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How long will this last?

Ask most people what the first word is that comes to mind when you say salesperson, and you will have no trouble understanding why our profession can sometimes feel so difficult. Words like slimy, sleazy, pushy, aggressive and liar top the list. This is disconcerting and frustrating. We can and must do better at building the reputation of what it means to be a salesperson.

This week, I heard from one of my Kentucky readers, John Roberts, CEO of an advertising agency, Creative Media of Kentucky. John was responding to the story we shared from CES, where a seller would not acknowledge, let alone recommend, that we visit one of his competitors. John writes:

"Great article! Now, sitting in 'agency land,' we hear daily from stations, no matter what the media, 'Do you have a buy?' 'Why was MY budget cut?' etc. It is NEVER about the client and whether they were selling widgets or how they have improved the stations' format.  

  It’s not a good look surveying the playing field, as the 'Me, Me, Me's' outweigh the 'Here's an idea that I think will help the client' salesmen."

Sadly, John's perception is the reality for many media buyers. In a recent blog by marketing guru Seth Godin, he lays out eight marketing maxims. I'll save you the trouble of looking it up – a maxim is a short, pithy statement expressing a general truth or rule of conduct. Here are Seth's eight maxims:

Trust is worth more than attention.

Helping people get to where they seek to go is more effective than hustling people to persuade them to go where you're going.

Choose your customers, choose your future.

Tell ten people. If they don't tell the others, make a better product.

Creating the conditions for the word to spread is the job of the marketer.

Customer service is free.

"You'll pay a lot but get more than you paid for" is a useful motto.

Act like people are watching. They are.

During our Radio Sales Essentials class (the next class is coming up next week on Tuesday; click here to register), we take a back-to-basics approach to the RAB Seven Steps to Selling Success. This system is rooted in trust, focus and serving the customer. One of our mantras is: "To identify and then satisfy the customer needs and profitably from the customer's point of view." We encourage people to stop selling and start serving. If you focus on your customers' needs and solve their problems, your problems will fade away.

Sales is a repeatable process. If you follow the recipe in the order and sequence, with the right mindset, anything is possible. We'd love to have you join us on Tuesday. Please sign up here:Sales Essentials 2/13/24.

Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at Jeff.Schmidt@rab.com. You can all so connect with him on X and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, SVP of Professional Development