Don’t miss free sales training

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More than 80 advertising staff members from 40 member newspapers have registered for free online sales training offered this year through a pilot partnership between the HSPA Foundation and AdMall.

Of those registered, 16 completed certification with Media $ales Basics.

The Indiana Newspaper Advertis­ing Executives Association reviewed several programs and even discussed developing a custom statewide package, Foundation Director Karen T. Braeckel said. After months of testing various options with staff members, the INAEA board selected AdMall’s Media $ales Basics program.

“The project grew out of a need to train new sales representatives year-round, not just at our annual conference,” Braeckel said. “We wanted something that publishers and ad directors could turn to any time they made a new hire.”

Registration for the free training continues through Dec. 31 at www.mediasalesbasics.com.

The program provides targeted training for advertising sales professionals, said Denise Gibson, sales development manager with AdMall, a division of Westerville, Ohio-based Sales Development Services.

“The program helps new account executives gain the foundational knowledge needed to sell in today’s marketplace,” Gibson said. “It allows them to be the sales team that advertisers want to buy from.”

The program works for veterans as well.

The Pharos Tribune (Logansport) and Kokomo Tribune required the online sessions as part of their ongoing advertising training, said Beverly Sams, regional sales director.

“The reps found the training very helpful, and we have a very seasoned sales staff in Logansport,” Sams said.

The director can see improvement in the staff’s sales techniques and results.

“The needs assessment really compliments another program we are working on called ‘Brand Expand,’ and it’s helped them meet their goal for appointments in Logansport,” she said.

Seven-year veteran Arlene Long, marketing consultant for the Pharos-Tribune and one of the 16 certified through the program, described Media $ales Basics as a helpful refresher for her.

“I always recommend training,” Long said. “You always find something to do differently or better to help the customer.”

Long said the course im­proved her ability to determine a customer’s needs and then follow up with a plan.

Braeckel said the HSPA Foundation board would monitor participation and certification numbers to determine whether to continue the program in 2013.

For more information on the program and an introductory video, visit www.mediasalesbasics.com. For another copy of registration instructions, email Shawn Goldsby at sgoldsby@hspa.com.

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