(By Loyd Ford) When you are a brand-new seller, especially of radio, you are often “thrown to the wolves.” You are familiar with “sink or swim.” Well, in sales, it really is up to you.
Yes, some jobs are harder than others, but I hope to share a few thoughts here that can be helpful to a new seller as he or she works to get off the ground. So, first, a few things that are universal truths in life. They don’t change; you can B.S. you way around them, but you’ll pay for ignoring the law of gravity.
Most young sellers die because of fear they can’t do it. The secret really is that it doesn’t take a great seller to crush sales. It takes consistency.
Let’s have the Big 6 For New Radio Sellers Now.
- There is a serious law in selling I will call The Frequency Of 7 to 10. This essentially means – on average – you need to see a prospect 7 to 10 times to get the YES that truly begins your revenue relationship. What is the average number of times a sales rep sees a client in North America? Once. 1 time. How are we doing? Not that good? Well, think about this, if you make it your mission to see potential clients 7 to 10 times, don’t get down about them not purchasing from you in the beginning. They don’t know you. You don’t stand out yet. Take it as a challenge and always bring them something that is helpful to them on every visit. And listen.
- Listen more than you talk and ask questions. Any seller that is worth a damn asks questions and is sincerely engaged in trying to find out what the client wants, what they fear, what they like and what they need to reach the goals they have for themselves, and great reps then give it to their clients. God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason. Use ‘em. Be a detective and find out what a potential client really thinks. Don’t just accept the objection because it is rarely what they are really thinking.
- You’ve heard this but take it to heart. The more people you see, the more people you sell. If you want to be a top seller, see more people. You want to improve your revenue numbers; boost the number of people you are seeing. You could be the best seller in the world or the worst. See enough people and you will rise.
- Always focus on making a difference. People don’t care about buying spots or digital blah, blah, blah. Make it clear that you are focused on making a difference for your clients and helping all businesspeople. In fact, make it your mission to become known as essential to your clients.
- Do your research or pay the price. Do you know what a prospect wants, needs, fears? Do you know how their business works? How they got “here?” Do you know the trends in their industry and what is happening in their economy right now? If you don’t, you haven’t done the research; don’t go. You want to capture attention (essential)? Go in loaded with knowledge and a few ways to be helpful.
- Put your manager to work. That’s right. Ask him or her to practice with you, to do ride alongs, to drill you on a client before a visit. Use them. You will get better before you see the potential client.
Are these things all you need to know to crush it as a local seller? Absolutely not, but they are very fine start. You do these six (6) things, you will sell. You will surprise. You will delight your manager and his or her boss. Do these things consistently and learn to get incrementally better and you will get promoted.
Finally, welcome to the world or radio and creativity. Learn everything you can from senior reps and managers (and consultants) but put these six (6) things into action along with using creativity, so you come before potential clients with ideas, real opportunities and the ability to pivot when you hear your client say something important to them.
This job – sales – is about making a difference and standing out as someone who cares about relationship and local business owners, local economy and making the lives of those local business owners easier, better, smarter and more profitable.
Go ask questions and listen. You’ll sell more.
Loyd Ford is president and chief strategic officer at Rainmaker Pathway Consulting Works (RPC). Reach Loyd at 864.448.4169 or [email protected].