My business partner Katey Woolam and I launched the P1 Plus entry level sales program eight years ago and from the very beginning the mission of the curriculum was straight forward. To on-board new sellers to the broadcast industry and provide them the coursework necessary to take them from “rookie to ready” in seven weeks. We were light on theory and concept, while adding a heavy dose of real-world sales training. You know, the stuff they can immediately convert to sales and commissions. For example…
Think big picture. What does my boss want from me? What are the basic expectations of the job?
Understanding the tools of the trade with courses covering the history of broadcast, broadcast terminology, digital assets, competitive media, and an introduction to the sales cycle.
This is where we get down to the good stuff, understanding the needs of your customer. With topics like the customer needs analysis, identifying the actionable need and the consumer purchase path.
Weeks Four & Beyond:
Time to put all of the elements together by designing a solution to the need, creating the campaign, crafting a presentation that communicates the plan, customer service and beyond.
For eight years we’ve hosted the program on a quarterly basis, one class graduates, the next one begins. Applying some quick math, I would speculate that the P1 Plus program has introduced over 700 new sellers to the business that we love.
Yep, we had it down to a science, that is until February of 2020. As our newest class of sellers entered the industry at perhaps the most challenging time in our nation’s history. One day it was business as usual, the next day they were asked to vacate the premise for the not-so- foreseeable future. The world was complicated enough, now combined stresses from home, family and the workplace are all gathered together at the kitchen table. The COVID Class!
The curriculum quickly evolved from sales basics, to sales survival. In addition to our traditional coursework, new session topics were added, including: how to successfully operate through the stress of working remotely; tips on avoiding “awfulization” (yes, awfulizing is a word); tackling personal and professional growth projects and finally, how to control the narrative for both your internal well-being and your customers.
In the early weeks of the program, one of the sellers asked the following question.
“What will be the most difficult thing we experience in broadcast sales?” I told them, “You are living it. It only gets easier from here.”
Listen, I am so proud of these new sellers. It’s stressful enough beginning a new career, let alone in an environment of fear and uncertainty. This group met the challenge, did the work and not only survived, but thrived.
One of the greatest compliments that I received in my eight years of conducting the P1 Plus program was from a student who thanked us for “bringing a little bit of normalcy” back to their lives. The feeling is mutual.
Our third P1 Plus session is scheduled to start on Monday, July 6th (just about a month away). If you have a new sales hire (two-year experience or less) that you feel would be a good fit, we’d love to have them!
I love P1 Plus because it gives my team members the one on one attention from the experts. I am able to lead the entire team. It is difficult to go one on one all the time. Having Speed and Katey gave me the reassurance they were in good hands.
Sarah G. | VP of Client Services