Looking for a job in Broadcast $ales?

Don't know about you, but I'm constantly asked by friends, family and clients to talk to some young person who is trying to find their way into the communications or advertising business. Most whom I interview have no real-world direction on how to pursue a job. At best, they've had a two-hour course on how to write a resume… which is, as far as I'm concerned, one of the least important ingredients in getting a job.

For those reasons, I've put together the following plan. It's a little bit of payback for all the fabulous times I've had in this great business. You may want to share my road map with some of the young people who come to your door.

Know Where You're Going
When looking for a job, you must have a plan, be prepared and doggedly persistent.

1. Determine what profession you want to pursue. Hopefully the courses you took in college have at least partially predetermined this direction. In our particular business, Radio sales-people come from a variety of curriculums. From my experience, the following may well be the most desirable degrees: business/economics, telecommunications, advertising, journalism, speech/English.

2. Target an industry. If you want to be in Radio sales, pick out 12 Radio stations within a given area and pre-search them. By pre-search, I mean prior to ever contacting the stations, find out as much as you can about the station.

3. Develop a verbal and written presentation. Let your prospective employer know why you will be an asset to their company.

Dress Rehearsal
4. Practice your presentation. Practice in front of your family, a friend and the mirror. If you have access to video equipment, tape your presentation and then critique yourself. Do you look eager to go to work? Ask someone you respect to critique the tape with you. In addition to leaving or sending a resume, why not a short, well-done video on yourself. I've had hundreds of people send me a resume, no one has ever sent me a personal pitch on tape.

5. Set up appointments, preferably by phone. If that does not work, ask in writing for an appointment. If that does not succeed, possibly an overnight wire. If that strikes out, go directly to that station without an appointment and keep going back and back again. People love to be pursued and love to help people. So providing you're not abrasive, chances are the more you pursue them, the more they'll want to help you.

6. Prior to the interview, re-study your pre-search. Rehearse your presentation.

7. Actual Interview. Eye-to-eye contact is imperative. State why you're there, then give your presentation on why you would be a benefit to the company. Be forthright and direct. Let them know that you're not there just to be interviewed, but you want the job. Ask very directly: "May I have the job? ... When can I start?" If you are given a definite "no," ask, "When can I check back?" Ask if there is more information you can give them and what they are looking for in the people they hire.

Follow Up
At this point, listen well. Take a pad of paper along to take notes. Taking notes demonstrates to them that you're conscientious and are eager to learn.

After the interview and prior to leaving, give them a copy of your presentation on why you want to work for them. Also leave a one-page resume. They might insist that you give them your resume early on, but it is best to make your presentation first.

8. After the interview, follow up with a personal letter going over the benefits of why you want to work for the Radio station. Conclude the letter with a forthright request to go to work for them. Always ask for the order.

The Payoff Of Perseverance
9. P-E-R-S-I-S-T-E-N-C-E. Remember, frequency sells. The average salesperson makes three calls and quits. The average sale is made after the third call. Make up your mind that the job is yours and persevere.You may think these suggestions are a bit trite or beneath you, but I can tell you firsthand that they have influenced some of the biggest people in American industry.

As a recent example, a friend's nephew used my direction and went on to get a job at Bozell, Inc. After he got the job, they informed him that 43 people were pursuing the position. He got the job because of his perseverance.

10. Opportunity is more important than income. Go for the opportunity, and the money will follow. My dad taught us: "Do more than what you get paid for, and you'll soon get paid more for what you're doing."

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