Saluting a Canadian industry sales superstar

Randi Battersby, a senior marketing consultant, with Victoria News/Black Press Media Group, has recently been selected as one of Editor & Publisher magazine’s inaugural Industry Sales Superstars.

In the feature, each winner is asked a few questions about their talents and successful approaches to sales. We’ve included Battersby’s responses below:

How did you get your start in media sales?

This is my first sales position. I have a background in medical, tech and government fields. I started as a part-time sales representative in November 2017 with the Sooke News Mirror, a part of Black Press Media. After six months, I was promoted to full-time and transferred to Victoria News, the largest of all Black Press Media news publications in Greater Victoria. Black Press Media Group has six community newspapers in Greater Victoria. While I am based with Victoria News, I sell into all our publications regionally and province-wide.

Who had the most influence in helping you become successful in sales?

I would be remiss if I did not mention my first publisher, Rod Sluggett of the Sooke News Mirror. Rod gave me my start in media, helped to provide me with the confidence and strength needed to do cold calls and showed me how to build solid relationships with clients. My current publisher Michelle Cabana has been a fantastic mentor and influence. Michelle has taught me so much and continues to do so while always encouraging me and helping me grow in my position. I have always loved the community newspaper, but I now know the importance of the community news and what it stands for through Michelle and her knowledge. I would not be where I am today if Michelle did not take the time to show me the ropes, but the most important piece is that I now have the passion and understanding of the community news. I am proud to work for a company and in an industry that understands the importance of community support and giving back. When you are selling newspaper advertising, you are not just selling the ad space. You support community and journalism, and to do that successfully, you must believe in it.

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?  

It is no longer about selling ad space in print or digital. It is about building a relationship with your clients and getting to know them. I am not just a sales rep, but I am a marketing consultant. One of the essential parts of my job is to make sure the ad campaigns I sell are working for the client and that all my clients receive their ROI (return of investment). Don’t let the many new digital options stress you out. Instead, embrace them. With such a wide array of products available, you can help your client with any marketing needs they may have. Print, digital and social media are equally important when marketing, and I believe the best campaigns are a mixture of all three.

Is there a single sales book, video or sales trainer you recommend to others?

I have attended two seminars with Peter Lamb, and he was terrific.