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 Say “No!”

People want what they can’t have! If people have to work a little harder to get what they want, they appreciate it a great deal more — and that is the moral of the story.
The value equation for just about any product is: Price + Quality + Service = Value.

That’s one of the main reasons that rates are not as important as most radio salespeople believe. If you can increase quality and/or service, the value to the client increases without decreasing rates.

Having said that, a fourth component must be factored into the value equation: Time. Today’s sophisticated business people have greater demands on their time, and therefore regard time as their most valuable business commodity. The pressures of multi-tasking while producing more with less staff make the time element a vital consideration. Because technology has forced us to re-price time, you will be penalized by clients who perceive that you are infringing on their most valuable commodity. This can occur if the client believes you are stalling, making mistakes or causing inconveniences, and thus are not bringing value to the table. Business people also have a greater appreciation and respect for other people’s time, including yours. Only by recognizing and respecting the value of the client’s time can you place a premium on yours.

One of the most powerful ways to achieve that is by saying “No” more often. Remember: People want what they can’t have!

If a client phones and asks you to jump in the car, he needs to hear you say “No.” If a client phones at 4 p.m. and asks to be on the air tomorrow morning, you must say “No.” If a client wants to air his own copy, but you know the copy is poor, you must say “No.” If a client wants you to throw in a promotion with his campaign, just say “No.”
I’m not suggesting you be that blunt. Practice your skills as the persuasive professional you are. If you need to schedule a mutually convenient time, the client will appreciate that you have other commitments. If you’re past your station's traffic deadlines, the client will respect your professionalism. If you’re representing the client’s best interests by recommending alternative copy, he or she will be excited by the additional sales you will generate. If you can’t do a promotion because your station’s promotional commitments are full, the client will realize your station is in demand and plan ahead next time.

How do clients perceive account managers who jump when they say “Jump!” Those clients will continue to call at the last minute, because they know they can get away with it. Those clients are in control. They will perceive that those account managers and stations are desperate for business, and that advertiser demand is low and results ineffective.
How will advertisers perceive you and your station when you say “No”? I guarantee, they’ll believe you and your station are in demand, that you have limited spot availability and that your promotional activity is in demand. Clients will develop a greater level of professional respect for you and your station, and will hold you in higher esteem. You’ll become the first call rather than the last — and you'll position yourself as a knowledgeable consultant different from your competitors. You will represent far greater value to your clients.

By contrast, your competitors who jump when clients say “Jump!” will hold far less value. They will continue to get last-minute calls (if they get any at all, because you will now command a greater share of the clients’ advertising dollars), they will continue to cram their station full of ineffective promotions and they will continue the struggle to command any decent rate.

Bottom line: Saying “No” can be tough, but which of the above scenarios would you prefer?

Bob Reid is president of Strategic Media Sales:

Sales Training