2019 has melted into a new decade. 2020 is here! For those of us who have seen other decades come and go, it brings to mind how different selling is today than it was in years past.
As a young salesperson, my first training in how to do a customer needs analysis went something like this: Who's your target customer? What have you done in advertising before? What is your budget?
I heard another sales trainer say once that the CNA is dead. No, the CNA is NOT dead, but the way we used to do them is.
Today, we need to be more skillful in our knowledge of marketing and business. We truly become a business consultant with a specialization in marketing. To that end, we must never stop learning. Success is no longer defined as knowing about radio advertising and how to craft appropriate campaigns. We must know how to create relevant, emotionally-driven messages. We must know how to integrate radio with all the other forms of marketing the client is doing. Many of us sell those other forms of marketing: digital services, newspaper, outdoor. We have many ways to increase our clients' businesses.
In one of my training sessions we talk about the five passages of a salesperson. We move from "Novices" to "Learners" where we are mostly concerned with small, transactional sales.
As we progress, we become
"Competents". Here we match our products to a customer's needs.
Progressing further, we become "
Professional Resources" and finally, "
At these last two levels, we collaborate with our customers resulting in large, complex sales. And, these are the type of sales called for in today's complicated business environment.
As we enter this new decade, evaluate what stage you are in. Are you still selling "spots" or are you creating campaigns? Are you the person your client thinks of when they need marketing advice in any area?
When you become their go-to-person, you are in a position to truly help their business to grow. And that provides the kind of psychic satisfaction that makes it fun to go to work each day.
Use the start of a new decade to increase and hone your professional skills. Being "good" isn't good enough today. We must be exceptional. Read, listen, study. Or, hire us to raise B+ sellers to A+ sellers. At BBI, our goal for this decade is to see radio's share of revenue increase. We will only do that by being better partners, by truly understanding our clients' businesses.
2020 can be a great year for radio. It is up to us to make it so. Having worked with so many talented people in our industry, I believe we will!
Happy New Year!