Dave Salter: Welcome to Connect and Convert Insider Strategies for small business sales success, a new podcast that will revolutionize the way you conduct your sales. I'm Dave Salter. I've been a curious reporter for decades, and I'm the author of several books, including Final Four Leadership. Uh, Dennis Collins is our resident expert on sales training.
He's got more than 153 years of experience. Dennis, good to see
Dennis Collins: you. Hey, Dave, after 153 years, it's good to be seen. Thank you, man. Good to be with you. How are we gonna do this? How are we gonna make this informative and fun? What do you think?
Dave Salter: Well, Dennis, is because of your your decades of experience in this particular niche, we're going to, we're we're not only gonna tell some stories, we're going to, we're really gonna give folks specific, actionable items they can use, um, in their sales day-to-day jobs, to help them do a better job creating relationships and closing sales.
Dennis Collins: Right. Well, The thing that I enter this with is the thought, these have gotta be real relevant. Okay? These have gotta be real things that happen out there, or nobody will care, okay? And they still might not care, but if we, at least we make them relevant and make them somewhat controversial, let's not just deal with the mundane stuff. You can get that anywhere on the internet.
Let's be a little bold. Let's be a little different. Let's do real cases real, scenarios, things that actually have happened. God knows I have hundreds of those stories. Some good, some not so good. Mm-hmm. Some pretty ugly, but I'm willing to share it all. I spent. A very long part of my life in the radio business. I was the senior vice president, general manager of three great radio stations in Miami. What a wonderful, wonderful career that was for me. I retired, uh, a while ago, and so let me tell you, uh, the first question I get, what does a radio guy know about all this stuff?
You're a radio guy. You know, you don't know anything about this. Well, I, I understand how someone could ask that. Well, maybe I can share a couple of the lessons I learned as a radio guy that might be helpful to our listeners. Would that be helpful, Dave?
Dave Salter: It would be and, and it's, uh, it's really more relevant than people would think because honestly, Uh, ad sales is the lifeblood of radio stations.
If you don't have great sales, you guys are off the air. I mean, and, and what you've done and what you've done. You know, you mentioned retiring, but you're actually, uh, just retired from radio and, and you've been now utilizing your wisdom and knowledge with other, other small business owners, uh, in, in a variety of, uh, disciplines.
Dennis Collins: Yeah, let me just summarize. After retirement, uh, I took a few years and just chilled, you know, but frankly, I got bored. So I, I put together Sales Boss Rx a consultancy on my own to work with small business owners to help them improve their sales situation. I had dozens of clients. I did in all different categories.
And then of course I joined, not that long ago, the Wizard of Ads, employee optimization and Sales Rx team. And that's, we're speaking on behalf of that right now. Let me share if I could just three quick lessons that I learned in the radio business that I can share with some of our listeners.
Number one, number one lesson I learned. Listen to the customer. Listen to the customer, the customer rules. We had two customers in the radio business. We had listeners, they were certainly our customers, and we had paying customers regularly. I learned, I learned how to listen to them, how to, how to do research, how to have focus groups that work, how to talk to clients, and how to talk to listeners and gain actionable information.
So lesson one, I learned. Was Listen, listen to your customer. Number two, I learned that 60%, yes, 60% net operating profit doesn't happen by accident. It also doesn't happen by saving, by cutting budgets, you have to have, uh, adequate budgets. Not too much, not too little, but you get a 60% profit margin by one thing, and that is improving sales. And so we focused on improving sales, improving sales, improving sales, to the point where we 10 times the profit. We started with and we were at 63% when I retired. That happens by sales. Number three. Lesson I learned you can teach people how to improve their business through great marketing and great sales. We had that double whammy combination. We obviously provided radio marketing, but we also for our V I P clients provided sales training. We provided strategic planning, market marketing planning. We did all those as a value added, and there's one common denominator. Between all of my clients, I've had HVAC clients, we that went from 17% closing ratio to 60%. I've had a mortgage company, a startup mortgage company that went from zero to 35 million at about three years. We've had jewelry stores that increase their average ticket by 20%. These are personal things that I have worked on both during my time in radio and after I left the radio business that have worked.
The one thing my clients have in common, there is one thing. They have improved their sales. They have seen their sales go up, they've closed more, they've sold more per ticket, they've had more customers than ever, all of the above. So that's a track record that, that I'm proud of and a track record that I hope to repeat for some of those who may be listening here today.
Dave Salter: Appreciate you sharing that with, with us Dennis and I look forward to you sharing that, uh, on our episodes as we go forward. Uh, uh, treasure trove of information. Um, this is Dave Salter and Dennis Collins with Connect and Convert, and we'll see you soon.
Dennis Collins: See you soon.