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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Radio Wayne Award Finalist Spotlight - Director of Sales - Judy Lakin

On Wednesday September 10th at the Radio Show Advertising Luncheon in Indianapolis, for the 22nd year, Radio Ink Publisher Eric Rhoads will recognize radio's most successful people at the Radio Ink Radio Wayne awards. Starting today we'll be highlighting some of our 2014 finalists. Judy Lakin is a 30-year radio veteran, now serving as D.O.S. for CMG in Houston. Lakin started as a sales assistant for Selcom Radio, a national radio sales rep firm in Dallas. Although Lakin loved working the national side, she knew her passion was in local sales. "I admired many of the top radio reps in Dallas at the time and appreciated their love for sales. That ? combined with the thought of helping businesses prosper and grow - inspired me to pursue a career in radio sales." Lakin was recruited by a small, privately-owned station in Austin and her career took off like a rocket. She went off her guarantee the second month she was selling and never looked back. "I loved the risks and rewards of radio and 100% commission compensation drove me to financial success early on in my radio sales career." Here's more of what drives Lakin, what makes a D.O.S. successful today and what keeps her up at night.

What is the key to being a successful D.O.S. today?
Exemplary sales leaders must demonstrate a variety of qualities simultaneously, including:
?         Strategic in planning for their respective organization and the future.
?         Be passionate about developing their mangers and account managers. 
?         Lead by example - be unafraid to get in the trenches.
?         Multi-task on a daily basis. 
?         Effectively communicate with any internal or external partner.
?         Maintain strong relationships with Key Accounts in their markets.
?         Always remain visible and available to clients.
?         Excel at yield management to properly price products to maximize revenues. 
?         Show an ability to be fair and consistent with all team members. 
?         Be empathetic with their teams. 
?         Exude high positivity and balance ? no matter what the scenario.
.          Know how to produce positive results in both a healthy and weak economy.
?         Have a strong understanding how to leverage strong emotional intelligence to build a productive team.
?         Effectively collaborate with other leaders and department heads.

What are the challenges?
My challenges include the ongoing mission to build a strong bench for the next generation of talent. Additionally, I continually strive to ensure we remain competitive with our pricing so we can take share when it makes sense and drive rates when the demand is hot in the market.

What keeps you up at night? 
Achieving delivery of budgets and or forecasts to meet corporate expectations is typically the main topic on my mind. I?m also highly-concerned about the well-being of my team members at any given time- making sure they are effectively navigating through personal and work challenges.

How do you successfully manage so many people?
I have a great leadership team that works with me.  We collaborate often and there is a tremendous amount of trust amongst these managers.  We have strong systems in place and there are metrics for accountability as well. Plus ? we are all strong multi-taskers and know how to move swiftly on any timely business decisions.

Give us an example of a success story you've had with one of your SM's? 
Alana Thomas worked as an AE for me for five years in Houston. At a turning point in her life, she moved to Austin to support her fianc? as he accepted a new job there.  While I was instrumental in transferring Alana to Cox Media Group (CMG) Austin under the Austin American Statesman arm, when they decided to move back to Houston one year later ? I was able to change the fate of her career at CMG Houston once again. I knew she was a high potential employee as an AE with leadership potential even back during her first run in Houston. So when I was hiring for a Local Sales Manager at that time of her move back to Houston, I knew she had the right skill sets and competencies to lead our local sales team. Since then, Alana has already been promoted to our lead General Sales Manager.

Alana is open to coaching and guidance.  She often seeks me out for direction. We meet weekly for talent development.  As a result ? she has flourished as a sales leader in our organization. She?s also earned the respect from her team ? individuals who were once her peers ? a tough feat in this competitive industry.

Additionally, I?ve helped guide her to participate in key initiatives within CMG Corporate like the Cox Corporate Diversity and Inclusion Initiative. She is also the purveyor of our Sales Apprentice program, responsible for hiring and training our up and coming millennial AEs.  She?s also a key reason why we continue to win from a revenue perspective in our market. While the rest of the Houston market is up 1% through July, our cluster is up 23%!

Alana is well on her way to a Market Manager. I am proud to be her mentor and am blessed to have her on my team.

Congratulate Judy on being a 2014 Radio Ink Radio Wayne Finalist

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