Salespeople: Here’s What Local Businesses Want


(By Pat Bryson) Before I started Bryson Broadcasting International, I was a market manager for radio stations. One night, I woke up at 3:00 AM with this thought: “What do local businesses want from my salespeople?”

It’s a simple question, but probably not one we ask very often. So, I decided to call up some of our best clients and agencies and ask them. Their responses were surprising only because they are so simple, logical, and, many times, totally ignored.

Here’s what they had to say:

  1. Be interested in their business.
  2. Find out their goals before you bring them a campaign.
  3. Make the proposal fit what they need to buy not what we need to sell.
  4. Schedule an appointment: don’t drop in.
  5. Follow up after the sale and schedule.
  6. Be proactive in anticipating their needs.
  7. Give them clear copy and let them hear the ad before it airs.
  8. They want a long-lasting relationship.

Simple? Yes. Do we do these things? Not as often as we should.

When was the last time you called on a business, pulled out the “package du jour,” and tried to sell it to them? That may have been the first time you called on that business, but you were going up and down the street pitching the package. Did the package fit their goals? Maybe, but probably not. Don’t clients usually start asking you to modify the package in some way? That’s because it’s what we need to sell, not what they need to buy. This type of selling does nothing to show interest in the client’s business.

Time Is Money

When you are doing a needs analysis meeting or presenting a solution, do you have a scheduled time the prospect has set aside to concentrate on what you are showing them? You need their undivided attention to develop the kind of partnership required to create long-term campaigns and become their “source” for anything marketing related.  If they won’t give you their time, they won’t give you their money.

If you want to see your client stare at you open-mouthed, show up the day after they have a sale or event and check on the results. Salespeople hide. We don’t come back to follow up. We are afraid of knowing what happened. Was the sale even successful? If so, bask in the glory. If it was not successful, find out why. Help your client understand what might need to change for the next event.

Today, salespeople need to function as ideas and solutions people. We need to keep abreast of the business landscape and be proactive in our interactions with our clients. What holidays are coming? What seasons are changing? What external events are causing business modifications that our clients’ customers need to know about?

The Last Step In Quality Assurance

If you have ever aired a commercial that contained errors or mispronunciations, you know WHY it is important that your clients clear their ads BEFORE they run. You never want the “you’ve got my ad wrong!” call. You can feel the steam through the telephone.

Lastly, number eight is why new people need persistence and patience to build a business. Creating long-lasting relationships takes time. You can’t rush it, but you can make sure that every interaction you have with a client shows your professionalism and your concern for their business. Take an interest in their business. Know their goals. Bring them solutions.

It’s not about US, It’s about THEM. Higher revenue awaits, for us and our clients.

Happy Selling!


Pat Bryson is the CEO of Bryson Broadcasting International, a consulting
firm that works with sales managers and salespeople to raise revenue.
She is the author of two books, “A Road Map to Success in High-Dollar
Broadcast Sales” and “Successful Broadcast Sales: Thriving in Change”
available on her website. Read Pat’s Radio Ink archives here.


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