Covert Ops to Get New Retail Customers?

August 27, 2018

My name is Michael Westen, I used to be a spy… this line started the weekly one-hour odyssey of a burned CIA operative for 7 years on USA Network.  LA Weekly described Michael as "Jim Rockford and MacGyver filtered through Carl Hiaasen."  If you are a fan of the show, you saw desperate people bring the highly imaginative and resourceful former spy problems no one wanted to take or even discuss!      


Michael Westen, played by actor Jeffrey Donovan, works well with his former Navy Seal buddy and washout Sam Axe played by B-Movie icon Bruce Campbell while Michael’s girlfriend Fiona Glenanne is played by actress Gabrielle Anwar.  She is well known for for dancing the Tango with Al Pacino’s blind Lieutenant Colonel Slade in Scent of a Woman. The highly rated series was seen by many as great entertainment while I saw it as advanced sales training for the risk taking top-level seller!


Westen and his crew tangle with Ukraine hitmen, biker gangs, the FBI and high-level criminals in a quest to help the “little people” of Miami get justice.  No matter how impossible the job they find ways to prevail with few resources and lots of imagination and ingenuity!  So how does this equal high-level sales training?


Michael Westen likes to use psychological warfare through his special ops training and understanding of human behavior.  Nothing creates more fear in a person's mind than the unknown or what he suggests might happen!  Sales is about human behavior and getting people to do something we want them to do.  However, we must understand that people LOVE to buy and HATE to be sold!     


Most radio sellers like to throw up on their clients with long power-point presentations that tell of #1 ranked air personalities, highly affluent audiences and heritage radio stations.  All the time selling and not digging for what makes the client LOVE to buy.  When they do successfully get to the close today, it is often derailed by this question from the client; “how can I be sure this schedule will bring me results?” 


Why are radio sellers and their managers so scared of this question?  Many have a weak comeback most likely saying, “there are no guarantees” or “it takes money and time to get results with radio” and the client is left with an empty feeling.  Not unlike when a desperate individual asks for Michael Westen’s help and he says; “I’ll see what I can do.”


The starting point is to understand what drives human behavior and why radio is the most effective way to buy mental real estate.  We all know the words to 2,000+ songs, but don’t understand why.  It's  because our minds work through the ear.  "Echoic" memory, through the ear, is more powerful than “iconic” memory through the eye.


Next you must understand that repetition is the mother of all skill.  Hearing songs over and over on the radio made the Beatles, Elvis, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Elton John the top 5 selling artists of all time!   These masters of words and music gave us commercials we LOVED to hear and records we LOVED to buy, and they did little to try and sell it to us!  Combined they have sold 978 million records!