Words Of Wisdom From One Of The Best


(By Pat Bryson) Those of you who follow my writing may have heard me mention Les Boyle of ROI Media. Although he passed from this earth several years ago, I still remember him as a formidable client and a good friend.

He was one of my favorite nemeses when I managed stations. Shortly before he died, he shared some words of wisdom with me about sales. 

For most of my career as a sales manager and then market manager, I did battle with Les regularly. He was always trying to negotiate the best deal possible for his clients. And I was trying to keep my rates at a somewhat reasonable level. But one thing is abundantly clear: Les was a consummate negotiator.

He was also a top-notch salesperson. He was the rainmaker for his buying service. If you didn’t know what you were doing, Les could eat you for lunch “with a good Chianti.” When Les spoke on sales, we listened. Here are some of his last words of wisdom about sales: 

“A.K.C. No, this does not stand for “The American Kennel Club.” It does stand for “Always Keep Closing,” the mantra of every successful salesperson in the world. 

Perhaps it started with the first caveman who needed to trade his excess mastodon meat with the guy in the next cave. The phrase came to popularity a number of years ago from the Broadway drama Glengarry Glen Ross. The play was based on a nefarious group of “boiler room” salesmen selling questionable real estate opportunities.  

A tour de force of personal interaction under tremendous pressure to sell at all costs. 

The Bent Nose Boys, AKA the Mafia, owned the operation. The manager kept shouting: “Always keep closing.”

The technique is a very simple one. Keep asking the prospect questions to facilitate a positive response as you detail the benefits, the reason to buy what you are offering.

If you gain enormous positive agreement, you make the sale.

Every presentation should be well thought out. “Winging it” will usually fail. Define the benefits and frame the questions to elicit a positive response. Do not lose sight of why your customers will buy or why they might reject the idea.

Keep on asking! Keep on closing! 

You may have a close personal relationship with the client. Do not try to coast on that. You have to continue extolling the benefits of why they should buy from you. Going on “howdy calls” just opens the door and holds it open for the competition.”

Those who have been in my training will remember the two-prong technique that we teach to handle objections. We focus on WHY the offering is important to the prospect. We ask questions, questions, questions. We explain HOW this campaign will help them to solve their problems and meet their needs.

Today it’s not what you TELL a prospect, it’s what you ASK them. Les was right-on with his advice. Thank you, Les! I miss our sparring sessions!

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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