Industry Views

Pending Business: You

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp

I’m one of the lucky ones. In my marketing work I get to speak with radio/audio sellers and managers around the country at companies privately and publicly owned, as well as that increasingly rare breed – the radio station owner/operator. They all share one common fault. Yes, I said fault. Can you guess what it is? Probably not, because you too may share the same fault.

I’m one of the lucky ones as I was warned about this early in my career. Before we look in the mirror, let’s recall what Harry Beckwith said in his 2011 book, You, Inc. His premise was, “The first thing you sell is yourself.” Having trained hundreds of high achievers, my experience is that premise is one of the most subjective statements you will ever hear. How do you sell yourself with grace and humility? How does your ability to sell yourself stand head and shoulders above the next seller on the Zoom call or in the advertiser’s office without over-the-top braggadocio? While on calls with one high achiever, there was always a pause point where that seller took a side bar that started with, “Believe me, I’ve been working for ____ for __years…..” Sound familiar?

After a few calls on the same advertiser, the tenure pitch gets stale. The focus on “me” gets confused with building credibility through proven performance. Sorry, but You, Inc needs an update.

You see the missing link – the fault most sellers and managers share – is the lack of investment in “You.” In plain English, most sellers and managers fail to invest in themselves. We fail to recognize it takes a financial and time investment to keep our skills sharp, our minds focused on performance, and our teams coordinated with a win-win attitude.

There is a reason why high-level tennis professionals work and compete under the watchful eyes of well-compensated coaches and trainers. Pick a competitive career, from sports to entertainment, and somewhere in the mix you will find a coach, mentor, or trainer paid to help improve performance. But rarely will you find a seller or manager in the highly competitive radio/audio sales space investing in improving performance. Sorry to all you managers reading this, but who is coaching you?

Books, seminars, videos, online programs were and are still part of “stay sharp, stay current” training. Sales and managing sales departments is a moving target with change built into every day. Recruitment, strategy and digital dynamics move ahead with or without you. It is never too late to understand the investment necessary in “You” to keep sales and sales management skills improving every day.

Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa via email at: Steve Lapa will be moderating the “Generating Revenue” panel at TALKERS 2023 on Friday, June 2 at Hofstra University.