Are you a passionate persuader?
David Borean is a Managing Partner with Waterfront Entertainment & Marketing
Recently I re-read Anita Roddick’s (founder of The Body Shop) book – Business as Usual. Anita passed away September 2007, but left a great legacy as a leader, businesswoman and sales person that is truly inspirational.
Not only was she the founder of The Body Shop, the first cosmetic shop of its type to prohibit the use of ingredients tested on animals, but also a socially active campaigner for organisations such as Greenpeace and The Big Issue.
So what’s Anita Roddick got to do with radio and successful sales people?
In her chapter aptly named – ‘Persuasive Passion’, she comments candidly about the power of effective communication in business. The following passage captures the essence of her company’s success during its growth phase and is the stuff you just want to bottle and give your sales people when they need that sip of inspiration.
‘Fun is important in communication, and so is passion. I believe that communication is the most important tool of leadership and passion is the most important element of communication. It is passion, above all, that persuades. For all its modern emphasis on communication, so much of business forgets this crucial element’.
Now before you read ahead, just take a second and re-read this paragraph…..slowly!
I have to agree with her sentiment. Our role as sales people is to lead within the station, and in front of the clients; and to lead is to communicate effectively. Effective communication and passion move people toward action…..it’s the ultimate art of persuasion! Mix an effective communicator with an adequate level of competency and they’re unstoppable!
Communication is always a two-way street – the ability to listen to your clients, interpreting their need at the same time as persuading them on where you’re coming from. It’s a delicate balance, but the best in the business can manage this balance and achieve great success. I fear the art of communication is slowly being lost as the technological age sweeps through, but why? Why allow the somewhat clinical means of email or text or short messaging to suck the passion and strong communication out of the sell? Who’s allowing this to happen?
If it is so that strong communicators influence, then take control of the communication channel. Engage your clients face to face, be courageous and avoid the back and forth of email, make the phone your fall-back not an email, and communicate the virtues of your idea with passion.
A great idea may initially give you a competitive advantage, but a sales executive demonstrating their passion and belief around the idea will lead to ultimate success.
In her book, Anita references many strong communicators and leaders, and their strategies in achieving success. In a media market that continues to fragment and become more and more challenging, there can be no greater motivation for a radio sales executive than the following quote:
‘The passionate are the only advocates who always persuade. The simplest man with passion will be more persuasive than the most eloquent without.’ – Rene Descartes (you might want to read this one back as well….slowly).
David Borean is a Managing Partner with Waterfront Entertainment & Marketing, and has worked with DMG Radio Australia and the Austereo networks.
David can be contacted through the Waterfront website wfeg.com.au