Gene Kalb

Account Executive, C&G Newspapers

2022-01-01T08:00:00.0000000Z

2022-01-01T08:00:00.0000000Z

Editor and Publisher

https://editorandpublisher.pressreader.com/article/281908776485375

SALES SUPERNOVAS

Board Member, The Bedford Citizen How did you get your start in media sales? I have had my own publishing companies for about 30 years. Who had the most influence in helping you become successful in sales? That’s a tough question. There was a lot of trial and error about what works and what doesn’t. Someone a long time ago impressed upon me the art of listening. Understanding how you fit into what the client is trying to accomplish is the key. Our publication is a nonprofit community paper. Thus, presenting it as a community resource, which it absolutely is, was key. What advice would you give to others struggling with media sales or those who have become frustrated with the new digital solutions they must master to represent their company to advertisers? Listen, and understand your publication. Also, be flexible. The pandemic hit us just as we started our second annual Bedford Guide. The initial strategy was to approach retail establishments in town. During 2020 with almost all restaurants and retail establishments closed, we shifted our focus to larger corporate industries in town. Our publication is all about supporting our community, and the corporate neighbors in town stepped up to help us. With the retail landscape improving this year, we had a nice combination of retail and corporate advertisers. How did you get your start in media sales? I have been in media sales for 37 years. I got my start working in the classified department of The New York Times. As the final step in the NYT multi-interview process, I had to take a typing test and score 40 words per minute. I took my first typing test on a Friday, scoring 36 words per minute. Luckily, the hiring manager allowed me to come in again on Monday to re-take the test. I spent a lot of time that weekend typing and finally scored 42 words per minute. Who had the most influence in helping you become successful in sales? Peter Bianchi, who was my manager at The New York Times. He was very down to earth and made sales challenges enjoyable. What advice would you give to others struggling with media sales or those who have become frustrated with the new digital solutions they must master to represent their company to advertisers? If you’re getting frustrated, do a better job of listening to your clients and prospects. Have conversations focused on their needs and then follow up with your tailored solutions. Also, “sell to opportunity,” which means doing the basics. Look at your 80/20 list, which accounts invest their media budgets with you, who’s growing, and which categories are strong and resilient. Then, align your editorial, readership, and circulation resources story to those verticals and categories, resulting in positive performance for your clients and you. I’ve had 12 years of digital experience on the national and regional levels. While it’s advertising, it’s a different industry, different lexicon, and in digital, it is all about scale, targeting and data. Can you explain the characteristics of search, display, social, impressions, clicks, CTR levels, viewability, ad safety, ad stack, DSPS, CRM data, audiences, 1stand 3rd-party data, mobile, messaging, targeting, algorithms, machine learning, attribution, exchanges, the phasing out of cookies, and more? These are essential areas to try and master. Is there a single sales book, video, or sales trainer you recommend to others? One of my favorite books is titled “Now, Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton. It helps each of us identify and develop our unique talents and strengths.

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