Category Archives: Sales

The Dreaded “Got-a-minute?” Meeting

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

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Chris Lytle

By: Chris Lytle, Content Developer
InstantSalesTraining.com

Special for MAB members:

Chris is giving away his “Supercharged Sales Management” video. An Australian consultancy commissioned it for a video keynote a couple of years ago. Take a look at it here

How long is a “Got-a-minute?” meeting in your office? I’m guessing it’s more than a minute.

Shoot, I remember a “Got-a-second?” meeting that lasted an hour and a half!

Salespeople ask you for a minute whenever they have a fire for you to put out for them.

Could it be that you’ve trained salespeople you’re willing to do their firefighting for them.

Why not? After all, you know more than they do and you’re their boss.

Here’s why not.

Your real job is developing your salespeople so they can do their jobs better.

Yes, developing people takes a lot more time on the front end. As a sales manager, the quick and easy thing for you to do is this:

• Give people the answers to their questions.
• Solve their problems for them.
• Put out the fire.

Then, move on to your next “Got-a-minute?” meeting.

This can go on all day.

And it probably will unless you change your approach.

Developing people starts with your willingness to coach.

Chris Lytle’s Critical Rule of Coaching is to ask at least seven questions before you give an answer.

“But, Chris, I don’t have the time to ask seven questions,” you say. “There are salespeople lined up at my door waiting for me to fix things for them.”

You have to make the time.

Coaching builds loyalty. To ask seven questions, you have to quiet your mind and listen to people.

When people feel listened to and not judged, they become more confident and committed.

Because people rarely resist their own ideas.

And you cannot possibly ask seven questions in a row unless you really are listening.

“You can’t influence someone’s thinking until you know what they’re thinking.” The late Norm Goldsmith said this to our Leadership Institute participants every session.

You won’t know what someone on your sales team is thinking until you ask.

“Got-a-minute?”

That’s your signal that you have an opportunity to develop someone.

Reprinted by permission

GLBC Sales Sessions Preview

David Rich
David Rich

This year at GLBC, we are proud to welcome David Rich to present a 2-part sales learning session.

David Rich is a nationally known professional speaker and best selling author of “How to Stay Motivated on a Daily Basis” and “How to Click with Everyone Every Time.” He has earned the speaking industry’s highest designation and has presented to over one million people in 48 states and 4 countries. David has been speaking to the advertising community for over 25 years and is best known for cutting edge ideas on selling and branding.

Contagious Selling: How to Sell Profitably in a Media Fragmented World 
Wednesday, March 8, 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (Part 1)
2:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Part 2)

Things are not the way they used to be. Customers are more demanding, less loyal, have more choices, and the window to connect with them is smaller than ever. Gimmicks and old worn out sales tactics don’t work in this highly media fragmented world. The best (and only) way to be successful selling to a 21st century customer is to NOT sell at all. You should be focused on building a relationship rather than merely closing a sale. When two people want to do business together, the details will be worked out. But, if two people don’t want to do business, there is nothing in the details that will make it happen. In short, your job is to make people WANT to do business with you. You do this by being “contagious” and by demonstrating ROI. In this industry specific, highly thought provoking, and inspirational session, you will learn:

  • How selling is more personal than ever before.
  • The 3 things that make someone “contagious.”
  • How the market-place has changed and why clients are less loyal.
  • The 10 things today’s buyers are taught and how to respond.
  • How to defuse price and budget objections.
  • How to talk and demonstrate ROI.

Not registered yet for GLBC? Online registration is now closed, but on-site registration will be available Tuesday and Wednesday, March 7-8. www.GLBConference.com

40 Years Later Sales Managers Are Still Making This Silly Mistake

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

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Chris Lytle

By: Chris Lytle, Content Developer
InstantSalesTraining.com

Special for MAB members:

Chris is giving away his “Supercharged Sales Management” video. An Australian consultancy commissioned it for a video keynote a couple of years ago. Take a look at it here

As a young sales manager, I actually said this in a sales meeting: “We have a new salesperson starting next week. Her name is Andrea. I need all of you to give up five accounts from your lists so I can create a new list for her.”

