My Personal Communications Philosophy
Every time we present, it’s both SHOWtime and SALEStime. Last month I wrote about the SHOW, “Another Op’nin’, Another Show,” which is obviously the pizzazz-y aspect of Communications.
But Why SALES?
Sales is not a dirty word. When we present, we are always selling something: a product, a service, our credibility, our experience, our insights, ourselves. Making a point, persuading, motivating, clarifying, educating, leading are all aspects of selling.
My Business Beginnings
When I was 30, I was job-hunting. I had only worked in education and the arts, and my $7,000 yearly salary was getting a little tight. Bravely responding to a newspaper ad, I found myself in the running for the position of Public Affairs Director at WEEI Newsradio in Boston. My interview with the General Manager was my first glimpse into a world of sophisticated business. I kinda liked what I saw.
During the long interview/audition process, it came down to two contenders. The GM himself would make the phone call, letting me know whether I had won the job, or not. Plan A was my Happily Ever After. Yesss! But if the answer was no, I knew I would have about 30 seconds tops with him on the phone and I’d better prepare a Plan B.
May I Take You To Lunch?
I got the phone call. I did not get the job. I asked the General Manager if I could take him to lunch to discuss “my career in radio.” Whoa! Ballsy. I had no idea what I was talking about, but I was going for it.
10 Names, 10 Stations
Have you considered sales? He asked at lunch. My heart sank. I was thinking more along the lines of an arts reporter. Sales was not part of the vision I had for myself. But I left with a list of the General Managers at the top 10 radio stations in Boston and the ability to use his name as my intro to set up appointments. That list literally Changed. My. Life.
I May Not Make the Sale, But They’ll Remember Me
became my mantra as I worked my way down the list. Eventually, I got my first job in Radio Advertising Sales. I was terrible. But I learned. I decided that even if I didn’t make the sale, I wanted to be someone memorable.
And that would depend on how well I presented. Presentation skills became my key to success. I saw, up close and personal, the results of sounding as smart as you are.
Today’s Video: Communications is SALEStime! (4:17)
What Are You Really Selling?
In the best sense of the word, what are you providing that somebody else needs? How can you be helpful? How do your values align? Don’t forget this is part (and maybe the best part) of Communications. It provides a clear focus and honest connection for you and your audience.
You’ve Got This!
Remember, it’s SHOWtime and SALEStime. As Estee Lauder reportedly said, “I have never worked a day in my life without selling.”
Knock ‘em dead and break a leg!
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