Radio Sales Today

RAB Sales Tips

Lessons from a Bird Brain…

Living in Wisconsin, one of the best times of the year is spring. Spring represents new beginnings, rebirth and leaving the ugly days of winter behind. Metaphorically, it feels like we are in the spring of the COVID-19 crisis. There are signs of new life, and indications that the ugliness may be moving to the rear-view mirror.

During my morning walk, I noticed a bird had built a home under our second level deck. What I found most interesting is that there were no inhabitants of this newly constructed abode. With no technology, and a minimalist approach, this bird had created a perfect home for the coming eggs. In other words, the bird, not needing this space now, was preparing for the future.

Wondering, are we as smart as a bird when it comes to preparing for the future? This can take many turns, of course, personally and professionally, but we’ll focus on the professional here.

Gordon Borrell was a speaker in a recent free-for-members live presentation, Are You Ready for the Grand Reopening? (click on the title to watch on demand). One of the things Gordon shared is that radio will be prominent as businesses reopen and start aggressively marketing.

The commonality? Preparation. Are you prepared? Preparation requires thinking, planning and assembling the necessary resources to deploy when the situation calls for them. One major difference between top performers and moderate performers in sales is the way they prepare to do their jobs. Pre-meeting planning is essential for preparation. Spend time thinking about the prospect or the client, do research about the business, about the category and develop questions to ask yourself about the meeting. Mack Hanan, in his book: If You Don’t Have A Plan, Stay In The Car, writes about the importance of pre-meeting planning.

Here are some questions to ask yourself, to get you started, before your next meeting:

1. At what stage in the process (7 Steps) am I with this prospect/client?

2. Have I given the customer a pre-meeting assignment or agenda?

3. If this meeting is to be successful, what will need to happen?

4. What business intelligence can I provide for this client?

Spending time thinking about your meeting and asking some questions will not only prepare you for the meeting, but it will set you apart. It will put you in the top 8% of sellers in terms of preparation.

By the way, the number one complaint of buyers in survey after survey regarding salespeople, is lack of preparation. Thinking and planning are easy solutions.

Jeff Schmidt is SVP-Professional Development at the Radio Advertising Bureau. You can reach Jeff at or follow him on social media: Twitter and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB