Apply: Haymarket Publishing
Haymarket is responsible for more than 100 consumer, professional, business and customer publications. Consumer magazines, many with editions around the globe, range from modern and classic motoring and motor sport to classical music, consumer electronics including hi-fi and home cinema, and football. Business and professional interest magazines range from medical reference data to news coverage of marketing, advertising, public relations and charity professionals, management and human resources, computer security, the print industry, horticulture, planning and development, as well as youth workers.
Media Sales, what it involves
Selling advertising space is crucial for any publishing company. Advertising brings almost all the revenue for business-to-business titles and just under half the revenue for magazines sold on bookstalls. Media sales staff identify advertising markets and the big players within them.
Working in small teams, members of an advertising department have their own clients. They ensure that they get to know each of their clients well so that each potential advertiser understands how advertising in the magazine will help them develop their own business.
Staff use the knowledge which they have built up through effective training and experience. Part of the route to success is, of course, knowing competitors closely.
A sales career at Haymarket
Advertising is normally sold by telephone or face-to-face. Telephone sales involves selling classified - recruitment or services - advertising. Display advertising is selling adverts to companies that try to sell a brand or a product.
As a career develops, the salesperson acquires bigger, higher revenue-generating accounts and begins to sell face-to-face. Ultimately, the best will obtain very senior sales roles such as advertisement directors and ultimately may become publishing directors. Haymarket has a meritocracy culture and a clear career path, which supports such a culture.
For the right person, working in a commercial, people-oriented role like this will be a challenging opportunity in a professional working environment like no other.
Is this the right career choice for you?
Team targets forge close working relationships and encourage learning across the team. The media sales environment is not for the faint heartered. Magazines have deadlines and cannot go to press with empty pages. It is a job that:
- does not have strict 9-5 working hours and has challenging targets which are set to be achievable, but stretching, which sometimes means there do not appear to be enough hours in the day;
- includes a multitude of rejections from clients who do not want to advertise and it takes a degree of detachment to avoid taking it all personally;
- includes its share of administrative tasks, keeping client records up to date so that each client gets personal attention;
- after closing a difficult sale and reaching a tough target, teams will always bask in the congratulations of its members with a pat on the back and the occasional bottle of champagne after work
Networking with clients and agency contacts is crucial to a successful career in media sales. It often means making sure you attend events that attract the key figures in an industry. These include international motor shows, black tie award dinners at famous venues like The Savoy and the Royal Albert Hall, or festivals like the Le Mans 24-hour Race in France, where many Autosport staff spend the weekend under canvas.
Haymarket recognises that people at the start of their careers are anxious to progress, developing their skills and experience and their ability to get on.
Sales trainees enter a formal Career Development Programme (CDP) established by the company to ensure that everyone gets the opportunities best suited to their talents.
Most people complete the programme within 18 months. Salaries for trainees are reviewed four times in the first year and a half, after four, eight, 12 and 18 months.
A programme of regular training is a strong feature of joining Haymarket. This comes in three forms:
- centrally organised training in the different skills required to become proficient
- on-the-job training in these skills in real sales situations, given by the trainees' managers
- regular team training, again by managers, on specifics of the market, the magazine and its rivals.
Haymarket runs a structured 18-month induction programme, which includes the following training courses:
- Sales Induction
- Introduction to publishing
- Series Selling
- Negoiatation skills
- Face to Face selling
- Time Management
- Objection handling masterclass
- Advance selling strategies
From 9 months to 18 months a choice of 8 specialist courses.
Feedback on progress
Thorough, detailed feedback on progress from managers is essential for anyone attempting to master new skills. Sales trainees receive three extensive appraisals in their first year, covering strengths and highlighting areas which need more attention in the future. In the second year there will be two appraisals, and after that appraisals will occur at least once a year.
Haymarket recruits people who can work across a variety of markets. It is ensured that sales people have wide experience of working on different publications so no recruit gets stuck in a rut. Managers are very conscientious about the career development of staff. As a minimum, everyone is guaranteed a change of job by the time they begin their second year with the company - and mostly these changes come much sooner than that.
A change of job will not always mean a change of magazine, but it will bring a change of responsibilities.
Everyone who joins Haymarket's sales teams has to meet specific targets which are clear and measurable. Each individual's target is different because it is based on the different magazine sales plans - which in turn are affected by market conditions and the competition.
The targets may be based on achieving a certain revenue, selling a certain volume of advertising, achieving specific advertising rates, obtaining a defined share of a market or a combination of these.
Sales executives will be expected to achieve a minimum financial contribution to the sales target and a minimum number of sales calls or visits. Performance on key courses will be assessed and feedback given to manager and trainee to ensure that newly acquired skills can be put into practice. Performance is also measured through magazine knowledge, attendance and attitude to work.
After 18 months
By the end of your first year and half you have the option to pursue the 'super' sales route or people management. Both career paths offer new challenges and responsibilities.
As a people manager you will be offered training on a wide range of areas, from motivational management to recruitment and selection.
As a senior salesperson you can expect further training on new areas of responsibility, such as presenting to groups and advanced negotiation.