Radio Sales Today

RAB Sales Tips

Shut Up and Listen

On Wednesday, I had the honor and pleasure of moderating a fantastic panel of broadcasters at the Texas Association of Broadcasters (TAB) convention in Austin, Texas.

Our topic was how to hold your sellers accountable without holding them hostage. We’ll dig into some of the great takeaways next week. Today, we’ll share a short reminder about one of the principles we teach at RAB: The one asking the questions controls the conversation.

We teach this in relation to the Customer Needs Analysis. From my vantage point on the stage at TAB, all I had to do was shut up and listen.

It’s quite magical that when you want to cover a variety of topics how questions can keep the focus on the current topic or shift the focus in a new direction. Wherever you want to go, the person asking the questions controls the conversation. This is not intuitive, because we think the person talking is in control. Really, it’s not about control, it’s about making sure you stay focused and on the right topics for the purpose of the meeting.

With clients and prospects, our goal in a Customer Needs Analysis is to cover a wide range of topics in a relatively short period of time. In short, we want to find the pain or the problems we can solve. We don’t accomplish this by talking. We accomplish it by asking questions and focusing the discussion in key areas then listening – really listening.

If our meetings aren’t as productive or giving us enough information, maybe it’s because we are talking too much and not listening enough. Remember: The one asking questions controls the conversation.

Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at You can also connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB