If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of…

Despite what your neighbors probably think, radio listening is up.

Yep, even with the insane cut-backs of consolidation, the cookie-cutter programming, and all the other cool gadgets in our lives, more people will listen to radio today than were listening 10 years ago.

Radio has had a tougher time growing its share of the advertising pie.

We’re not sexy, like iPads. We’re not the focus of millions of fawning blog posts like Twitter and Facebook.

And, we’re not used to providing solutions to clients’ problems.

Our sales execs are used to selling spots, selling ‘time.’

Check this out…

Nobody wants to be sold to. What people do want are solutions. Need a new car? The problem is that you’ve outgrown your old one, or worse yet, it’s gotten too expensive to maintain.

Did the world change when you weren’t looking? You might need help navigating that change, but you don’t need to buy a bunch of stuff from a menu.

You do need people, skills, talents, tools and the right relationships to help.

But help really means ‘HELP ME SOLVE THIS!’ — and that means doing it together. So when you’re ‘selling’ what you’re really doing is showing how well you can work together to solve the problem.

That’s David Armano from Edelman Digital.

I realize there is intense, unyielding pressure to hit your numbers this quarter, this month, this week, TODAY!

But if Radio really wants to be part of the ‘New Media’ revolution, we’d better start training our sales people to be problem solvers.

Not like that guy on the bike. Real problem solvers.

That means teaching them active listening, which is a skill that requires practice.

And it means teaching them more than a little about marketing.

Imagine if every member of your Sales team had an advanced degree in marketing, and the knowledge and technical skills to plan, design, and create a coordinated campaign, including digital, social, and video, as well as radio…

You think that might have some added value?