Nobody complained. They smiled knowingly and gave up the accounts they found impossible to sell:

  • The mean ones
  • The small ones
  • The slow paying ones
  • The ones who’d had a “bad experience” with our station

And our brand new hire began her Radio career with an account list that our veterans couldn’t survive on The Charles Darwin Account List.

In this free Webinar. I describe exactly how I learned to get salespeople to willingly pare down their account lists and thrive.

Plus, I reduced turnover by having accounts with real potential to give to the new salesperson.

This is mission critical “stuff.”

Don’t miss it.

And please let me know what you think: Chris.lytle@InstantSalesTraining.com

Reprinted by permission

Do You Believe?

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Jim MathisBy: Jim Mathis, IPCS, CSP, MDiv
J&L Mathis Group, Inc.
www.jimmathis.com

To Those Who Say,
“It Can’t Be Done”

“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.” -Peter Drucker

First Timer?
I saw an episode of “Family Feud” the other night and one of the answers the audience gave was “Old School Pager.” Ten years ago, almost all business executives had to carry a pager or cell phone to take calls while out of the office. At that time, you may have even had a Palm Pilot or other Personal Data Assistant (PDA) to take notes and keep your calendar. If you listened to music you carried an iPod as well.

Then the world changed… In the spring of 2007, Apple introduced a device that combined the cell phone, the PDA, the pager and the iPod into one single device. They even included Internet access so you could research while on the go. We know it today as the first iPhone. There was much excitement around the announcement that Steve Jobs made in the public unveiling… but, there was plenty of skepticism, too.

“No one’s ever done this before!”

“People won’t carry all this information in one place…it’s too confusing!”

“Why don’t they leave my phone alone?”

and… “What if it fails to catch on with the public?”

Scott Stissel wrote, “They say that Apple Innovator and Pixar founder Steve Jobs would only become more emboldened when people told him that something couldn’t be done.”

This reminds me of a friend that I worked with in 1995 who was discussing our organization having a website to publicize our location and business. “I think we need to wait a few years to see if the Internet will catch on. It may pass away like CB radios!” It sounds funny today, but if you are old enough, you remember the push back the doubting public had to the Internet and business websites back then.

Just 10 years ago, the idea of small businesses and even individuals having their own sites on the Internet were as unheard of as WiFi in your house, affordable GPS on a phone, streaming movies and Bluetooth earpieces. Look at the movie, “Back to the Future,” and you will see how people relate to progress in a span of just 30 years.

Remember when Marty McFly is told by his grandmother in 1955 that nobody has more than one TV?

It Can’t Work!
I love the success stories that begin with someone saying, “We’ve never done it that way before!” Here are a few examples of people who defied negative public opinion and dared to do something never thought of previously:

  • J.K. Rowling became the world’s best-selling children’s author, despite living on benefits as a single mother. Her manuscript for Harry Potter was rejected by several publishers before someone took a chance on it.
  • Christopher Columbus believed that the fastest way to the East was sailing West.  He campaigned before King Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain to finance his idea. Instead of India, he opened the door to the Western Hemisphere.
  • Jesse Owens experienced racial discrimination in the U.S. but became a hero at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. By winning Olympic gold in the 100m, Owens helped demolish the myth of Hitler’s Aryan superiority theory.
  • Kia Silverbrook is an Australian who invented digital music synthesis, digital video, digital printing, computer graphics, liquid crystal displays, 3D printing, image processing, DNA analysis, cryptography, nanotechnology, semiconductor fabrication and integrated circuitry. He is still alive and creating.
  • Philo Farnsworth invented the “image dissector” in 1927. Today we call his invention, “television.” There is at least one in every home, sports bar and hospital room.
  • Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was a Union Colonel in the American Civil War.  He led a bayonet charge against an overwhelming force when his men ran out of ammunition at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. His brash decision was successful and he received the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Nolan Bushnell said, “Everybody believes in innovation until they see it. Then they think, ‘Oh, no; that’ll never work. It’s too different.’” Don’t let anyone tell you that your idea is impossible if they haven’t tried it themselves. Naysayers are experts in negative criticism. They most often desire to remain in their comfort zones.

