Radio Sales Today

RAB Sales Tips

It's tough out there

Attitude is contagious — good and bad. When there is uncertainty in the economy, local events such as fires, floods or other natural disasters, developing a "wait and see" attitude is easy. In my experience, there are three types of people selling today:

Those who are making things happen - Victors — These people accept difficulty as an opportunity to increase their knowledge impact and find new ways to serve their clients.

Those who watch things happen - Victims — These are the people with a negative attitude. Circumstances are not what they want them to be, so they move to "someday isle." Someday, I'll learn about digital. Someday, I'll learn about AI and eventually, things will get better, but man, it's tough out there, and there is nothing I can do about it.

Those who wonder what happened - Voyeurs — These people see the change around them but don't dare to get beyond their comfort zone, adopt new habits, learn new things and grow. They bury their heads in the sand and "hope" things improve.

This week, I had the honor and privilege of participating in a leadership meeting with a broadcast company that epitomizes what radio can be. Live, local and community-minded people who are passionate about what they are doing. I'm always inspired when I attend a sales meeting. We do great work, and it's fun to hear it firsthand.

Pluralistic ignorance is a term psychologists use to describe the phenomenon in which we're all alone. Our market is different. Nobody else has these issues. Wrong. We all struggle with similar problems, and when you pull a passionate group of people together doing similar work, you see it so clearly. In that spirit, I'm sharing my meeting recap because they are not the only company dealing with these issues, and the ideas and advice we came up with may benefit you.

Our clients need three things that we can provide:

Hope — They need to be assured that the future is bright.

Vision — They need to be shown what the future can be.

Plan — They must know how to make the future vision come to life.

We can provide that by getting close to them and understanding what they are trying to accomplish and what they are dealing with in terms of problems. The new RAB CNA system, found here, can help you get close.

Here are the ideas we discussed to move us forward with passion:

Schedule customer needs analysis meetings with the top 20% of your accounts before the end of the year. Use the system to uncover THEIR problems, challenges and the barriers to them enjoying more success.

Use the information learned in your diagnostic to create a plan to solve their problems.

Appreciation Fridays — Pick a day (regularly, like once a month) and call the top 20% of your clients to thank them. Thank them for their business, what they do for the community, how well run their business is — whatever it is. Find one or two things to compliment them about and thank them.

Look at the RAB co-op directory . Use the advanced search section and search for all the manufacturer co-op plans that pay 100% but expire at the end of the year. There are 350 plans based on this morning's search. Three billion dollars of co-op money goes unspent each year. Search for 100% plans and get more than your fair share.

What's the right next package? What's the correct pricing to get them to buy? How can we make more presentations? How can we get more proposals out there? Something's gotta stick. We need to work harder to see more people. It's a numbers game... That's the thought process trap we fall into as managers. The problem is all those problems are OUR problems. We must focus on client problems. This starts with getting closer to them than ever before. They want help, they need help and sometimes they want to vent. Focus on solving client problems, and almost magically, your problems will disappear.

Make it happen, watch it happen, or wonder what happened. The choice is yours. You have the power, the resources and the passion to make big things happen for your clients and your community.

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

Source: Jeff Schmidt, SVP of Professional Development, RAB