Partnerships

Often the two biggest rewards of my job are seeing salespeople fulfill their potential and watching small local business owners get excited about advertising, often for the very first time.

Now of course making money is great and helping a station generate a big chunk of their regular annual revenue in new, additional billings in a few days is a satisfying feeling (yes folks, I know what working on commission is all about!); but there's so much more to it than that - and for sales to work really well, there has to be.

In fact, in my experience, the true motivation for exceeding your sales goals is rarely simply financial. Let's face it, nearly every aspect of the selling process is a challenge - from the sheer slog of building your prospect list; the nerve-wracking and often downright hostile world that is cold-calling; the touch and go of face to face presenting; and, of course, the requirement to close which, even for the best in the business brings with it a guaranteed rejection rate of at least 75%.

So why do we do it? Why do we put ourselves through this tortuous process? Is it simply because we can't earn the same money doing anything else? I doubt it. There is always an upside and in radio there are many. But one of the biggest has to be the sheer satisfaction and personal pride that comes from overcoming those odds; rising to that challenge, succeeding - and then going even further; sometimes even surprising ourselves.

Plus, if really done right, we get the extra satisfaction of helping to lead our clients through the same kind of process. What always strikes me in these situations is how similar are the problems faced by both radio salespeople and clients. To sell a well-built, long-term contract to a new client both the client and salesperson have to enter new, unfamiliar territory; both need and (sometimes) want to do business with the other; both have the same suspicions, both have been burned before; both simply want to do the best they can for themselves, their businesses, their families and their futures.

Bearing these things in mind has a very positive affect on your ability to close. If your offering is right and you have a genuine interest in the success of your client, then they SHOULD be advertising with you. What's more, they'll WANT to. And the ones that don't right now, you can say goodbye to quickly and courteously - (they may very well keep you in mind for a later date!).

To see confident sales people is great. To see radio clients, confident that they have regained control over their advertising and that they've formed a partnership that is going to work is a real joy.

Congratulations to all of you every time you get that feeling.