Follow the Leader

In order to build and maintain a great radio advertising sales team you need quite a few assets, not the least of which is you.

If you a sales manager you must lead by example, amazing example. Your positivity and passion are two vital elements in your sales team's daily and ongoing morale.

The truth is that selling isn't for the faint of heart and that good attitude is vital to individual and group selling success. So you need to get with it. You must be the catalyst of the positive mind-set, power, and posture of your team. If they are depressed in any way, you need to take a look at yourself first.

You must be the sales leader.

Enthusiasm is contagious but so is misery, so make sure that what you carry around with you is worth catching. Never manage down, always manage up.

As a sales manager you must supply a good sales methodology for your sales team to utilize. If inadequate policies, procedures, or sales tools are in place, they will sidetrack your sales team, and as a result your people will never realize their full potential. Your principal job as a sales manager is to make sure all the barriers to their success are broken down and washed away.

Tell your sales team that "all the problems belong to you".

If they have a production issue or a traffic challenge - tell them to put it in writing and pass it to you. Apart from the obvious benefits, as a manager you can always solve these concerns more rapidly and easily than they ever could, and by doing so you will increase their selling time considerably.

Understand, when you clear away cumbersome policy and departmental obstacles for your team, you're making your entire team more productive and competent.

Don't ever take for granted that your sales people know how to sell your radio station and those advertising benefits that seem obvious to you. This is one of the greatest mistakes sales managers make.

Do you know what your sales staff are saying to advertising prospects when they are out on the street? Even if you think you do - can you be sure?
Design an effective working method and policy. Lay out your desired sales process step-by-step, overlaying the appropriate tactics and strategies. Set all of this into a formal presentation they can use as both a guide and a constant coach. You'll be amazed at the results before you are halfway through.

Always be coaching. Salespeople get a little lazy from time to time and shortcut their sales processes, usually at the expense of effectiveness. It's only human. By delivering constant training you will keep your team in tune.

And finally, develop a unique selling proposition for your team.

It's likely that there won't be anything available at your station because radio as an industry has a tendency to promote itself to only one client - the listener. But we have two clients we should be talking to, and in two distinct and different ways.

Find the most powerful asset you have, massage it into a business-to-business USP, and begin building the sales brand you dream of. Rally your sales team around that brand and go for it.

Sell without regret.

Michael Tate