David Clifford, Group Head, Educate ltd
Name: David Clifford
Company / Division: Educate Ltd
Job title: Group Head - International and Newspapers
The education sections and Supplements in The Times and Sunday Times and education clients in Europe, The middle East and Africa on BBC.com, and Internationally on Facebook, Friendster and The educate global Network.
First sales job:
Advertising sales executive on The Independent and The Independent on Sunday
Time in media sales:
Talk us through a typical day:
I'll start the day with a joint meeting with my team and our UK team to go through their pipelines and discuss which clients are spending at the moment. This is usually followed by brief individual chats with my team about meetings they have had the previous day and about challenges they are facing. I like to keep track of where we are with regards to targets, checking the various booking systems at least once a day. I'll also catch up with my fellow Group Heads to discuss strategy and ideas.
Educate are a contract media sales company so I spend a part of my day talking to the media owners we work with and discussing future developments in their products. I also get heavily involved with developing new supplement ideas with editorial for the Times and Sunday Times to make sure we maximize revenue streams.
It is very important to go out and see clients to find out the developments in the industry. Education is incredibly dynamic at the moment with everyone waiting to see what effect the increase in tuition fees will have on universities and colleges.
I'll also find time to read about what's going on in the world using the BBC website and The Times, as well as providing insight into opportunities in our market it is also vital for product knowledge.
What has been your biggest achievement in media sales? Being promoted to Group Head at Educate - over three years ago now. Also consistently hitting targets and being up significantly over the last year. I also take a lot of pride in the development of my team.
What has been your hardest challenge in your career?
The size of growth both in the company as a whole and my team over the last few years and keeping up with the amount of products we sell on. We are about to gain another contract at the moment and so I'm spending time learning about that.
Who do you hold in high regard in the industry and why?
There are so many good people in this industry and I've been lucky enough to work with many of them at The Independent and Educate. I have learnt so much from my MD at Educate Guy Griffiths and my fellow Group Heads, Mike Phillips for being constantly cheery even when things are tough and Lisa Peake the most naturally gifted sales person I have ever worked with.
What is advice to those thinking about starting a career in media sales?
Go for it! I can't believe there is anyone in this industry who when asked when they were 11 or 12 what they would like to be when they grow up said media sales. Nearly all of us fell into it and I'm really glad I did.
What do you look for when hiring staff?
What Preparation and research have they done on the company, their attitude to learn and how bright they are.
If there is one question you wanted answering in interviews (from candidates), what is it?
What five things are most important to you in a job? It is important to know what motivates people to see how well they will fit into the company.
What are your three tips to a successful career in media sales?
Accept rejection - it is part of the job, you will get knock backs and be gutted when a prospect you have high hopes on falls through. Don't take it personally and move on quickly to the next call.
Research your clients and more importantly listen to them - far too many sales people try to tell clients about their products rather than listening to what they actually need.
And finally have fun, enjoy what you're doing.
Yes or no, do you believe anyone can sell? Why?
With the right training and nurturing I believe they can, however they need the right attitude to be highly successful.
Finally, tell us why you love media sales?
No day is ever the same and the industry is constantly evolving so there is always something new to learn.
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