or sort that Excel spreadsheet. It is good for your team to have everyone as efficient as possible, and you may learn something in return.
- Prove yourself and pay your dues. Just because you went to school with the daughter of the owner of the big car dealer doesn’t mean you should be given that account. Like in school, seniority has some benefits. The freshman quarterback is being groomed to play after the junior QB graduates. Work harder and smarter to prove that you will be ready to take those big accounts, and the responsibility that comes with them, when the opportunity comes your way.
- Don’t let negativity bring you down. Many media sales organizations have a level of negativity, partially because much of the selling is done one-on-one and sellers come back to the office and need to vent. There is also the aspect of “But we have always done it this way…” Few people enjoy change and we are in a rapidly changing industry in a rapidly-changing world. Rise above any negativity and don’t let anyone tell you “you can’t.” Stick to your dreams, whether they are financial or career. Chances are, your GM and GSM were New School media sellers once, too.
You can pass the tests coming your way and, just like my Facebook friends who are posting the back-to-school pix are saying, you will find that time flies by very quickly. You will have the benefits of seniority all too soon, but please, hang on to the enthusiasm you have as a New Schooler when you get there!
By Kitty Malone
Efficio Solutions Manager of Client Services