Before I was Coach Bru, author/speaker/coach, I worked on-air and in sales for ESPN Radio back in my mid 30’s.
Radio sales is basically selling the invisible (aka air). And I was selling AM radio which is the media equivalent of being an illegitimate red-headed step child selling a dinosaur.
If you’re under the age of 40 and reading this you probably don’t even know what AM radio is. (Ask your parents to explain it to you.)
I was armed with a stack of business cards, brochures and an old Nokia cell phone the size of a brick. My job was to make sales calls all day and then host an evening drive radio show each night.
I divided the city of Fayetteville N.C. into “territories” and in person went door to door in those territories to sell “air” to business owners. 30-40 visits daily to try and land 8 or 10 appointments to hopefully make 3 or 4 sales.
It was freaking exhausting and often fruitless. But I did it because I didn’t know another way.
And as a bonus, I would come home drenched in sweat because Fayetteville was usually about 1000 degrees in the summer.
Thank God many of those businesses were air conditioned.
Cold calling was a daily struggle. Most days the job entailed collecting business cards and leaving messages for business owners who wouldn’t see me.
I kinda sucked at it… for a WHILE.
Then in the beginning of my second year, I met Jason who was also an advertising sales rep in Fayetteville. He worked for Lamar Billboards. Our paths had crossed a few times when I was walking out of a business I just called on and he was on his way in.
One day we just struck up a conversation at the local coffee shop.
We started comparing notes on different prospects neither of us had “cracked the code” on. Then we began having weekly meetings like this and he suggested we introduce the other person to each of our existing clients.
At first, I wasn’t sure this was a good idea. Did I really want to introduce the competition to MY client? If I did, there was a possibility they’d spend less with me and more with him.
We essentially put a gentleman’s agreement in place that we wouldn’t do that to each other.
Instead what we would do was encourage a client who was already smart enough to invest in advertising their business, to simply add another channel to their marketing mix. As it would serve to amplify their results….
and our sales.