Headhunter Vision Search & Selection is planning to send its top
traditional media sales candidates on a free new-media course in an
attempt to satisfy the high demand for web-savvy sellers.
Shedlight, the new-media training consultancy that has taught sales
teams from The Guardian to Carlton and News International, will run the
conversion courses over two consecutive Saturdays.
Vision Search & Selection will hand-pick eight candidates from its
files, each with around two years’ experience selling traditional media,
to attend the training days, which will last for five hours.
Shedlight director Craig Wilkie, who will run the courses with colleague
Nick Gillitt, stressed that the pair will not teach the sales people how
to sell on the internet but will instead offer a basic guide to the
’The people we train are already good sales people,’ Wilkie said. ’We
are just offering a conversion course from traditional to digital.’
Attendees will learn how to decode web jargon and will get a run-down on
the types of internet advertising, ranging from banner ads to
sponsorship. They will also learn about the role of web sales houses and
specialist online planning and buying.
Cathy Torpey, a director of Vision Search & Selection, said the scheme
was set up because of a lack of good quality web-trained sales
’Everyone is complaining that there is a lack of talent,’ she said. ’All
these dotcom start-ups are draining the pool of candidates.
’Companies can pay for sales people with six months’ internet experience
but they are commanding huge salaries, so it’s more common now to take
traditional sales people. We can’t give these people experience
overnight but the next best thing is to provide a candidate who can hit
the ground running.’
Torpey, whose clients include FT.com, Virgin.net and TDI, added that
candidates needed to have some internet know-how to get a place on the
course. She will ask all potential candidates to fill in a
questionnaire, written by Shedlight, to test their basic knowledge.
This is the second scheme offering free new-media training to ad sales
people. Last year, Vincent Sheppard launched NewMedia HR, a consultancy
specialising in internet ’acclimatisation’ courses (Media Business, 8