How To Find And Motivate Great Salespeople


    Bernie Weiss is president of iHeart Media New York. He started his 25-year radio career in Europe, where as general manager he built Austria’s largest commercial radio group. After his move to New York in 2004, he joined iHeartMedia as an AE for Hip Hop and R&B juggernaut Power 105.1.

    Weiss quickly became the top new-business producer, was promoted to local sales manager and then to general sales manager, vice president of sales, and senior vice president of sales. And he’s now overseeing some of the biggest radio brands in the world: Top 40 WHTZ (Z100), AC WLTW (106.7 Lite FM), Hip Hop WWPR (Power 105.1), Classic Rock WAXQ (Q104.3), News/Talk 710 WOR, and Black Information Network outlet WWRL-AM.

    In 2021, Weiss published ACE IT: How Sales Champions Win New Business,  a new-business sales guide with proven, real-world techniques and scripts that can be applied to any sales situation. Here’s our talk with Weiss about the book — and some other topics as well.

    Here’s a preview of our cover story with Weiss. For full digital access to the interview and our 2022 Best Managers list CLICK HERE

    Radio Ink: What have you found over  the years motivates salespeople the  most?
    Weiss: The most common answer is  money, but I don’t think that’s true. I  know many salespeople who are not  motivated by money — they are motivated by a challenge. They give them selves a goal, like amount of billing or  prospects. A good manager, once they start working with a new employee, has a conversation. What are their goals in three, five,  10 years from now? What do they want  their life and career to look like? Once  managers know that, it makes it much  easier to motivate them, manage them, and coach them on a daily basis.
    Radio Ink: What do you look for in a good salesperson and where do you find them?
    Weiss: You have to have a few basic traits  to be successful in sales, but overall, I  think almost anyone can be good in sales.  Those basic traits are discipline, empathy, and curiosity. Those are extremely  important to have. Everything else can be  learned.

    The best salespeople follow a process.  Every sale is different in terms of products and people, but most sales follow a  certain pattern that doesn’t change much  from sale to sale. It starts with finding  a prospect, to the end, when the deal  is done to launch an actual campaign. Because it’s a process, it can be broken  down into steps and therefore taught and  learned. So if you have those basic core traits,  you can be a good salesperson. We find  them all over the place — media sales in  general, but we have many on the team who were successful in other industries.  One of our best managers came from  the fashion industry. We try to be open minded, look for those traits, and then  teach them.

    Radio Ink: Radio sales isn’t glamorous.  So how do you convince people to come  to the radio industry, where they can  be thrown out on their own to make it  work?
    Weiss: I disagree because I do think it’s  glamorous. If radio were an app and had  90% reach, and it’s free, it’s live, and has  influence, wouldn’t you download that  app? I think because we’re looking from  the inside out, we are not telling that  story well, even in the recruiting process.  I think as an industry, we can do a better job getting people excited about working in our industry. It’s not just a great job  working in sales, but promotion, marketing, etc. It’s a great career.

    To subscribe to Radio Ink to receive the latest issue, which includes our interview with Weiss and our Best Managers list, CLICK HERE.

    Congratulate Bernie on a stellar broadcasting career at [email protected]. You can order his book Ace It on Amazon HERE.






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