Many years ago, I ran a contest inviting sales managers to share their worst hiring nightmare. I had a couple of my own, but it turns out mine weren’t even close to being as bad as some.

Not one entrant, but two, discovered they had hired hookers. Another hired a rep who, as it turned out, didn’t own a car. One manager found out he’d hired a kleptomaniac. In their first week, his new AE was at a regional corporate training session and two other AE’s had wallets taken from their purses. She was caught when the business manager drove by her apartment and saw a big plant on her balcony that had previously been in the station’s lobby. (If you keep reading, at the end you’ll see the winning entry. It still makes me laugh.)

We all make bad hires. If you haven’t, I’m guessing you haven’t hired enough people yet. Reference checks, testing, better interviewing techniques all help, but even the best managers will hire a dud every once in a while.

The real issue isn’t that we make bad hires. It’s what we do about them. Often, we’ll take way too long to admit our mistakes and deal with them. Maybe it’s human nature to give people a second (or fourth) chance. Maybe we keep hoping that the little progress they show will turn into something.

But, here’s the problem. Our business isn’t getting easier, so someone who’s a “C” today becomes a “D” in a year or so if they don’t change. That means that any manager who tolerates an average or below-average performer is setting themselves up for even bigger performance challenges as the business gets harder.

This isn’t just a situation with new hires. Many of us have members of our sales staffs who aren’t ready for our new business and will never be able to change enough to get ready. When you keep them (as so many managers we see are doing), you’re setting yourself up for even bigger problems down the road. And down the road may be a lot faster than you think.

How do you know it’s time to part company with someone? It’s probably best to consult your HR department before you get into trouble listening to my opinion on that. But, I follow two pieces of advice I was given early in my career. First, as mentioned, I’m always really concerned about the people who are just “OK,” because I think the business isn’t getting easier. Second, I always ask the question, “What will we lose if they leave?” If the answer is “not much,” I’d guess you have a problem.

A few weeks ago, I shared my thoughts with you about recruiting. It’s important to have a robust recruiting effort or you’ll delay dealing with your challenges. So that’s a biggie.

But here’s the bottom line. You’ll never be a great leader with an average team. And, you’ll always have an average team as long as you put off dealing with your mistakes. Both the ones you hired 120 days ago and the mistakes that have been with you for years.

And now… the winning entry. This will prove your mistakes haven’t been all that bad.

I work for a TV station. Here’s my story. How about the failing AE who SWORE that she was out making calls when she was really trying to win concert tickets from a radio station… She was actually “live on air” with the radio station during the morning drive to work. During the call she complained about our station, spread rumors that we were shutting down the news department and the station was probably being sold, and that it was a terrible, hateful place to work… The on-air jocks invited her to SKIP our mandatory sales meeting to come into the studio to do a stunt to win the tickets. (Which she did. She told us she had to leave for an important sales call, but we already knew where she was going since we’d heard her on the radio.)

Then she decided it would be a good idea to take a NEW ROOKIE salesperson with her for some company in the car, I guess. She did the stunt… she crawled on her hands and knees blindfolded through a hallway filled with rat and mouse traps while on air… won the pair of concert tickets, and returned to work.

When she got back to the office, we asked how her “great call” went. She could feel we had something on her and started back-peddling. Then I PLAYED AN AIR CHECK FROM THE RADIO STATION MORNING SHOW WITH HER DISTINCT, TWANGY SOUTHERN VOICE ALL OVER IT… about 5 minutes on air, she was very detailed and even complained about her co-workers. She totally denied it was her, even though she said SHE WAS A SALESPERSON AT THE ___ STATION and the jocks talked up what their favorite shows were, and she kept making remarks like, “They’ll lie to you about everything but try to make it a good place to work. I have a mandatory sales meeting and they’d all be upset with me if they knew I went to your station just to win tickets.”

