As we ring in the New Year, we are facing a barrage in social media of our year in review and things we learned this year. News shows are filled with the top news stories of the year, top pictures, top movies top music, and top breakout stars. We know the best, we know the worst, and we know what we now know.
But let’s take a look at what we DIDN’T learn – habits and things we should have corrected in 2014, but for a variety of reasons we are still doing the same way in our media sales lives:
- Pick up the phone. Better yet, see your prospect/key client/renewal/business associates IN PERSON. We have gotten into a hit-and-run email habit that has taken so much of the relationship out of our business. Sure, you can slap a smiley face on there to show sarcasm instead of anger. But what we first thought was time saving has become more time consuming as long-winded emails fly back and forth and have to be addressed. Pick up the phone. Call people. Get out and SEE people. Eat lunch. Talk about their problems. Come up with solutions. Build relationships.
- Use your tools. This is not a commercial for Efficio. But it has amazed me as I have visited media sales groups that there are people who still have day-timers, who have post-it notes all over their monitors, who have sold out stations but are not at budget, and who have no idea if they have enough in their sales funnels to make their goals. Use Outlook, use spreadsheets, use that new phone you got for Christmas – just get organized and use planning tools.
- Work hard, but unplug. If you work hard and use your tools to make life easier and more organized, you deserve – and need – to shut down. Just as your body needs sleep and your computer needs to hibernate occasionally, your mind needs to get away from work. You will be refreshed and do better when you plug back in with a clearer mind. You will find some of those huge things at the moment have worked themselves out. Stop texting at dinner and stop checking email while experiencing your child’s band concert.
- You are accountable to someone. Those in media sales who work hard are proud to show the world what they are doing. Be one of those. Remember the food chain starts with the media sellers, who tell the sales management team what they are going to do, who tells the GM, who tells the owners, who tells the bank. Don’t hide, and don’t write fiction for those up the food chain. If you make a mistake, don’t point fingers at others. Take ownership of all that you do.
- Let it go. Even though it has been proven over and over that those who focus get the best results, in media sales we still want to cling to those smaller accounts, no matter that our time is taken picking up a weekly check or they need a copy change AGAIN. And if you are manager, you hired who you hired for a reason. Agree on a strategy, then let your people do their thing. Your time is more valuable as you do the things that need your focus. And, I guess we haven’t learned NOT to say the phrase “let it go” because now the song will be stuck in our heads all day!
If you are one who meant to make changes to your habits in 2014 and realize you still didn’t learn the above, 2015 is a new year. Take advantage of it and start now. I may pull this back out a year from now and see if you STILL didn’t learn….
Happy New Year!
By Kitty Malone, Efficio Solutions Manager of Client Services