Many people say fall is their favorite time of year. Cooling temperatures replace the excessive heat and humidity of summer. Fall foliage is changing into multi-hued colors of oranges and reds and is in all of its God-given glory. I love fall best as well and like leaves too, but fall means hunting season has arrived.
There is nothing like the advent of deer season for a hunter, and with it the chance to match wits with one of God’s stealthiest and smartest animals that occupy space on this earth: the white tailed deer. Not with a gun either, but with a compound bow. That takes skill.
Some folks understand hunting and others do not. Trust me; I live in a household with three ladies who can’t understand why I must put my sites on Bambi each weekend, but they do love a good venison burger or a hot bowl of chili, as long as I am careful not to mention the source of their protein.
So how does the harvesting of a white-tail each fall compare to making a living in media sales? Let me share just a few observations and how both pursuits may indeed require similar activities.
- Preparation. Great hunters, like great media sellers, prepare to be successful before doing anything. In hunting, I spend time during the heat of summer scouting locations, looking for signs of deer trails, fighting mosquitoes the size of Delaware, and discovering where to put hunting stands that will intersect with deer activities. Media sellers must prepare by scouting for new business and new marketing needs from existing clients. What accounts or categories are growing and expanding, and which ones are in contraction mode? What changes are affecting current customers and how can your marketing expertise help them? You can only hunt so many pieces of land to be successful, and the same applies to media sellers. The type and number of accounts on your list will go a long way in determining successful revenue outcomes.
- Understand, accept, and engage the process. After preparation I am a lot more confident in my chances of success, but nothing happens until I get out there in my stand, until I act on my desire to harvest a deer. Yep, five dark thirty is normal wake-up time to allow me to get to the field and dress quietly in the dark and cold to begin the process. Trust me…it is very easy to stay in a warm bed and go after them tomorrow. Same thing in media sales. It is hard work and nothing happens in today’s world unless you actively make it happen. Get out of bed a half hour earlier, get to the office, and educate yourself on station capabilities, or get up to speed on today’s economic opportunities by reading your favorite business publication — one of mine has always been the Marketplace section of the Wall Street Journal — but pick your own publication or RSS feed and then explore each day for trends that will help you achieve.
- Track and record activities that produce positive outcomes. When hunting, I keep a journal of dates, times of day, moon phases, wind direction, stand locations, and other information that assists me in understanding and repeating my success, and the accompanying failures, year to year. Do you use a CRM to track your account activities and outcomes? If not, consider finding and investing in an industry-specific CRM for media sellers. This type of program is specific to your world and will assist you in following accounts, spending levels, timing, sales process progress, pending business, aging, and so many other impactful areas that you should record and keep track of. I do it in deer hunting because trying to keep all this information in my mind has proven to be futile. The same applies in media sales. Use the CRM tool in your toolbox and help yourself be more successful year to year.
In hunting, there are many chances to stay in bed if you will. Don’t complain about not having meat in the freezer when you didn’t hold yourself accountable, because you know well in advance what it takes to be successful. The exact same situation holds true in media sales. A phrase many of you have heard before, “If it is to be it is up to me,” could not be more applicable in today’s world of the media seller. Like Phil likes to say at Nike, “Just do it.”
By Chris Crawford, General Sales Manager, Efficio Solutions