How to attract top talent
with more than just money

By Kristen Lee
Bulletin Staff

When it comes to sales recruitment, motivation and training, Marie Warner, founder and president of Warner Professional Sales LLC of Belmont, Mass., challenges newspaper companies to think outside the box.

At the New England Newspaper and Press Association’s annual winter convention Feb. 8 and 9 in the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. Warner will focus on such nonconventional thinking, She will discuss ways to recruit and train multimedia advertising sales talent effectively, even at small news organizations, and the most effective and innovative ways to structure compensation for news organizations’ sales staffs.

“Many people, not only in media but across all sectors, see the interaction of finding talent as a transaction, when in fact it should be an ongoing process and developing a relationship,” Warner said.

What Warner hopes to impart to her audience are new ideas for finding sales talent (viewing it as an ongoing process versus a transaction); new ideas for developing sales talent from in-house people who might have potential; new ideas for developing ongoing programs to keep people sharp and motivated; and new ideas for nonconventional approaches to compensation and motivation.

“These are areas that are not necessarily commissions but which can play a big part in not only attracting talent but training the professionals you already have,” Warner said.

Because of the changing advertising market, many companies now want to engage consultant-level expertise, and the professionals with those skills tend to come at a high price.

So, part of Warner’s presentation will explore rewarding advertising staff with training rather than just financial compensation, she said.

Warner said studies have shown that training and development is actually more critical to people selecting a job than financial compensation itself.

“So having a regular program of how to develop the talent and helping them visualize how they’re going to grow and succeed” is valuable, Warner said. “The whole process is putting yourself into the candidate’s or your sales professional’s skin, and helping them visualize success and growth and a future for themselves and the organization.”

During her presentation, Warner will have everyone conduct a self-audit and re-evaluate the qualities they are looking for in a candidate. It is hoped that, with Warner’s help, those qualities can be adjusted and companies can learn how better to approach the hiring process.

“These are issues all sales managers across all industries deal with,” Warner said.

POSTED 1/13/13



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