Leaving High-Pressure Sales Behind: Mark Clark’s Journey To N2

By Claire Barham Aug 10, 2017

Let’s be honest. Sales can have a bad rap. When someone hears the word salesperson, the truth-bending “used car dealer” stereotype may come to mind. But not all salespeople are created equal, and here’s why: Not all sales jobs are the same.

Take Mark Clark’s story, for example. A five-year N2 veteran and Region Director, he began his career in the mid-nineties as a radio advertising executive in a sales environment much different than that of N2.

THE PRESSURE IS ON

Mark’s early experience is similar to a lot of others’. He began in what’s known as high-pressure sales. His work weeks were bookended by meetings with the local sales manager to basically be told what his goals were for the upcoming week, and then for him to explain how he did.

“I was brought in on the premise of some kind of currently-billing account list that, only after accepting the position, I realized didn’t exist. The expectations were aggressive in terms of the number of calls we had to make, face-to-face meetings to hold, and dollars to generate on a weekly and monthly basis,” Mark said.

Pair the aggressive sales goals with a limited amount of inventory he and his colleagues could sell –only a certain number of commercials available per hour – and what do you get? Pressure. And it’s this pressure that can push people to become, well, pushy.

“You had to be the kind of salesperson who made your clients consider advertisements not only for that month, but to challenge them to think about commercial spots way into the future and to get those contracts signed right then and there. Under those circumstances,” Mark said, “some people did well, and some really didn’t.”

Whether you do well under pressure or not, it’s often the ability to control your own income that makes sales so attractive. Mark, too, chose a commission-based career because he “wanted to find the top.” But for him, that wasn’t even an option before N2.

“There were many times during my radio advertising career I was told that no matter how much more I sold I wasn’t going to make more money,” Mark said. “Basically, they were saying I was capped out of my potential.”

Though he worked in the radio industry for years and years, it was the combination of high pressure and lower-than-desired return that eventually led Mark to seek something better, and we’re sure glad he did!

 

THE N2 DIFFERENCE

Sometimes Mark sits back and reflects on the fact that he’s essentially doing the same thing today that he was back in 1994 – offering a product as a marketing and advertising solution. Thankfully, the similarities between his past job and N2 end there. For him, one of the most positive changes was the freedom to make his own schedule instead of having the hours he could work dictated by his boss.

“I remember enjoying ramping up my publication in the summer of 2012 and continuing to work hard so that by the summer of 2013 I’d created a lucrative revenue stream. I actually had the option of which days or weeks I wanted to work,” Mark said, “and the days or weeks I didn’t want to work.”

This amount of freedom and control isn’t easy to come by in sales jobs when commission is king. He (and others) are able to take off work and spend valuable time with family thanks to the N2 opportunity to build a long-term residual income base.

“In the radio business, no matter how much I made the month before, my base would start over nearly every month. It’s why my only thoughts were ‘sell, sell, sell.’ At N2, because we have this residual model built, we can choose to sell more and make money on top of the foundation of the base,” said Mark.

“It not only takes away the ebb and flow from my business, but gives me time to focus on building content, creating proper events, and working with clients on crafting the right message.”

Not only does Mark now have the ability to build up a residual income to relieve pressure, but he isn’t pigeonholed into only selling ad space in his individual communities. This was a life-changing – and income-changing – difference coming from an industry where he was limited to selling just for the few stations he represented.

“Here in Indianapolis, we have 18 other pubs under the N2 umbrella,” Mark said, “so when I go meet with a potential advertiser, I have access to sell for any one of them. On the flip side, I have the luxury of knowing my publication is being presented by my fellow ADs so I’m going to generate revenue through no efforts of my own. It’s like having an extra sales staff I don’t have to pay.”


EVERY STORY HAS A MORAL

At N2, we seek people like Mark who have a passion for sales, but even more so for helping businesses promote their products and services to people who can benefit from them. If you’ve experienced the wild world of high-pressure sales and are looking for a better way to reach your (uncapped) potential, we’re waiting for you.

“Here’s what it comes down to,” said Mark. “I’m in a similar career with the kind of schedule that I want to create, and with unlimited income activity. And for certain people who even want to give back a little more, the opportunity to move up into a leadership role in this 13-year-young company exists, and I’m proof of that.”

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