Comfort zones never allow for growth or creativity.

Last year I spoke with my good friend and mentor, Joe Bonura, who has always been supportive of me. He presses me to move forward and take risks. One of his favorite sayings is, “You will succeed in direct proportion to your willingness to come out of your comfort zone.” The two of us discussed a marketing idea that almost nobody is attempting in our field.

He challenged me to contact corporations with a different method of increasing their income than they had previously attempted. I had tried this successfully several years ago, but not as an introduction to a new client. Do you want to know a quick way of upsetting someone’s comfort zone? Try pitching an unheard of idea to a person who has been in their job for more than five years.

Are You a Believer?
It is extremely difficult to try something that no one has ever attempted before. President John F. Kennedy challenged the U.S. to land a man on the moon and bring him back safely by the end of the 1960s. While we look back on the “Space Race” and think it was very easily won, it was a daunting task.

The Soviet Union had already put Yuri Gagarin in orbit when Kennedy made this challenge in 1961. The U.S. had only sent Alan Shepherd up and down for 15 minutes.  Our space program was lagging far behind the Russians. The thought of taking a person to another world, landing him on it, launching again and coming home safely was thought to be unsurmountable in just under eight years.  But, the challenge was accepted and accomplished.

The problem you face from the receiving perspective is, “Will you think outside of your own box for a change?” Imagine if you worked at NASA and you heard Kennedy’s words for the first time… It’s your job to make this idea a reality. How would you have responded? Peter Drucker said, “Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.”

How do you react when someone “pitches” a new idea to you that requires doing your job different? How open are you to change and innovation in your life and career?

The real heroes are the people who accept an idea, whether they get the credit or not.

Risk-takers are often people who believe in the unknown because they know things haven’t been successful doing it the same way in the past, i.e., those who trained Jesse Owens… the officers and soldiers who charged down the hill with Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain… the publisher who worked with J.K. Rowling. King Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain believed in Christopher Columbus enough to finance three ships and crew. The investors who first believed in Kia Silverbrook and the “angels” who backed Philo Farnsworth were believers.

The U.S. hockey team faced long odds in the 1980 Winter Olympics. They were outexperienced by practically every team they faced. Somehow they made the medal rounds. In a deciding game against the Russians, they won the match before millions viewing on television. Al Michaels, sportscaster for ABC, was beside himself as the clock ran out with the team ahead. As the excited crowd in Lake Placid shouted, “USA! USA! USA!” Michaels screamed, “Do you believe in miracles??? YES!”

I was in Canada immediately after the Canadian Olympic hockey team defeated the USA at Whistler in 2010. As I deplaned in Calgary, the hockey team had just landed and thousands of excited Canadians were waiting in the terminal to greet their heroes of the previous night’s victory. They believed all along in their team.

The question is not always whether you will dare to do something different. The question is whether you will believe and support those who do, or turn and run. It requires a strong will and a belief in something greater than yourself. It requires being uncomfortable to make your results different and better.

As Joe said to me, “Jim, what’s the definition of doing the same thing over and over and getting no measurable results? Crazy!”

So, are you a believer, a risk taker or just crazy?

Permission is granted to reprint this article provided the following paragraph is included in full:

Jim Mathis, IPCS, CSP, MDiv. is The Reinvention PRO™, an International Platform Certified Speaker, Certified Speaking Professional and best-selling author of Reinvention Made Easy: Change Your Strategy, Change Your Results. To subscribe to his free professional development newsletter, please send an email to: subscribe@jimmathis.com with the word SUBSCRIBE in the subject. An electronic copy will be sent out to you every month. For more information on how Jim and his programs can benefit your organization or group, please call 888-688-0220, or visit his web site: www.jimmathis.com. © 2017 J&L Mathis Group, Inc.

