Advertising Sales Representative: Job Description & Salary

Advertising sales representatives are in charge of selling advertisement space to various businesses and companies who want to get the word out about their products or services.

Career Definition of an Advertising Sales Representative

An advertising sales representative sells advertising space on behalf of their advertising firm or company. They are responsible for identifying potential clients by placing cold calls, sending out emails, or following up on inquiries. When meeting with a potential client, the advertising sales representative presents information about all of the advertising services they can offer. This could include showing sample advertisements, an explanation of the places the advertisement could appear, and a summary of how much the ad campaign would cost. In addition to trying to find new clients, advertising sales representatives also need to maintain their current client list by keeping in regular contact with them and making sure they are pleased with the advertising service. In this job, developing and maintaining relationships with clients is hugely important, as satisfied clients are more likely to continue doing business with you.

While these professionals primarily work at advertising firms, a number of them also work for various print and broadcast media companies like newspapers and television. These professionals may sell advertising space in the print or online editions of newspapers and magazines or on-air commercial space between television programming. Some other duties of advertising sales representatives could include writing up new contracts, getting approval on advertisement drafts, preparing media kits, and answering client questions.

Educational Requirements High school diploma, possibly bachelor's degree
Job Skills Communication skills, interpersonal skills, confidence, initiative
Median Salary (2017)* $50,380 (advertising sales agents)
Job Outlook (2014-2024)* -3% (advertising sales agents)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

The educational requirements to become an advertising sales representative will likely vary company to company. However, many agencies will hire applicants who only have a high school diploma for entry-level positions. Depending on the size and nature of the company, a college degree or course history in areas like advertising and communications may increase the likelihood of landing a job.

Required Skills

Like many other types of sales representatives, to be successful in this field a good deal of initiative and drive is required in order to find and secure new clients and business. Depending on the size of your territory, you may correspond with potential and existing clients by email, phone, in-person, or all three, making strong interpersonal and communication skills highly important. It is also key for advertising sales representatives to stay organized, as they likely will be juggling a number of different clients, and it is important to make each client feel like they receive enough attention.

Career Outlook and Salary

As of 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median salary for advertising sales agents was $50,380, though the top 10% of these workers earned over $115,430. Between 2014 and 2024, there is expected to be a 3% decline in job growth in this field, as emphasis is shifting to digital advertising, which can usually be done without an advertising sales representative.

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