(By Loyd Ford) Americans live in a culture of speed and high or fast communication and those of us in the radio industry are largely talkers. Like all Americans, we want to be heard.
From time to time I talk about the great qualities of strong sellers in our business and I’m also often asked to identify the traits of strong on-air personalities on the radio, but rarely do I get to speak about the two areas where these two types of performers share high values and how these two key ingredients help top sellers sell more and elite on-air personalities drive higher ratings and engagement.
Today’s article will focus on the simple: Two skills all elite performers (in sales and on-air) value at the top of their game.
- Listening is always a top skill of these high performers. Top performing sellers are skilled listeners and highly rated personalities are focused on listening to leverage specific content around important discoveries in engagement with listeners, guests and others. So, while so many are focused on “their content,” these higher performers are well-prepared to speak. However, they key on listening more than they speak. If you work in either of these professions, you would do well to focus more on your listening skills than even your content in exchanges with your prospects, guests or listeners. Being a stronger listener yourself will give you a potentially unbelievable edge.
- Peak performers cultivate storytelling skill. They value stories and how to use them effectively. No matter if you find them in the sales arena or in a high performing morning show, you’ll often find that your top talent is focused on developing their story and stories that help them entertain and inform. These stories help sellers support important points that fit well with what sellers have already heard from their prospects and often help close their sales. In pure entertainment on air or in podcasting or video, the vulnerable stories told by on-air talent helps support deeper engagement and both occasions of listening and longer listening patterns (grabbing an extra few minutes from busy listeners today).
In recruiting talent, I always recommend looking for people who show strong respect for listening skills in their behavior and those who use stories to support their points in conversation. If you are looking to further your career in sales, on-air or even other aspects of this business, these are two almost hidden keys that can help you rise to the top of your field. They won’t just help you sell more or have higher ratings. These skills will help you dominate.
The ability to tell your story or your company story rapidly with emotional connection in an entertaining way today is highly valuable. In the old days of Hollywood people talked about an actor in terms of their acting ability. While that still happens today, more often than not experts will talk about an actor or actress and their ability to react to other actors. That takes keen listening skills and we can all get better at that skill in today’s overly busy business world.
Top performers are always looking for an edge. Focus on these two key ingredients and sharpen your skills with both to find that you have elevated your game to a whole new next level.
Loyd Ford consults radio stations, coaches personalities, and provides behavioral and strategic programming to radio with RPC. Reach him anytime. 864.448.4169 or [email protected]