Sales Managers: You Really Want to be Part of This (FREE WEBINAR)

mab-lytleBecause your real job is getting your salespeople to do their jobs better.

Register NOW for The Coaching Imperative here.
When:  December 21, 2016 1:00 p.m. EST

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Throughout 2016, Chris Lytle from Instant Sales Training, has brought you and your sales team valuable information during these Webinars:

  • Preventing and Overcoming Broadcast Sales’ Toughest Objections.
  • Scarce Talent: Recruiting and Hiring the Best Salespeople.
  • How to “Talk” Advertising with your Prospects and Customers Today.

“The Coaching Imperative” is the last in a series of four broadcast-specific sales management webinars personally conducted by Chris Lytle.

Chris Lytle
Chris Lytle

Here are a few of the things you will learn during this fast-paced, highly-detailed FREE program:

  • How to determine when to coach and when to conduct one-on-one training.
  • What today’s top business coaches are teaching their “players.”
  • Why you need to stop giving answers and solving problems and start asking more questions.
  • Chris Lytle’s #1 rule of coaching.
  • Plug and play: 3 coaching models you can use immediately after the session.
  • Why enjoying your job is crucial to sales success.
  • The very best all-purpose coaching question.

All webinars are being recorded and archived for subscribers.

Chris Lytle is a best-selling author and well-travelled professional speaker.  His promise to you is a bold one:  his programs contain more usable information per minute than any other learning event.

Save the date.  Let him prove it.

It’s Time To Go All-In With Digital Revenue: 5 To-Do Items For 2017

Paul JacobsBy: Paul Jacobs, President
jacapps, Bingham Farms, MI

It seems that virtually every day, someone writes a blog post or gives a speech outlining what radio needs to do to ward off threats that are off on the horizon. Radio faces many challenges, and it’s hard to come up with clear solutions that can be executed at the local level.

You’re not going to conjure up a competitive option to Spotify, nor are you in a position to negotiate with the car companies to ensure that radio will maintain its prime spot in the dashboard.

There’s a lot that’s out of your control.

But digital revenue is a significant opportunity for the radio business that is tangible and has a low barrier of entry. Every station can participate whether you’re in a big market or in an unrated one. On top of that, the shift of local dollars to digital is happening quickly and local radio stations can be in position to capitalize on it.

Whenever I visit with a new sales staff, I start the meeting with a simple question:

“How many of you would like to make more money this year than last year?”

It’s a loaded question, and of course, every single hand in the room goes straight up. These are salespeople and we all know what motivates them. But I then follow it up with a simple statement that stops the room dead:

“Then stop selling radio.”

Before I give them a chance to start pushing back, I then explain the obvious: radio revenue is flat, and there’s no projection of substantial growth on the near-term horizon.

So, if a radio station wants to grow its revenue, the only solution is to diversify the approach and go all-in to re-structure the sales effort. This translates to instituting a higher level of sales expertise, as well as digital product development in order to take advantage of where local dollars are heading.

BIA/Kelsey just released their local revenue forecast and you can sum it up in one word: DIGITAL.

Here’s how they start off the report:

If there was any doubt that the future of local advertising is digital, the latest local ad revenue forecast from BIA/Kelsey confirms that revenue from local-focused online ads will exceed that of traditional ads aimed at local audiences by 2018.

Please note that in the pie chart below, we aren’t talking about national data – this is where local dollars are going – the dollars that your sales team fights for every day. And if their main focus is on traditional spot business without a strong digital effort, then sadly, it’s not a fair fight.

jacobs-111516

Here are three key points from the study:

  • Advertising in local traditional media is forecast to fall 2.4% from 2016 to 2017
  • During this same time period, local digital advertising, including mobile, will increase by 13.5%
  • And while radio is taking a nice 9.6% of local over-the-air revenue, it’s digital haul is less than 1%

Click here for the rest of the study.

