Radio Blog

This page contains blog articles on a range of topics of interest to professionals in radio sales, including everything from selling technique to the state of the industry. If you have an opinion on any issue regarding radio or would like to share some of your sales techniques with others, you can submit an article for the blog here (max 400 words, please).

Spring Cleaning

Last weekend I engaged in spring-cleaning of my apartment; after which I found myself taking some unwanted clothing and donating it to a local charity for reselling to people in need.

While I was at the store I asked one of the volunteers if they accepted televisions, as I have a spare taking up space.

"Only if it's a color" came the reply.

"Only if it's color?" I thought as I walked out the door.

"Only if it's color?" "What's wrong with us?"

The young woman's response has bugged me.

If I'm a person in 'need' should I really be caring about the quality and age of my television? Shouldn't I simply be grateful that I have access to a television in the first place, even if it is a 'black and white' set?

Forgive me if I'm missing something, but isn't it like asking a homeless person if he'd like some apple pie and him replying, "Only if it comes with ice-cream."

The Charity Store exchange triggered something within me this week, and for better or worse I get to spill it out on you.

Here we are, we live in one of the wealthiest countries on the planet and most of us complain about one thing or another on a daily, sometimes hourly basis.

This morning I watched as a young man in a Starbucks store handed over five dollars for his "Triple Venti, low fat, low foam, no-whip caramel latte" while at the same time complaining to his colleague about the price of gas. And as it happens, last night I watched a documentary (a whole ninety minute film) about two men fighting over who caught and who owned Barry Bond's record breaking homerun stuck baseball - No 73.

A baseball?

I read recently "the hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings."

Personally I can confess to suffering from this reoccurring difficulty - a kind of spiritual and self-centered dyslexia. I can't always see the wood because of the trees I use to block my way.

So how come? What drives us to always think we have less, when we actually already have more than we need? When I'm locked in a bout of deep self-pity a friend of mine will tell me I'm being self-centered instead of being God-centered; if you understand what I'm talking about you'll know this to be desperately true.

About now you're probably asking, "What has this got to do with selling radio advertising time?" Would you believe "everything"?
While preparing to write this week's article I did my usual quick research through various industry publications and industry websites but most of what I read left me cold; actually closer to bored to death.

What does your inner-voice tell you about what you are selling? “Our formats are screwy – they’re not right for our market, that’s why I can’t sell anything.” “We’re too expensive; the guy down the street is half our rate, that’s why I can’t sell anything.” “New tech is killing us radio will be dead soon and my clients know it, that’s why I can’t sell anything.” Let me be the first to tell you, if all you are doing at the moment is 'hoping' for some magic money to land on you and save the day, I suspect your revenue will be down again for another month.

The streets are paved with gold, if you know where to look. But if you're sitting around the sales office bemoaning the state of the Nation; the economic condition of your State, your County, or your City aren't you being just a little self-centered?

Winners win and losers lose, but if you not taking responsibility for your own outcome (your sales day) you're not even in the game are you? You're simply not participating at all.

We all live in hope with respect to different elements of our lives, hope has kept us for centuries, but there's a big difference between hope and wishful thinking. Hope is an ally of faith, and faith is about doing the work without the self-centered concern of the outcome. Wishful thinking to my mind is hope-less; it’s just wishful thinking and not hopeful doing.

I'm sure by now a few of you have rolled your eyes or smirked with some cynicism, but if you are still with me try this before you head out on your sales day.

Take some paper and grab a pen. Write down (actually do it) twenty things you are grateful for. At the end I guarantee you'll be smiling; you may even have a great sales day.

A Christian mystic and Professor of Theology Meister Eckhart who lived in the 13th century wrote, "If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice".

Sell (absolutely sell) without regret.

Michael Tate

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