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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).

Matchstick Men

"Sometimes in my business you have to create a value for something, which really isn't there. Some people call it sales, other people call it...lying."

Does this line from the movie "Matchstick Men" reveal our deep-seated, yet honest view of what we really think about salespeople?

Often when we think of a classic sales person we tend to conjure up an image of a sharp-dressed and unnaturally tanned man who has a twinkle in his eye, an ostentatious watch on his wrist, and a diamond embedded in gold on his finger. Perhaps he also has a dorsal fin on his back and exposes a set of shiny sharp teeth when he smiles. The kind of guy who glides up to you on a car sales lot; the overly confident financial advisor sporting a wall-street knot; or the stranger who disturbs you at home with an exciting offer for a set of encyclopedias. A regular snake charmer.

It's likely we've all had an unpleasant experience with an obsequiously flattering, overly aggressive, or just downright self-centered sales person. The type more often than not who tries to sell us totally unwanted and useless products or services.

Understandably, few of us in radio advertising sales want to be like these people.

The problem these days however is that some of us are so embarrassed about our chosen profession that we try to hide from the truth.

At the last function you attended when you were asked what it was that you did for a living, what did you answer?

Advertising Consultant? Marketing Solutions Provider? Certified Radio Marketing Consultant? Account Executive?

It's unlikely you proudly responded with "I'm a sales person!"

Dealing with the truth is difficult, but as the man said, "it will set you free".

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a sales person.

If you're a matchstick man that's another story, but if you're an honest and upright salesperson you have nothing about which to be embarrassed or afraid. In fact you are integral for the success of your company. You're the reason the radio station is able to keep its doors open, the reason why small businesses grow larger. You're the reason more people in your city can be employed, why the economy can recover, and the reason why families get fed and are kept warm at night.

Be profoundly proud about the fact that it is your job to put yourself on the line every day to ensure everyone else gets paid. Be profoundly proud of the fact that you are able to create something where there once was nothing, and be profoundly proud that you are a part of the courageous few.

Sell without regret

Michael Tate

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