With this information in hand, here are five things to consider implementing in order to take advantage of the digital shifting of dollars:

1. It starts at the top – As someone who owns a mobile company, I have learned that a digital enterprise works very differently from a traditional business like broadcast radio. It has different rules, language, sensibility and culture.

In order to compete in this arena, your digital program can’t be an add-on feature. It requires commitment from top management of the station (or the company). Sales managers either need to become well-versed in the digital space or a Digital Sales Manager – possibly someone from outside of the radio industry – should be brought in. And it requires its own goals and P&L in order to provide accountability throughout the organization.

2. Create a digital sales culture – Clients who make decisions about digital media work by different rules and metrics than traditional media buyers. They use different language and assess value using different metrics. In many cases, it’s not even the traditional spot media buyer your AE is used to pitching. Nielsen doesn’t have currency in this world. While radio focuses on reach and frequency, the digital scorecard is based on measurable ROI. Traditional radio salespeople aspire to deliver hundreds of thousands of listeners in the hope that some of them respond to an ad. In the digital space, hundreds of listeners that take the desired action may be considered a success.

This culture shift requires a review of the way sales commissions and bonuses are paid, leading to the achievement of real digital revenue goals in order to increase compensation.

3. Create digital products – Making banners available for sales does not constitute a comprehensive digital strategy. They are weak advertisements that have the lowest value to clients. In order to generate significant digital dollars, we encourage you to invest in the creation of digital products. These are programs outside of your normal broadcast efforts.

For example, there is a major surge of interest in podcasting, and revenue has followed. We are working with many different clients on the creation of a local podcast strategy and are available to speak with you. There are many different approaches that we have studied and we have an in-house expert – Seth Resler – here to help.

It is also time to truly take advantage of the mobile revolution. BIA/Kelsey finds that mobile revenue has surpassed radio, yet most radio stations have an app. The problem is, too many stations are trying to sell mobile like it’s radio, with banners and ad insertions instead of by developing true digital opportunities in their apps.

Mobile presents so many other opportunities for radio. Stations should consider creating local guides (think Yelp). Hometown bar or restaurant guides with local listings create a scalable revenue opportunity through sponsorships and participation fees. Your mobile app should be able to accommodate multiple sponsorship and content enhancement opportunities that can be monetized.

jacapps has been in the app business for over eight years. We understand this space and no matter if we’ve developed your app or not, let’s get on the phone and discuss the multitude of ways your station can generate mobile revenue.

4. Change the scorecard – Historically, the only currency that truly matters in radio is audience ratings. It’s always been that way and not a whole lot has changed. Advertising revenue is dependent on ratings performance, so when asked to promote a stream or a mobile app, many programmers understandably balk. The success of their careers is based on ratings, not clicks. The same holds true for most air personalities, and by association, GMs and Sales Managers. I haven’t spoken to too many of our clients who enthusiastically share the number of podcast or mobile app downloads they have, or their streaming ranking on ComScore.

Realizing that radio cannot abandon its major source of revenue and the ratings results that pay the bills, it is still logical that in order to focus on growth, the definition of success needs to expand and evolve. Bonuses need to be broadened to reflect digital engagement and growth. Sales goals need to encompass all potential revenue channels. Research studies must include questions about digital and not just the music styles a station “owns” or its perceptions among the other stations on the dial.

The way radio does business is deeply entrenched. But the foundation that scales to produce revenue is shifting. A mindset change in radio won’t be immediate, but it is imperative in order to maximize this opportunity.

5. Modify job descriptions – Hiring salespeople with great contacts among traditional media buyers is no longer sufficient. Yes, these relationships are important, but marketing has devolved into a commodity-based relationship. Programmatic buying is removing the importance of selling, connections and relationships. And spot radio revenue is flat. The case for change writes itself.

