Radio Sales Today

RAB Sales Tips

Are We Clear? Crystal

There is a famous scene in the movie A Few Good Men where Tom Cruise is grilling Jack Nicholson on the witness stand. Cruise asks a question:

Nicholson: Are we clear?

Cruise: Yes

Nicholson: Are we clear?

Cruise: Crystal

Earlier this week while working with a member, they were having trouble logging in to RAB. I asked what they were trying to log in to, and they responded, “an iPhone with Safari.” In my head, I was asking what resource they were trying to log into,, Account Manager, training, etc. They had a different interpretation of the information being requested. It was my fault.

Whether we are training someone or conducting a Customer Needs Analysis, we need to ensure that our questions are clear – crystal – regarding the information we are seeking. This requires us to put ourselves in the other person’s position. Empathy is one of the three traits we teach that are required to be a success in sales. Empathy is different from sympathy in that we can feel what the other person is feeling.

If you want good answers, you have to ask good questions. Clearly, I need some help in this regard when it comes to solving technical issues. We all come at things from different perspectives, different knowledge levels and different understanding levels. As a result, we need to always ensure that our understanding of the client is “crystal.”

We do this by asking follow-up questions and clarifying questions. Some examples:

• Could you explain that further for me, please?

• What do you mean by that?

• Can you give me an example of what that means?

• What specifically are you trying to accomplish and why?

Clarifying questions give us the clarity we need to move forward. In my example with the member, I had to clarify my question and ask what specific RAB resource they were trying to access.

Clarity is crucial to our jobs because we develop a strategy based on our understanding of the situation. If our understanding is wrong, the strategy is wrong.

Are we clear?


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