Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sales Basics: Attitude

The easy ones sometimes aren't.

Unless you are prepared and know what you are doing.

Around the group of radio stations I work with, I am the fix-it person. About four years ago when I moved into management, I took over our Hip-Hop Station and increased sales to hit our budget within 4 months.

Then I took over the sales management of a different station with the same result... 4 months later, it was on budget.

April of this year, we launched a new station and by June, it was on budget. Now I've been assigned a different station and by September or October it will be exceeding its budget too.

The station I'm focused on improving now just launched a morning talk show 3 weeks ago. A well known afternoon talk show host from another station in town became available and after doing research, we brought him on board.

He had a list of about 40 local businesses that he used to do testimonial commercials for and they were our first target for increasing revenues. Yesterday I met with another one on the list and it was fun. Not easy, but fun.

For the past eight years, this local business owner would never agree to meet. The door opener was the talk show host we hired.

When I was ushered into his office, he introduced me to his marketing team, one of whom I've known for about 3 years. It was clear that the final decision was going to be the owners, but he wanted input from his team.

I brought with me, a few papers, one with the price for advertising, and a blank contract along with a credit application. I've renamed it a terms agreement because it sounds friendlier.

The conversation was back and forth, like a real conversation. I involved everyone in the room, and they basically sold themselves on what I was offering them.

But I've seen others who were put in similar situations, who would have blown it. They talk too much about themselves, or why they are better than others. They give unnecessary price discounts, they appear nervous, pushy, and they project zero confidence.

I did the opposite. I even gave them an idea on how to get better results with the radio station they were still on.

Sales shouldn't be a battle, or a game of trickery. Successful sales people know that their mission is to help solve their customers problems. And when you do it with the right attitude it can pay pretty well too.

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