The jocks then said, “BLOW IT OFF, c’mon down here and let’s talk. Don’t you want the tickets?” (It was also a lame third-tier concert that OUR station already had a bunch of free tickets for). What she didn’t know, even though she totally denied the whole event, was that when she was crawling through the hallway, the morning show webcam was capturing the whole thing and it was posted on their site. So, when she dismissed the phone call as not being her voice, we showed her the VIDEO of her and the rookie taking part in the stupid stunt. Even then, she tried for a moment to say it wasn’t her. When this was all going down, she COULD NOT understand why we were firing her.

And yes, she hired a lawyer to sue us. We actually went to court. But when her attorney saw we had tapes and the video of the contest, he gave up on the spot.


Have a GSM or GM meeting in your future? Why not have Jim Doyle or John Hannon speak to your meeting about how to turn your sales staff into a Sales FORCE? We promise powerful, thought-provoking content customized to your company’s needs. Contact Jim Doyle at jim@jimdoyle.com or call 941-926-SELL.

Brittany Tomjanovich is the Director of Operations at JDA.media.

Brittany has a passion for data and details. That passion, coupled with her healthy respect for broadcast and digital’s powerful marketing platforms, has led to a fun and growing career in media.

In January 2011, Brittany joined Madison’s ABC affiliate, WKOW, as a sales assistant.  Immersing herself quickly into the sales process and organizational flow, she thrived and by the time she moved into a corporate role, she had supported local sales, national sales, and the programming department reporting directly to the station’s General Manager.

As the Broadcast Group Sales Coordinator at Quincy Media Inc., her role consisted of training and supporting the sales support staff in Quincy’s 16 markets.  She also handled communication and reports for the company’s VP of Sales.

Brittany is a quirky, creative, introverted-extrovert, focused on solving problems and dedicated to producing high-quality results.

Brittany is a graduate of The University of Wisconsin – Madison (On Wisconsin!), and currently lives in Blue Mounds, WI with her husband, Tyler, and two children, Hailey and Mason.

When she’s not behind her computer, you can find her spending time outdoors with her family.  She enjoys camping, kayaking, fishing, crafting and growing food in their backyard garden.

 

 

 

Since Leslie’s first post college role, she has been enthusiastically involved with helping clients get results!  Her media career started in local production at KCCI, the CBS affiliate in Des Moines, where she honed her creative chops and found her marketing passion.

It was a natural progression to move to an Agency, and then a Marketing firm next.  Working in a "think tank" environment, coming up with campaign ideas for clients and writing scripts capitalized on Leslie’s strengths.  During that time, she was part of a team that brought a national Grand Prix race to the streets of Des Moines, and executed several other high-profile festivals and events with thousands of attendees.

Embracing her entrepreneurial spirit and enjoyment of working with local businesses, Leslie made the leap into sales in 1992.  She cut her teeth at the local daily paper focusing 100% on the automotive space.  Working with tough, smart, risk-taking, and big thinking dealers, she learned much including grit and accountability.

Recruited to the cable side of media marketing, she spent the next 23 years as a Senior sales professional (9 yrs) and Sales Manager (15 yrs) at OnMedia.  As a seller she was the first million-dollar biller in the company, only to outdo herself the next year with the company’s first million-dollar contract.  Leslie received OnMedia’s Shining Star Award numerous times and has many ardent fans still in the ranks of the company.

At JDA.media we know that the best predictor of success is past success, and Leslie has it in spades.

Leslie loves collaborating with local businesses and clients - bringing unique, creative ideas and recommendations that make a lasting impact.  She prides herself on her ability to form relationships quickly and being a results-oriented thinker.

When Leslie isn't being a marketing professional, she spends time with her best friend and husband if 31 years.  They enjoy international travel, scuba diving, golfing, exercising, gardening, cheering for the Iowa State Cyclones and they most recently purchased a RV to spend their first winter in Florida.  Their dog Margarita (Rita) loves to take long walks with them on the beach at the end of the day to watch the sunset.

