(By Loyd Ford) So, let’s start with this: No one can predict the future. And that doesn’t mean you cannot put yourself in position to benefit from whatever is coming next. So, hang on and let’s discover why putting yourself in the right position might be much better than any prediction of what is next.
I always laugh a bit when I see the stock market crash and CNBC puts several experts on that “knew” this was going to happen and those “experts” predict the immediate and near term future only to be replaced in several days with a variety of other “experts” when the stock market unexpectedly rockets up. The new “experts” now know the new future, too. How fortunate for all of us. Of course, this cycle really just repeats itself because “no one can predict the future.” But what does that mean for us?
- If you are a market manager, ops manager, sales manager, on-air personality or sales person, you should have the ability to keep tabs on the top local industries in your market, trends and what the near future might look like for local businesses, your listeners and customers. When is the last time you really reviewed the data on your market in key categories important to determine these trends?
- If you’re on the air, you should make sure you are talking to the right targets and developing relationship with these important listeners so you can withstand challenges (or successes) in their future. You want to be the place where they go for escape, relief, release, fun and maybe “me time.”
- As you roll into the new year, if you are a programmer, you want to review actual drive times and movement markers in your market from major employers. Don’t just go with what everyone says. This will give you a specific leg up on competitors (who will be unlikely to do this work).
- If you are a seller, do extra research going into 2021 about trends, where money is moving in the new year and local industries, local and regional trends that could give you special indicators for where you can help new clients in 2021. After all, people willingly pay you when you solve their problems.
- No matter your job, you can research what happened in your region (and in the country as a whole) as we came out of the 1918 pandemic. That’s right; this has happened before. Think about trends and how much has changed. This simply means you may look back one hundred years and see important trends, but you must be able to look through the lens of today’s world (financially, technology and emotion).
- If you are a sales manager or director of sales, give some thought about how to position yourself and your group as solution-oriented pro level friends of your clients and potential clients. Instead of focusing on their objections, look to encourage your team to dig in, learn more about the current challenges of clients and to develop solutions. Emerge as the media in your local market that develops solutions for moving forward. In every crisis, the big winners have worked to grab market share. You’ve heard it a thousand times: When people get fearful, the sharp move to seize the moment and benefit. This is true for operators in your market today and in 2021. Seek opportunities to help those clients and potential clients grow their share of the market. Winners may need it more than ever in 2021.
If someone tells you they can predict the future, do yourself a favor: Smile, listen and research everything yourself. Don’t skip on doing the important work yourself. Knowing more puts you in a stronger position to deliver for your clients and your company. We are here to solve problems.
If you buy into the idea that the world has crashed, you have to think about what we also know is true: Even if the world crashed (now or in the future), clients and potential clients have to move forward. They can’t stand still or they lose. Our job is to show them the solution to problems and how we fit in to improve their business.
The same is true on the air for talent: Our job is to be the safe place they trust to give them what they are looking for. We must be trustworthy, perceived as valuable and we must be consistent. Doing these things makes you stand out and that means more listeners and more clients will predict they need you in their future to grow. That’s predicting a good future for you, your employees and your business.
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]