Behind The Mask

When I’m in the field working with radio stations I often witness perfectly normal and intelligent radio sales people transform from who they are and turn into some kind of salesperson they think they are supposed to be when they’re about to sell; or worse, they avoid coming across as a salesperson at all.

It is my belief that people (salespeople), often get caught up in trying to be something they’re not when selling. The very best sales people in the world are people just being themselves. There is nothing more engaging than a genuine, authentic, and unadulterated human being.

The challenge is many people think they need to be different, or act different, or say something different, than their normal-self would say, in order to win the sale. Perhaps it’s because we’re not particularly fond of our normal self – but that’s your choice and not anyone else’s.

A prospective client knows when you are not being genuine; it doesn’t make you very likable and will instantly reduce the odds that you will be leaving with a sale or new relationship. They say 80% of communication is non-verbal; what this implies is the 20% of communication falling out of your mouth may not actually count for much at all, particularly if you’re not being yourself.

People are very good at sensing when something isn’t quite right, and they will say “No” to you even if they really don’t know why. People can sense desperation, fear, uncomfortable-ness, and the fact that you aren’t completely present in the room. You may be presenting the best you ever have, but if any of the things detailed above are present (even if you’re trying to hide them) you will lose the sale.

Most sales training available today was originally created decades ago and is simply being regurgitated over and over again, and every-now-and-then the training will be re-branded with a new name, new book title, by an up-and-coming sales trainer. For example I noticed a section in an RAB training manual that had “Copyright 1953” written on it - that’s 56 years ago.

Things have changed haven’t they? The business world certainly has, but radio and the people inside the industry – perhaps not so much.

Reality is, we’re all different, and if you can learn to create a sales style that honors who you are, and includes your personal values and strengths selling will become enjoyable, maybe even fun.

I promise this to you – simply be who you are, who you’re meant to be, stop looking for the special selling secret, and above all be proud of who you are the sales will come.

Sell Without Regret.
Michael Tate, President: ARIA Inc.

(Article printed from ARIA Connect - the online resource for radio sales professionals:

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