Leslie is also an active volunteer.  For six years she was board President for Komen of Iowa; helped run the central Iowa chapter of Shoes that Fit for 15 years; served 3 years on the Urbandale Chamber board of directors; spent 5 years as head of the marketing committee for Altoona Christian Church; two years as an advisor to her alma madder, Grand View University, on the Alumni Relations Committee; and is a founding member of the Des Moines Westside Chamber.

 

 

 

 

 

Nate Schwendeman has been in Marketing and Advertising since 2004.  He has helped thousands of local businesses grow and stand out from the competition by developing creative and customized ideas.

Nate worked his way up through multiple markets in the Midwest as an Account Executive, a Team Leader, and a Local Sales Manager by the age of 32.  As he wore those many hats, he won OnMedia’s Shining Star award for selling and leading, and multiple Addy’s for creative.

Nate has a proven track record of success.  As an Account Executive he broke company records for hitting budget consecutive months in a row.  And in his first year as a sales leader his team surpassed 3 million dollars in ad revenue, significantly over-achieving budget and stretch goals.  But his successes in helping local business owners grow and achieve their dreams are the ones he’s most proud of and gladly shares.

Nate is an alumnus from the University of Northern Iowa.  In recent years he was honored to work with his alumni University and Wartburg College marketing departments, talking to students and professors about creative ideas and marketing principles for businesses of all sizes.  He also sat on the Board of Directors for the UNI Panther Scholarship club.

A long time JDA.media disciple, Nate prides himself in studying his customers’ industries, doing thoughtful preparation, asking the right questions of all parties involved, and bringing unique ideas.  His client’s commercials have been shared all over the United States as best practices on how to stand out and generate results.

One of Nate's funniest commercials was viewed by a Presidential Candidate in a small town in Iowa, prompting the candidate to come into the place of business and mention the ad.

When Nate isn’t helping his customers make money, he enjoys cooking on his Big Green Egg, reading, hunting, fishing, all sports, and spending time with his beautiful wife, three daughters and son.  The Schwendeman family also includes three cats and one giant Doberman puppy.

Nate wants to live in a world filled with innovative businesses, groundbreaking ideas and marketing books that come bundled with bourbon and bacon.

Nate used to train for combat sports and holds a 1-0 record in kickboxing. His debut fight was his retirement fight because his wife said so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Margie Chilson is a Senior Marketing Consultant for JDA.media.

Her vast experience includes nearly three decades in broadcast television and digital sales marketing, working in and with multiple markets and affiliations including Dallas-Fort Worth at WFAA, Denver at KUSA-KTVD, KMGH, KWGN, and as a team manager at Millennium Television Sales.

Margie’s years as a local seller were award-winning and inspiration for her jump to JDA.media. She exceeded new business and digital goals on a consistent basis at Belo Corp., Scripps, Tribune, and TEGNA Inc. stations. A true innovator, Margie pioneered job-sharing positions in Dallas and Denver, balancing hectic work schedules and family, paving the way for working parents with careers in media sales.

Margie is well known and respected for her diligence, drive, and new business results. Due to her years in the business as an account executive and sales leader, she knows the station environment well and can easily relate to local sellers as well as the most senior managers.

An alum of Oklahoma State University who graduated with Honors in Journalism Advertising, Margie boasts an outstanding track record of helping business owners strategically grow their revenue through broadcast, streaming and digital solutions.

Margie and her husband Tim have been married for 23 years. The couple and their two children live in Littleton, CO, a suburb of Denver. Their son, Ryan, attends the University of Colorado Boulder, and their daughter, Mary, is in high school.  In their spare time, the Chilsons enjoy travel, hiking in the picturesque Rocky Mountains, cooking, watching movies, and cheering on their kids in various sporting events.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim Stoos is SVP, Revenue Drives at JDA.media.

For over 20 years, Jim has crafted successful marketing programs for hundreds of local businesses.

His expansive media experience includes delivering significant advertising results utilizing broadcast, digital, cable, and radio.

