Archive for September, 2014

Leadership – A Voice for Good

Friday, September 26th, 2014

by Ginny Speaks

I was recently in Indianapolis attending the NAB/RAB’s Radio Show where I was one of the speakers for the sales consultant series. This session was full of many coaches and consultants to help guide managers and sellers down new paths of learning and understanding of the entire sales process cycle. The feedback was positive and I know for sure that all who attended captured some great takeaways to immediately begin implementing upon the arrival back to their respective markets. Being able to teach others how to implement strategies, capture new business and lead is an honor for me and one I enjoy very much.

Another great highlight of the event was the super session titled “Executive Future.” In this session ABC News’ Dan Harris interviewed Alan Mulally, former CEO of Ford Motor Company and current Google Board member. The session focused on the future of radio, technology and the auto industry and how Alan turned Ford around with his team-empowered management style. I came away inspired and was grateful to witness such a powerful business success story and be in the presence of great leadership.   All this got my brain spinning.

Being in the media space, no matter what your medium is, provides us a powerful platform to spread messages, educate, inform, connect and lead. I wonder how most of us are doing.

How are you utilizing your area of responsibility to be a leader, a voice for good in your market?

If you are in management — are you bogged down with numbers and budgets or do you spend quality time with your team to empower and guide?

If you are in sales — do you communicate effectively with your clients and guide them down a path to success or are you just putting in time hoping something closes?

Leadership, no matter what role you play within your organization, takes commitment and is a powerful way to implement growth and change at any level of the business.

Take a minute to review “The Major Attributes of Leadership” as published by Napoleon Hill back in 1937 and still relevant today.

Unwavering Courage: Based upon knowledge of self, and of one’s occupation. No follower wishes to be dominated by a leader who lacks self-confidence and courage. No intelligent follower will be dominated by such a leader very long.

Self -Control: The man who cannot control himself can never control others. Self-control sets a mighty example for one’s followers, which the more intelligent will emulate.

A Keen Sense of Justice: Without a sense of fairness and justice, no leader can command and retain the respect of his followers.

Definiteness of Decision: The man who wavers in his decisions shows that he is not sure of himself. He cannot lead others successfully.

Definiteness of Plans: The successful leader must plan his work and work his plan. A leader who moves by guesswork, without practical, definite plans, is comparable to a ship without a rudder. Sooner or later he will land on the rocks.

The Habit of Doing More Than Paid For: One of the penalties of leadership is the necessity of willingness, upon the part of the leader, to do more than he requires of his followers.

A Pleasing Personality: No slovenly, careless person can become a successful leader. Leadership calls for respect. Followers will not respect a leader who does not grade high on all of the factors of a Pleasing Personality.

Sympathy and Understanding: The successful leader must be in sympathy with his followers. Moreover, he must understand them and their problems.

Mastery of Detail: Successful leadership calls for mastery of details of the leader’s position.

Willingness To Assume Full Responsibility. The successful leader must be willing to assume responsibility for the mistakes and the shortcomings of his followers. If he tries to shift this responsibility, he will not remain the leader. If one of his followers makes a mistake, and shows himself incompetent, the leader must consider that it is he who failed.

Cooperation: The successful leader must understand, and apply the principle of cooperative effort and be able to induce his followers to do the same. Leadership calls for POWER, and power calls for COOPERATION

I encourage us all to rise to the occasion, lead and cultivate leaders within our organization. This is the path to abundance.

Open the Door for 2015 and NOW

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Here we are in September and the pressure is on. Budgets may not be where they should be for third quarter. Or we have dollars to be made up from shortfalls of first quarter, and fourth quarter’s numbers loom ahead. Political may not be where we expected it to be – or our big accounts are not as aggressive with their ad spending as we thought. The clock is ticking and we need to close business now. Managers’ focus is on the immediate. What is coming in to make the numbers? But when we make the call – especially with brand new prospects – we get shut down immediately.

What are we saying to immediately get shut down? What should we be saying?

It is safe to say that the majority of companies are putting strategies together to close out the year but more importantly to plan for 2015. Outside of retail and government, there are a few companies that run on a different fiscal than the calendar year. Of course some of these are big ones like Procter and Gamble, Toyota and Diageo but overall most companies in most categories work on a calendar year. So it is safe to say that they are in the planning stages for 2015.  This doesn’t preclude us from realizing that many companies are working much closer to need but at the same time we know that everyone is tightening the belts to end the year profitably.

So, even though we need the immediate money and want to talk about September and fourth quarter, it is imperative that we initiate discussions introducing ourselves and what we do, “create integrated traffic driving sales and marketing campaigns” and talk about 2015.

Once we say “I would like to talk to you about your initiatives moving into 2015″ the gate opens up and the conversation ensues. Instead of getting shut down, most decision-makers want to talk about what they are doing and planning for in 2015.

This is what they are spending their time focusing on right now. Isn’t every media manager across the country working on their budgets for next year? The same is true of the prospects you are calling.

I was making a call to a regional sales manager for a consumer product with a seller a few years ago and we started off the conversation talking about the next year and he said “I am glad you are calling about next year because my budgets are spent for the remainder of this year”. After a 25 minute conversation with a homework assignment for first quarter he said “…you know I like the ideas we have been discussing. I may have a small amount of money for late November /early December – only about $20,000 but could you put some concepts together for me?” I seriously doubt that we would have gotten that assignment if we had barreled in talking about an ad spend for fourth quarter.

What is your strategy to close immediate business while at the same time getting homework assignments for future business?

Invest in Yourself

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

by Ginny Speaks

The 2014 Radio Show is fast approaching and I am looking forward to speaking at the conference as part of the Sales Consultant Series on Friday morning.  There’s a ton of great sessions taking place over the three day event and I hope to see you in Indianapolis.

The Radio Show is a reminder of the Fall coming on and before we know it the holidays will roll around and we will be staring at 2015 and looking at new sales goals. So what can we do now to set ourselves up for a solid and prosperous year to come?

Take time to review your strengths and weaknesses, your wants and desires and then invest in yourself. This investment I am talking about is not about money, but about looking at our behaviors and skill sets throughout the sales cycle process and being honest with where we are and where we want to go. Successful sales people are always self-evaluating and looking for ways to improve, to grow their knowledge base and set themselves apart from the pack. To get you started, take a look at this list of behaviors and skill sets that top performers possess and rank yourself from 1-10 on each with 1 being not so good to 10 being excellent.

a)  Always finds three interesting facts about a business or client to open up an exploratory conversation prior to making the first initial call

b) Uses compelling questions drafted from strong research while conducting a needs analysis

c)  Landscapes the company to find decision makers in the following areas: sales, marketing, digital and corporate communications prior to making the first initial call

d) Completes a full needs analysis with each client that provides answers to the 5 following areas:

  • Who: Target demo, including psychographics
  • What: product or service that is top priority
  • When: Key time periods for marketing & promotion
  • Where: identify key cross promotional partners
  • How Much: Budget

e) Defines clear objectives and provides solutions to each one in the proposed marketing plan or promotional campaign

f)  During the close, always ask the client to buy

g) Reaches back to client after the campaign is done to recap and ask for renewal

h) Adept at selling across multiple platforms

i)  Willing to get out of comfort zone and learn new ways of doing things

j)  Listens more than broadcasts

Now review your scores. For those skills that ranked anywhere from a 1-5, choose 3 from that list and work on those until you become adept and this skill becomes part of your everyday behavior. Then repeat the process. Starting this now will definitely ensure you for a good year to come. And along the way, you just might learn a few new skill sets that will put money in your pocket.