The outside speakers we bring in for our Sales Manager’s High Performance Boot Camp frequently say things that become a theme for the year. That was certainly true the year Giovanni Livera closed his presentation by saying, “No change… no change.” It was his way of saying that if our folks all went back home and didn’t change things… nothing would be different. No change… no change!!
There’s no one reading this who’s leading a TV organization, who isn’t actively looking at change. Every broadcast group is looking at new ways to do virtually everything that’s done at our stations. Folks are looking at new ways to market to advertisers, more aggressive approaches to new business, new management structures, and, of course, more aggressive and effective digital sales efforts. I haven’t spoken to anyone who feels like this change isn’t needed. We all know that change is not optional.
But I wonder if the incremental changes we’re making are going to be enough? The factors negatively impacting our business seem to be accelerating. Whether it’s the decline of national—which from the pacing numbers I’ve seen seems to be even worse than it was in the 2009/2010 recession—to the major changes in local advertisers’ perception of TV. And so much more. There’s a lot going on, and that’s the under-statement of the year.
What if the challenges we’re facing are even more dramatic than we think? How would you respond differently?
When Bill Gates ran Microsoft he used to say that they suffered from “acute corporate paranoia.” I like that line a lot because I think it captures a sense of acting as if something significant is about to happen, and then working accordingly. With URGENCY!!
Consultant Dan Kennedy has a line that should resonate with all of us. “Little action = little results. Massive action = Massive results.” When I read last week that the projected growth rate for TV revenue was lowered by more than 50% from the guesses that were made just a year ago, I wonder if that’s a call for massive action, not just incremental change.
So, what does massive action look like? I believe it’s taking a lot of the things we know we need to do and putting them on steroids. Some of these are things I regularly write about in these columns. But there should be other things on your list.
Here are some of the things that would top my action plan:
- A formal program to deal with underperforming AE’s and sales managers
- Monthly recruiting standards so that managers are never able to say, “I can’t find good people”
- Creating systems, standards, and accountability that create higher and higher levels of new business every year
- Making sure commercial producers know how to do ads that turn new customers into long-term believers
- Purging anyone at any level that isn’t ALL IN on our digital opportunities
- Expanding the size of your sales staff to increase demand
- Having aggressive GM standards for KEY account interaction
- Recognizing the critical role of LSM’s in our future and getting them trained for today’s LSM job
- And more…
Here’s a smart exercise. Look at this list and grade your organization. Which things do you need to improve? What other things should be on your list?
And, the most important question? What does massive action look like to you?
There’s no downside to massive action. Maybe things won’t deteriorate as much as we think. But if you’ve taken massive action, I guarantee you’ll have market-leading growth and will add to your revenue share. That’s the worst thing that could happen.
However, if the changes in our business come at us as fast as I think they will, massive action may be the only way we continue to lead high-performing organizations.
Everyone in our business is talking about and doing change. But should we be looking at way more than incremental change? Maybe it’s time for massive action. Massive action = massive results. Little action = little results. Which one do you want?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org call 941-926-SELL
We’re also taking reservations for our 2018 Sales Manager’s High Performance Boot Camp. Would you or someone you know benefit from this high intensity training? Now’s the time to secure a seat in Tampa, FL for January 28-30th. For a limited time, you’ll get early bird pricing on the event that’s been called “life-changing” by past participants. Go to: Boot Camp 2018 or call 941-926-SELL (7355)