His specialty is helping small-to-medium-sized businesses address sales and marketing challenges while developing game-changing strategies with real-world creative solutions.

Prior to joining JDA.media, Jim held strategic management positions as Regional Vice President, General Manager, and Local Sales Manager at television and cable companies in the Midwest.

His leadership roles gave him the opportunity to apply JDA.media principles to help Account Executives develop campaigns that combined television and digital solutions, which positively impacted business owners’ success. Jim’s extensive digital background includes the launch of digital tools for an entire sales division.

The media veteran’s skill set also includes web design, digital display and video, as well as mobile, AdWords, pre-roll advertising, and digital ad extension products.

He lives in Bettendorf, Iowa with his two sons and “one crazy cat.”

For years Jim has worked as a dedicated member of Iowa’s Big Brothers Big Sisters program. He enjoys playing as well as coaching football.

In his spare time, Jim enjoys working out with his boys (both are scholarship track athletes at St. Ambrose University in Davenport), as well as camping, and riding horses with his sweetheart Stacy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

holly allenHolly Allen is a JDA.media Senior Marketing Consultant.

With nearly 27-years in the industry, including over five years as President & General Manager of FOX23 and MY41 in Tulsa, OK, Holly has developed a deep expertise in many facets of media. However, her true passion is working directly with clients.

Her “no box” thinking and creative mind allow her to design effective marketing strategies that drive significant results for advertisers.

Holly believes the first step to helping a business grow is to “peel back the layers” to uncover their unique needs, goals, and opportunities.

Next, she formulates and executes a thorough, well-rounded marketing plan that exceeds their expectations.

She enjoys the brainstorming process and seeing clients get enthusiastic when her strategies bring their businesses to unprecedented levels of success.

Experts say the greatest predictor of success is past success, which rings especially true with Holly’s career. Starting as an effective ad agency rep, she quickly moved into broadcast sales and marketing.  Moving up through the sales ranks, Holly eventually became the President & General Manager of a pair of dominant broadcast television stations in Tulsa, OK.

Most recently she founded All-en Media, LLC, where she works with clients in various categories, including auto, banking, retail, and more.

A proud graduate of Oklahoma State University, she lives in Tulsa with her high school aged daughter Lila, while her son Henry attends the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Holly enjoys long walks outdoors, visiting with family and friends, and volunteering her time to local causes whenever possible.

 

Wendy Hosterman is a Senior Marketing Consultant for JDA.media.

Over the course of Wendy’s nearly 25-years in media, she’s worked successfully in multiple categories from automotive to retail to healthcare and more. She possesses a unique depth of knowledge as a seller, manager, and executive at privately-owned media companies as well as Fortune 500 firms.

“I have always been a top performer winning multiple President's Cups, Pinnacle Awards, and various client honors,” she says proudly.  But her real professional passion is connecting with local businesses to help them grow and cut through the clutter.

During her nearly 11-year tenure with Cox Media Group (CMG) in Tulsa, Wendy specialized in leveraging television, radio, and digital platforms for her clients. In her years with the company, she was recognized four consecutive years with the prestigious CMG President’s Circle Award, and Top Digital Performer (in Oklahoma) for five consecutive years.

Prior to working with Cox, Wendy led local initiatives at Newport Television in Tulsa and was a Local Sales Manager. She oversaw a team of six, achieved record revenue goals, launched and managed a successful lifestyle/sponsorship program that generated over $300,000 in its inaugural year.

“I've spent my career putting together the right solutions and the right messaging for customers. I am transparent, and pride myself on being a great listener,” she says.  “I can connect with local business owners because I've been working with them and creating solutions that grow their companies for nearly 25 years.” Her methodology includes maintaining constant contact with customers. “It’s critical, and part of our responsibility is to manage expectations and make changes when needed.”

Wendy is a passionate sports fan, a proud University of Kansas graduate who worked in the athletic department. Nowadays, her outside-of-work passion is centered on exercise, which includes running, barre, yoga, and spin.

