Radio Sales Today

RAB Sales Tips

Place your bets!

Mark Gordon leads the Missouri Broadcasters Association. Last week, I had the pleasure of spending the day with Mark and other association leaders thanks to Chris Winkle at the Kentucky Broadcasters Association. We spent the day at the Keen eland horse track in Lexington, Kentucky. The reason I mention Mark over the others is that for both of us, this was our first time at a horse track and our first time betting. For those of you who have been through some RAB training, we were in phase one of learning, Unconscious Incompetence — We didn't know what we didn't know. Because we were new to the scene, we had an instant affinity. You might say it was the blind leading the blind. We placed identical bets in the first race and won. We were elated, we felt like we knew what we were doing, and we were confident to continue betting.

Then it happened — We lost races two and three and both got discouraged and stopped betting and started enjoying the day — or so I thought. On our way out of the park, we both admitted to doing some additional betting later in the day with mixed success. Both of us had sought the counsel of others with us who were experienced at picking and betting the horses, which led to our success.

From this experience, I identified five lessons that the track taught me about success in sales and leadership:

You can't win if you don't get in the game — Frequently, they mentioned horses who were scratched from races. Those horses never won.

You don't have to win every race to be successful — Some of the most famous horses, Secretariat, Sea Biscuit and Seattle Slew, didn't win every race, but over their career they were successful.

Get as much knowledge as you can — For Mark and I, it was seeking counsel from mentors at the track, looking at the tip sheets, etc. The more knowledge you have, the better your odds at success.

Past performance is not a guarantee of future success — If you get careless because you're winning, it will cost you. The fundamentals are non-negotiable. You don't always have to be number one to win — In horse racing, the payouts also include second place (place) and third place (show), so being number one is not the only way to success.

There were 10 races on the day at Keeneland. Neither Mark nor I won every race. But at the end of the day combining the winnings and the losses, we came out ahead. For me, I was ahead by a whopping $14.32 cents. Smaller wins feel as good as big wins!

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, SVP of Professional Development, RAB