(By Alec Drake) A danger zone when it comes to experience is settling into what you know and repeating what works. If we take an honest inventory of our management approach, we will find flaws in our thinking and should commit to action over procrastination. Experience is an excellent asset until it becomes a trap for your growth, limits your ability to teach others, and has you less open to fresh ideas.
Are We Too Dependent On Experience?
For insight into our experience as a comfort zone, we can look at Sir Ronald Fisher’s work on the adaptability of organisms. Fisher had a theory tied to natural selection and evolution, which stated that the more you adapt to the present, the less you will adapt to unknown future conditions.
This theory might explain why gaining experience has a downside of less forward-thinking behavior in organizations. In legacy industries like Radio, attracting fresh talent and embracing their ideas is critical to overcoming the inertia of experience that suppresses change.
How To Exit an Experience Comfort Zone
A stronger focus on the future and leaning forward in our management thinking starts by asking penetrating questions and checking egos and titles at the door. Here are seven questions to consider for stretching your zone.
- What processes in your radio stations should be declared obsolete or need an overhaul?
- What is the next meaningful revenue opportunity, and how can you tap into the trend?
- Do you have an outside-in sales marketing strategy focused on customers first?
- What will keep your product relevant and valuable for the community and future growth?
- How well does your sales department navigate past changing market values?
- Do you value tenure over contributions to the team to avoid a necessary recruitment effort?
- Is there a monetization of effort to serve all stakeholders, sales, the station, and the company?
Let us repeat one more time: “We have always done it this way” is officially dead. Look at your answers to these questions for decisions to shape new business practices and support future revenue growth. Adopting adaptability over-reliance on experience will also help team retention as it’s harder to replace great talent.
The Road to Change
We should be proactive in building a structure based on high-end marketing sales to lead revenue efforts. Segment your customers with technology and A.I. services tied to levels of service based on need. Extend your “sales cycle” thinking and look for opportunities to build “sticky” sales relationships that can survive transactional-based platforms. Increase support for your “Self-Improvement” sellers, who manage broader marketing projects for clients by curating assets that deliver practical solutions and grow revenues.
Today’s growth in radio sales revolves around crucial ingredients that will support change and give us direction as managers. Managers must be open to new ideas and strategies, continue to re-examine how they deliver value to customers, and retain motivated talent on their teams. Constant learning is necessary for success, and releasing old ideas holding you back is now a higher priority.
Alec Drake, President of Drake Media Group, writes on revenue management and sales improvement strategies. You will find more of his articles in the “Sales Success Library” at Alecdrake.com. Alec is the founder of The Radio Invigoration Project (T.R.I.P.) LinkedIn group to benefit local radio sales, and can be reached at [email protected].