Sales Training

This page is a database of articles and downloadable white papers on many different aspects of sales training. You can search for any particular topic (e.g. "cold-calling") by typing it into the search box above the list of contents to the right. If you use the productivity tools in Connect (Calendar, Contacts, Workshop, Dashboard) you can use your dashboard results to see which areas of selling you have the most weak spots and then come to this page to find training resources to help you improve.

Just Takin' Orders

So, what's the difference between an order taker and a true sales person? On the surface this may seem a reasonably easy question to answer. But a simple listing of common sales process mistakes is not as useful as you may think.

Yes, order-takers tend to accept client demands in the areas of budget and scheduling, regardless of the longer-term effect of those decisions on the client's business.

Yes, order-takers are usually narrower in their definition of potential prospects for advertising and rely more on current re-signs and 'traditional' advertisers than actively searching out and creating new business.

Yes, an order-taker will usually be willing to sell a remote to anybody if that's what they want.

Yes, an order-taker will create commercials that are similar in content, feel and approach to most Yellow Pages ads.

And, yes, order-takers are often the first to drop rates or offer bonus spots if a client looks wobbly (or sometimes even if he doesn't).

But this is not terribly helpful. To be of any use, we have to take a more holistic approach and understand that all of the above are not problems that can be approached one by one but merely symptoms of a much more important misunderstanding.

The primary job of true radio sales people is not to sell job lots of twenty spots. It is to facilitate growth; growth in the station's billings, of course; but also growth in the success of each and every one of their clients and, most importantly growth in themselves.

This kind of growth is only achievable if we see ourselves in possession of a knowledge, an attitude and a product that, when applied correctly, can effect real change on the business of the purchaser. True sales people understand that the ability to effect change is a position of power, and therefore one of responsibility.

Above all, true sales people know that they, and nobody else, are in control: in control of who they approach, what they offer, what they close and how the buyer is educated and treated throughout the entire process.

True sales people define what it is that an advertiser really needs and are able to communicate that efficiently; true sales people refuse to take money from clients for campaigns (or remotes) that won't work.

True sales people see the sheer unending potential for new clients around them wherever they go, regardless of the business or industry type.

True sales people have the authority to shape the content of a client's commercial until it is effective, often against the initial wishes of the client.

True sales people believe in the value of what they are selling and have the courage to maintain that value in the face of tough negotiation.

More than anything else, true sales people see their role over the long term. They look beyond that month's target to a point even years ahead. There, they see an image of their clients now reaping the benefits of their ongoing investment in the station. And they see themselves after the same growth. They understand that being offered x percent of everything they sell has allowed them to shape their own future entirely - to picture themselves somewhere and then to go out and get there, completely under their own steam. They are independent, self-confident, respectful and respected.

In short, being a true sales person is a pretty good gig. And being an order-taker...well, isn't.

Matt Hackett, CEO, ARIA Inc.

Sales Training