This is a question I think that a lot of sales people never get asked by their managers, or ask themselves.
Sure you might know what the best package is that you have for sale. The cost for a three week call to action campaign, or a website take-over – but do you know how things work in the studio? In the digital department? In production?
If you are a copywriter and are working in sales, then I am sure you know already how production sort of works – but do you know how to answer the common questions a client has about your brand?
Maybe not – and you should find out – in fact everyone should be familiar with other departments – from the jocks on-air to the sales team – even the promotions people, copywriters, reception staff, evereyone!
Knowing more about how your industry works not only gives the impression when talking to a client inside or outside of work, that you are a professional – but you work in a team environment that keeps everyone, in every department abreast of what is happening.
In one workplace I was at, a new hire would spend 3 days minimum in every department BEFORE they started working in their new job. They did everything from reception, to promotions, on-air to sales, everything so they had an overview of what was happening in the business and when a client asked a question of them – they either knew the answer – or knew how to find out and who to ask.
For example, while working in sales I had a client ask me – how does the ad that they approve actually get on-air – so I walked them through the process with a sheet of paper and a flow chart showing them how much they would be consulted before the ad went to air, and how it was placed in traffic, and then played on-air.
This was a 2-3 minute discussion – that gave the client confidence enough to sign on with us.
Another time when I was working on-air. I was off duty, talking to a business owner and mentioned that I worked in radio – they wanted to know how advertising on the website (a big thing we were pushing at the time with a loyalty card for listeners and clients) worked. I quickly told them the details, explaining how it was the cheapest and simplest way to get on radio, on our website an in the emails of our listeners – 2 hours later they had called the station and become clients.
Admittedly – you don’t need to know the nitty gritty and technical specifications of every single step – but you do need to know the basics – at your station – each station is slightly different, so knowing the processes will also give you confidence in what you are doing.
Knowing your station, your people and your processes means that you can answer questions that you might not have been able to do so. This gives a client not only the answers they are after, but also confidence in what you are selling and what you do.
So take the time to get to know as much as you can outside your department, you’ll be surprised at the connections you make, and the knowledge you can share with your clients and your fellow staff members.