She is the proud parent of two amazing sons, Noel and Shane, and a pair of rescue dogs.

 

 

 

 

perry kapiloffPerry Kapiloff is a JDA.media Senior Marketing Consultant.

With over two decades of experience in broadcast advertising sales and management, plus eleven years in ad agencies, he is a media veteran in every sense.

During his career, Perry has worked extensively with small, as well as medium-sized businesses, to develop results-oriented marketing strategies and advertising campaigns.

He began his radio career in Massachusetts where he met and worked with “The Guru of Ads,” the legendary innovator Don Fitzgibbons.

Perry remained in radio for a decade learning the importance of frequency and stand-out creative that gets results.

He held management positions with Clear Channel Communications and Citadel Broadcasting, and worked as a Senior Account Executive for a full-service New England agency managing advertising for a variety of businesses.

In 2006, Perry founded Kapiloff Marketing Group, specializing in broadcast media and advertising messages that get results.

Over the years his clients have included automobile, tractor, and motorcycle dealerships, a home improvement center, plus restaurants and real estate companies, as well as insurance agencies.

Perry is a graduate of Ohio University where he earned a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Today, he resides in West Boylston, Massachusetts with his wife and two children.

A huge sports fan, Perry and his family are proud members of the Red Sox Nation. He also enjoys the outdoors, as well as coaching baseball, and playing golf.

 

 

 

John Hillary is a JDA.media Senior Marketing Consultant.

Since 2006, he has worked directly with hundreds of small-to-medium-sized businesses, developing fully-integrated, results-driven media marketing strategies that have consistently helped meet and exceed goals.

John began his career with NRS Media in Atlanta, working as a Project Manager, closely analyzing market trends and sales data for the company’s multi-phase programs.

He was soon promoted to one of NRS Media’s lead consultants, working as an Account Director. In his role, John helped hundreds of local businesses grow through innovative and creative advertising campaigns.

During his tenure with NRS, John consulted for 25 different media outlets in television, digital, radio, cable, and print, in over 20 markets throughout the U.S.

Due to his success at helping businesses and stations drive revenue, he was recruited to join WCIU-TV, the CW affiliate in Chicago, as an Account Executive.

There, he worked with local companies and national chains, collaborating on innovative ways to make messages resonate with customers in a large, competitive marketplace.

John’s energy, passion, creativity, and understanding of results-oriented marketing strategies have consistently made him a vital asset to clients and company colleagues in every phase of his career.

A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, John graduated from the University of Michigan and remains an avid Wolverine fan.

In his spare time, he enjoys running, golf, being with friends and family, and escaping to the water and beaches of Lake Michigan.

In late 2020, John and his wife Katie returned to Georgia to reside in Roswell, one of Atlanta sprawling suburbs.  And in early 2021 John and Katie welcomed a daughter.

 

 

Billie Adkins is a Senior Marketing Consultant for JDA.media.

She is an expert at crafting innovative, creative strategies that get dramatic results for advertisers.

Decision-makers appreciate Billie’s unique ability to ask the kind of provocative questions that lead to the development of distinct and effective TV and/or digital creative that gets viewers’ attention and drives consumer action.

Through her 25-plus years in media, Billie has developed an extensive professional portfolio with a depth of experience that includes a variety of management positions in sales, and important posts in news, production, station promotion, and market research.

As a General Sales Manager at WDTN, the NBC affiliate in Dayton, Ohio, she led a multimedia marketing team that specialized in achieving clients’ marketing and operational goals with a client-centric approach.

She embodies all aspects of the JDA.media philosophy recognizing that each business is unique, with its own challenges and opportunities. In order to build a results-driven advertising plan for clients, you must first understand the business and then formulate a strategy to make the company stand out from competitors.

Billie resides in Carlisle, Ohio with her husband and two children. When not traveling the country for JDA.media, helping business owners increase their sales, she enjoys family time, reading, and coaching soccer, often cheering for kids that need a special someone in the stands just for them.