November 26, 2015

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10/17/05 The Pledge Of Professionals

In a recent column, Roy Williams laid the blame for radio's current woes at the feet of the RAB. I feel the problem goes deeper. Even the best training has no impact when salespeople don't follow high ethical standards and best practices. Radio groups may insist on ethical behavior, but things fall apart when managers are under pressure to meet sales goals.

Ultimately, it is your individual responsibility to follow the rules of good conduct. Station management and the RAB can only encourage you from afar. When you're nose to nose with a client, there's no one there but you. Do the right thing.
If you agree with me, make copies of this column, gather your people, and discuss it. I know this seems dramatic, but anything less isn't likely to trigger behavioral change.

Radio's Pledge Of Professionals
I (insert your name) believe in radio's power to persuade listeners to spend money with our advertisers. I will work to cause my clients to see radio people as the best of all media representatives.

I will be professional. I will upgrade my skills with outside education so that I exceed the expectations of my clients.

I will have integrity. I will never lie to make a sale. I will not mislead or deceive. When I don't know something, I will admit it. My clients will soon realize that I always tell the truth, no matter what it costs me. I will never betray a confidence.

I will not be critical of client decisions. Though I may disagree with a client's decision to purchase another station or another media, I respect that it is their right to do so. When I lose business to someone else, I will try to see the situation as my client saw it, and be more sensitive to that perspective in the future.

I will not degrade competitors in radio or in any other medium. Doing so makes me look insecure and unprofessional, and elevates my competitors.

I will warn my clients when their message is weak or their frequency is too low to achieve the intended results. Risking the sale today is better than explaining a failure tomorrow.

I will prepare for every sales call. I will not expect advertisers to buy from me merely because they like me. I will study their industry so that I speak intelligently about it. I will bring viewpoints and perspectives that benefit my client's business.

I will give clients exactly the data they request. When I add calculations using other demos, I will always deliver precisely the data they requested. Anything else would seem deceptive.

I will focus on my client's needs. My discussions will be about the client and his or her business. I will never forget that radio can't win, my station can't win, and I can't win unless my client wins first.

I will help my clients win. To achieve this end, I pledge my energy, my time, and my reputation.

Managers, do you have the guts to lead your people in a commitment to these principles? Tell us about it. My e-mail box is always open.

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