Rick Fink: A Fresh List – A Fresh Start

    • 1373 posts
    January 19, 2024 3:42 PM PST

    A Fresh List – A Fresh Start 

    by Rick Fink


    Did you make a New Year's Resolution? If you did, it more than likely had something to do with being committed to doing something that would make you healthier, happy, or more successful.

    As a manager in media or a media rep, there are many areas in which we can improve on to become more successful. One of the most overlooked areas for both managers and sellers is account list management.

    Do you know one of the biggest reasons why most businesses don’t advertise? This may surprise some, but it’s simply because we’re not calling on them.

    I think we can all agree that the businesses with the most potential are already on someone’s list and are not on the “open list”. The question is, are they “really” being called on and, if they are being called on, are you getting the most out of that business?

    If they are not being called on, there are usually two main reasons: 1) They personally don’t like them, or 2) They already have a competitor on the air. There are other reasons, but these by far are the two main reasons.

    Like sellers, there are several reasons why managers overlook and fail to properly manage account lists. The three main reasons are: 1) Managing a list properly is a touchy subject and tends to upset your sales reps, 2) We assume that there are more than enough accounts to go around, and if we miss a few it won’t affect sales that much, and 3) You are just too dang busy and you don’t deem it as crucial to your success as your other duties.

    Reason #1 is true. Even asking about their activity with one of their accounts can get a rise out of them. Then, if you even suggest moving an account from their list, whether they are calling on it or not, you might see a whole new level of upset. Reason #2 is false. Remember, the businesses with the greatest potential are already on someone's list; they just aren’t being called on or being called on properly. Reason #3 is for you to determine, but I do challenge you to look at your reps’ lists and see how much potentially missed business is on these lists.

    How many sales managers have heard this response when you ask a sales rep when they had last spoken with “insert client name here”? “Oh, it’s been a while, but I plan to call on them in the next week or two”. I’m willing to bet that most of you are shaking your head, yes! I’m also willing to bet that many of the sellers reading this are smiling right now, and if they're honest, are saying to themselves, “Yeah, I’ve said that before”.

    I don’t like rocking the boat and upsetting reps any more than you do, however, at some point, it’s a sales manager’s job to make sure that we are getting the most potential out of each and every account list. 

    If this is your situation, heed this advice from Steve Jobs when asked about managing people. He said, “My job is not to be easy on people… My job is to make them better.”

    Sales reps, if you believe that it’s “your account list” or “you own it”, think again! It’s not your list! It’s whoever owns the company’s list; you’re simply allowed to call on them. If you’re not, it’s your manager's responsibility to make sure that someone is!

    Here’s an excerpt from Google on the definition of a sales manager’s responsibility:

    “It is the sales manager's duty to map potential customers and generate leads for the organization. He should look forward to generating new opportunities for the organization”. 

    Side note: The words shown in bold are exactly the way it was copied from my Google search. With that said, doesn’t “map potential customers and generate leads for the organization” describe “Account List Management” to a tee?

    Media Reps... Are you doing your job and calling on the accounts on your list? If not, either call on them or give ‘em up. If every seller would do this, everyone would have more accounts to call on.

    Sales Managers... Are you managing the account lists? There are a lot of businesses with potential but are simply not being called on. 

    Account List Management – It’s a tough job – but regardless of whether you are a manager or a seller - it’s part of your job!

    NEVER Stop Learning - Get Better Every Day! 

    ENS Media consults, coaches, mentors and trains managers and account executives at radio stations across North America to increase their local direct sales.  President Rick Fink is a 30-year veteran and managed one of America’s largest billing small-market radio sales teams. To learn how ENS Media can help increase your revenues and train your sales team, contact [email protected].

    • 6 posts
    February 2, 2024 6:22 AM PST

    AE's tend to hoard clients on their lists - that's just human nature.  I've watched good SM's go over lists with AE's client by client, asking: Do you have a good relationship with this client?  Why aren't they spending $?  Demand honest answers.  A lot of AE's have a mental block after X number of client calls, and expect nothing from an inactive client. 

    A good AE a glad for a SM to whittle down the list.  Gives more time for concentrating on each client.