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Friday, October 24, 2014

(SALES) What's Working At The Coalface


Whit Adamson, the president of the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters, calls it ?pioneering.? I call it getting out in the field and seeing sales reps on their turf. I recently followed up with some sales reps who attended one of my seminars to see what they actually took back with them and what they are applying in the field. I was kind of startled.

Here are some of the results and maybe you and your staff can go over these points to see if you are using them in your sales department.

1) 100 percent closing ratio with the decision-maker once you get them on the phone. I always tell reps that in order to be a great rep, you have to learn how to set up appointments on the phone, so you are not just driving around all day and wasting time, gas, rubber, and causing wear-and-tear on your car. She said she gets 100 percent appointments. I asked her how she does that. She said she offers them two options at the 10, 20, 40, and 50. Never fails she says. In other words, she gives them two times like 11:10 a.m. or 2:40 p.m. They think I?m the busiest person in the market and the demand to see me is more than anybody else. ?Once I get that appointment,? she says, ?I sell them almost every time.?

2) Enthusiasm. I always say enthusiasm is half the battle with sales. Showing up is the first half. If you have enthusiasm about your product, then you will be successful selling your stations and your digital. I went to the turf of Verla Price, General Manager of Forever Communications in Jackson, Tennessee ? and I saw ?The Chant.? It was different than any I have used. I have to say it?s probably better. Verla has a specific chant her reps use as they are clapping away over about a 30-second period. I use table aerobics; Verla has a high-revving chant. What I loved about it was every rep is on board. That?s their culture. More than anything it?s the excitement that I saw and the passion they did it with. Maybe you can email Verla and have her send it to you.

3) Listening and Bond speed-dating. My first unexpected call was on Katie Gambill?s group at 5 Star Media Group. Katie knew I was coming, though the reps didn?t. Derron Steenbergen lined up groups of three, with two reps each. The third group had Margaret our ?Bond girl? across from another sales rep. They had 60 seconds to learn as much about each other as they could. Derron set it up with Margaret in advance so she would do nothing but talk about herself during their 60 seconds. It resonated with those reps about how much we, as reps, tend to talk and don?t listen. They saw something of themselves in Margaret, where all we do is talk on the sales call. We should be asking questions, with 75 percent of the questions being opened-ended Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How questions, and 25 percent being closed-ended questions that guide and lead you in the selling process.

I could go on and on with what I learned in the field last week in Tennessee. I teach reps to go to the prospect/client; get out of the office and see them and develop that relationship with them. It was a good week of pioneering.

Sean Luce is the Head National Instructor for the Luce Performance Group International and can be reached at or Sean?s new book The Liquid Fire can be found on

(10/21/2014 12:47:21 AM)
Thank you Dick Taylor. We had a great week. Two months after and those TAB reps are really dialed in. It was exceptional to see their passion and how excited they are selling. I was kind of blown away in a few markets really. Some really...really great reps selling in Tennessee and Kentucky these days!
(10/21/2014 12:44:10 AM)
Thank you Whit Adamson and Doug Combs from the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters. I learned a bunch. I also learned that unless you have an exceptional State Broadcast Association supporting you on doing something like what we did last chance. You made that work for your stations and they love TAB. I would know-I was there in Clarksville when they chanted "We Love TAB."
(10/20/2014 11:34:36 AM)
Sean worked hard all week for us, both with his travels to meet directly with our stations and from the TAB Conference Room where we could schedule a tightly wound shift of meetings. It was the perfect compliment and follow up to our full day of sales training during our Annual Conference. The TAB learned, Sean learned, our sales people learned and the clients will benefit.
(10/20/2014 9:57:49 AM)
Sean, great advice and it's all true. The scheduling choice offer is a great way to get an appointment via the phone. Verla's picture is next to the word ENTHUSIASM in my dictionary and having Margaret go on & on & on about herself was illuminating about how NOT to learn about your customer. Your training in Tennessee at the TAB was stellar. I'm glad I had a chance to experience it first hand -- or as Whit says "do a little pioneering."

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