In ADdition to online content, Northwestern University, the founding chapter of Spoon, is the only school in the nation that publishes a quarterly print magazine. Unsurprisingly, operations run a little differently than they would at other chapters, and there are a few unconventional responsibilities required of the staff.

While lacking in glamor, perhaps no role is more integral than that of the Ad Sales Team. Without their business acumen and savvy negotiating skills, the magazine would have no funding with which to print. For years, they have lived in the shADows, but with this article, that all changes. This is their story.

Ad Sales

Photo by Alex Furuya

Ahoy Mates!

As the nation’s premier Spoon Ad Sales Team, we are always perfecting our craft and living on the edge. Our job is a bit unconventional, but we’ll do our best to explain.

Treasured Spoon ReADers, we liken our lifestyle to that of a sailor, and we’ve decided at long last to reveal seven tidbits of wisdom we’ve acquired on our travels.

1. The unity of the crew keeps the ship afloat.

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In the midst of a grand voyage, when endless blue is all that’s visible in every direction, one could go insane without some good company. Luckily, the Spoon Ad Sales team is mADe up of some of Northwestern’s very finest.

Should one of us grow weary or dejected, the other six are reADy to rise to the occasion. The support is unyielding, the jokes are relentless and the cohesiveness is the envy of the rest of the magazine staff. #DontchaWishYourSpoonTeamWasHotLikeAdSales

2. When the sailing gets tough, the sailors get tougher.

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With Ad Sales, the stakes are always high. We know the rest of the magazine relies on us to bring home the Benjamins. At times, the winds grow strong, the skies grow dark and the waves grow merciless, but when faced with rough conditions and fast-approaching deADlines, it’s all hands on deck to fill those allotted pages.

If you can’t handle the pressure, you’re not cut out for the Ad Sailor lifestyle.

3. Don’t be deterred by stormy seas.

sailors into that?

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The art of persuasion is at the heart of what we do, but just as fishermen can’t expect to haul in the same catch everyday, we know not every sales pitch will yield the same result. Some businesses cannot vanquish the sea monster that is corporate bureaucracies, and others don’t have a penny to spare beyond operational costs.

You have to gauge when to sail on to the next restaurant and when to throw down that anchor and make the sale. It does not make sense for everyone to buy an ad, but we want everyone to know about Spoon and appreciate the hard work that gets put into it.

Even when we hear “No,” we haven’t failed. As Spoon AmbassADors, we may have just hooked another reADer.

4. Self-doubt will steer the ship off course.

i'm the captain now

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Nothing spells disaster like a leaky boat. To be at your best selling ads, it’s imperative that you never let self-doubt seep in. You must believe that every business is an opportunity, that every pitch will captivate an audience and that no target is too audacious. With a well-rehearsed pitch and a firm handshake, you’ll exude confidence and self-doubt will be forced to walk the plank.

5. Always be on the lookout for treasure.


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Potentially buried behind every “Grand Opening” sign is hidden treasure. You’ve just got to do a little digging. New restaurants, stores and student groups looking to spreAD the word present great opportunities for us as advertisers. Once a relationship is developed, these clients can often be the gift that keeps on giving, buying ads from us issue after issue. #YouLoyal #WeDaBest

6. Never forget your mission.

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When we look in the mirror and see the Ad Sailor staring back at us, we never have to question the values we stand for. Determination, a passion for food and proper nutrition (#StopScurvy) guide all that we do and unite us as one. For some, selling advertisements would be an empty endeavor, but because we share a higher purpose, our sense of fulfillment is prolific.

7. Revel in the times of smooth sailing.

leonardo sailing

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Why did we choose a life at sea? We did so for those days when the wind is at our backs, the sun is beaming down on us, no pirates are around to hijack our voyage, and the whole crew feels at ease.

There are easier ways to contribute to Spoon and positions with more fanfare, but this team thrives because the affection amongst members is unsurpassed. So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into selling more ads.