Monday, November 30, 2009

7 Sales Secrets

For nearly 7 years, I have worked for a group of radio stations in Fort Wayne, Indiana known collectively as Summit City Radio. (Click on the logos to go to each stations website.)

This was not my first experience in Sales or in Radio.

My radio career began in 1976 at the age of 16, and ten years later I began a career in radio advertising sales and marketing.

The 7 Secrets are neither original, nor secret.

However, I have seen so many people in the sales world either fail, burn out, or never establish their full potential because they either didn't know or didn't follow these 7 Sales Secrets.

So, let's get started:

1. People don't want to buy what you are trying to sell them. They want to buy a solution to their problem/need/want. The classic example is people don't buy a drill because of the shiny black handle. They buy a drill because they need to create a hole.

2. Price is not important. Value is all that matters. While there are limits to what someone is willing or able to spend, if your customer sees no value in what you are offering, there is no price cheap enough to overcome a lack of value.

3. Objections can lead to a yes. An easy "yes" means you either know your client very well, or you're just being an order taker. I know it sounds harsh, but objections are conversation starters, and these conversations can lead to customizing a solution to their problem/need/want. Which leads us to...

4. You have to listen and learn, more than smile and sell. I do my homework and am prepared with research about my customers and their business. I also look at their competition and we talk about them. We talk about their goals for the future, their past history, what they have done that was successful and what didn't work too. Too often salespeople are only focused on what they have to sell instead of seeing how they can help their customers.

5. Your customer knows more than you give them credit for. We live in an information age with easy access via the internet. Your customer has done their research. However...

6. Your customer knows less than they think they do. Just because the information is available, doesn't mean they know how to use interpret it and use it to their advantage. That's where you come in as the expert. Which means that you better know your stuff inside and out. You are personally responsible for your own education, not your boss. Be your very best.

7. Relationships are forever. Apply the Golden Rule. Treat others with the same honesty and respect that you would like to be treated with. Keep relationships alive with your customers, potential customers and even those that may never become your customers. After a few years at my current group of radio stations, I had developed relationships that began paying off in ways I would have never imagined.

That's it. A half dozen plus one Sales Secrets, that shouldn't be secret. Your comments are always welcome.


  1. The big secret is between 5 and 6; what your clients know, what you know, and how you as PR or SM expert can help them use it to their advantage.

    Clients may not recognize the stories they need to tell (and sell) and it's up to the expert to find them and help the client share them. You have to keep studying, learning to keep selling. FWIW.

  2. Davina,

    All of us can suffer from information overload. Just yesterday I was looking online for information on the best type of humidifier to buy. 10 years ago, I would have simply gone to the store and bought what was in my budget and filled my needs.

    Research is a double edged sword, and like you said, clients need our help to sort thru and help them buy.