In 2017, it’s time to review all job descriptions, especially on the sales side of the building. We are living in a digital world and salespeople who refuse to adapt will eventually go the way of the dinosaur – or the buggy whip maker. The status quo will cost your station revenue growth opportunities.

But it doesn’t end in the cubicles. Programmers and GMs that don’t understand or grasp the potential of digital also minimize the opportunity.

Job descriptions at all levels of the operation require reassessment. This is about changing a long-standing culture built around traditional radio. That’s the industry I joined back in the 1970s (yes, the ‘70s). But that world has changed and it’s necessary to think differently when hiring and setting expectations. There’s no going back.

This shouldn’t be taken as another think piece on what radio should do. It’s about what radio must do. If your station or company is already down this path, go all-in. If you haven’t, get started yesterday. This is where the dollars are moving and where growth lies. It’s not a theory. It’s not a bet. It’s reality.

I am available to speak with you about this in greater detail to identify ways your operation can take advantage of this opportunity. I hope 2016 was a successful year for you and your station and look forward to even greater success in the new year.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

FREE Chris Lytle Sales Webinar for MAB Members

mab-lytle

“You don’t motivate salespeople to be successful. You get them to be successful so they become motivated.” -Chris Lytle

Further develop your successful sales team by having them attend the Instant Sales Training Webinar:  How to “Talk Advertising” With Your Prospects and Customers Now.

When:  Wednesday, November 16, 2016 at 1 p.m. EST

Invite your copywriters and production people, too.

Register HERE

lytle_275
Chris Lytle

Here’s why this program is important:  Everybody has an opinion about advertising. But, people who sell broadcast advertising need a philosophy of advertising.

Not just an opinion.

Face it.  Most of your salespeople don’t have degrees in advertising or marketing.

That’s troublesome.

This Webinar bridges that learning gap quickly. It’s a fast-paced, highly-detailed session.

Here are a few of the takeaways:

  • Why salespeople need to “talk advertising” and not just rates and ratings.
  • Two of the best advertising “zingers” to share right away.
  • What you say when a client says, “Nobody mentioned my ad.”
  • How to get consumers to mention their ads.
  • Five uplifting concepts to share with your customers.
  • What you need to learn from these seven “old school” advertising masters.

Chris Lytle is a best-selling author and well-travelled professional speaker.

His promise to you is a bold one: His programs contain more usable information per minute than any other learning event.

Save the date. Let him prove it.

Using Webinars to Generate Sales Leads for Your Radio Station

Seth Resler
Seth Resler

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

I often listen to radio stations talk about pulling all of their digital tools together into a single coherent plan using a Content Marketing strategy. But Content Marketing can be effective on the sales side of the building, too, and can be a catalyst for generating new business.

For example, Content Marketing can be a powerful tool for generating sales leads and building your station’s marketing credibility. By publishing content that interests potential advertisers, radio stations can attract more business. This short video explains how the concept works:


Content Marketing with Webinars

One of the best ways to employ Content Marketing for lead generation is through the use of webinars. The concept is simple: When advertisers, marketers and clients register for a webinar, you capture their email address. You can then engage them in a lead nurturing email campaign, periodically sending them other useful and relevant content. This keeps your radio station top of mind, so when they are ready to advertise, they are more likely to seek you out.

We use this technique at Jacobs Media all the time. In fact, webinars have become our top method of capturing email addresses. Just last week, I hosted a webinar on How to Use Webinars to Generate Sales leads (“How meta!”). You can watch the recording here.

For more assistance on digital or social media, contact MAB Member Services at mab@michmab.com or 1-800-968-7622.

It’s Another Fine Mess

dicktaylorEditor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

By:  Dick Taylor,  CRMC/CDMC
Dick Taylor Blog
https://dicktaylorblog.com/

laurel__hardy_275“Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into.” Variations of this line were always a part of Laurel and Hardy movies. In fact, the pair made a film in 1930 with the title “Another Fine Mess.”

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about things I had learned at the Radio Show 2016 in Nashville and one of those things was about “sharing your messes” during a presentation I attended given by John Bates. What I will share today are some of the points John made amplified by my own personal experiences in the classroom and on the job.

3 Ways to Inspire & Connect

John said there are three ways to inspire and connect with people or an audience. Logic is not one of them. We are emotional creatures and to engage people you first need to touch them emotionally. I know from my sales training from the Wizard of Ads – Roy H. Williams – that you first must touch a person’s heart before you will win their mind and their wallet to buy whatever it is you’re selling.

John next said our human eyes are unique. We are the only living creature that has white in our eyes. We always know where a person is looking (or not looking). Our eyes enable us to better cooperate with one another.

Our conspicuous eyes mean we can immediately sense authenticity when dealing with others.

Your Message is Your Mess

I don’t know about you, but over my career I’ve learned that success teaches you very little. It’s our screw-ups that are the great teacher of life’s lessons.

When things are going great, the natural impulse is to not do anything to screw it up.

Likewise, when teaching another person, only sharing your successes imparts very little knowledge. However, when you share the things that went wrong and how you learned from these little disasters and how you changed course to not have something like that happen again, real knowledge is shared.

Les Brown puts it this way: “People don’t connect with your successes; they connect with your messes.”

Life’s real knowledge message is in your mess.

Let Me Tell You about the Time I Screwed-Up

My students tell me how impactful my sales lectures are when they contain stories about the things I did wrong, learned from and grew from, by messing it all up.

Wow, they say, a teacher that doesn’t know it all, that makes mistakes and became a better person through failure. It lets them know that failure isn’t fatal and can provide some benefits.

I vividly remember the time a new hotel came to town and I went in to see the new manager spewing facts and figures a mile a minute. I had thoroughly prepared for the meeting and I was there dumping all of my prep on his head. The only problem was, I had not touched this new manager on a emotional level and I never asked him what he wanted to achieve. I would be the only media property to not be on the initial buy.

I went back to see the new manager, hat-in-hand, to find out what I did wrong. I’m grateful that he would share with me why I wasn’t bought. Turns out, I was such a fast-talker he figured me to be the conman in the group of media sales people who had initially come to call on him. What he quickly learned was, I knew my stuff and that we should work closely together going forward. It was my first impression that needed working on, he would tell me.

I would learn that when you meet someone for the first time, you need to not “spill all your candy at the door” but shut-up and listen first. Establish common ground and build rapport on which a solid relationship can be built upon.

Losing that sale taught me a valuable lesson that would greatly improve my new radio sales career.

Make a Difference

So don’t be afraid to share yourself with others. Let them in and show them you’re human.

My sales mantra when calling on a new business was always make a friend. People buy from people they know and like. They buy from their friends.

People who listen to the customer, define how success will be measured and make a difference will never have to worry about making a sale.

Reprinted by permission.

Dick Taylor has been “Radio Guy” all his life and is currently a professor of broadcasting at the School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  Dick shares his thoughts on radio and media frequenty at https://dicktaylorblog.com.

Free Webinar: How to Use Webinars to Generate Sales Leads for Your Station

jacobsWhen:  This Thursday, October 20, 2:00pm ET

Register here.

Our friends at Jacobs Media are offering a FREE webinar about…..webinars and how they can be powerful tools when generating leads for your station’s sales team. In this webinar, Jacobs’ Digital Dot Connector, Seth Resler, will show you how to use webinars to attract potential clients.

You will learn:

  • What webinar topics generate the best leads
  • How to promote your webinar
  • What software you need to turn your webinars into leads
  • How to follow up on webinar leads

Who Should Attend: Radio station General Managers, Sales Managers, Account Executives and Webmasters.