You Should Be a Monday Morning Quarterback

You Should be a Monday Morning Quarterback


It is another Monday morning and you are heading off to your work. How do you feel about the approaching week? Are you driving to work excited about what lies ahead or are you wishing you were heading somewhere else? Are you thinking about and planning for the tasks ahead or are you recounting the events of the weekend wishing it were another day longer? If you are approaching the work week with pessimism instead of optimism you are ready for some retooling and job attitude adjustment.


At one time or another in your career you will reach a down period. Salespeople especially ride the roller coaster of emotion of highs and lows. They experience the high emotion of closing the sale but much too often experience the low of having no said to them over and over. Through a period of tough selling resulting in lots of no’s it is common to feel hesitation and call reluctance when heading out on the road to sell advertising. Don’t feel guilty about feeling this way. It happens to everyone. You should only feel guilty if you ignore the feeling and don’t do anything about changing the way you feel.


If you are a football fan you see momentum change from team to team throughout the game. One team has a big play and everything seems to go right for them a period of time. When the Indianapolis Colt’s Peyton Manning completes a 35 yard pass to Marvin Harrison the rest of the team responds with a series of good plays. Edgerrin James runs the ball a little harder; the defense stops the opponent from getting a first down or recovers a fumble. The momentum of good play stays on your side until someone makes a mistake. The momentum switches to the other team and suddenly, the Colts can’t do anything right. The opponent stops the running backs at the line of scrimmage, Manning is sacked, and even special teams allow long gains on the punt returns. What happened? Did this brilliant team suddenly lose their skills? They just lost the momentum they had earlier in the game.


At halftime, the coach takes the Colts in the locker room and makes adjustments to their game. He reminds them of the fundamental skills that make them great players. The veteran players don’t need the coach to motivate them. They are professionals and know how to adjust their attitude to regain the winning feeling inside them. They study the game plans (even though they already know them) to recommit them to memory so when the situation is right they don’t have to think about what play to run. It becomes an instinct that in any situation they know what play to run. The veteran also reviews past plays. He breaks down what he did correctly on good plays and what he did wrong on bad plays. He wants to repeat the actions that were successful and improve the actions that were unsuccessful.


Football players become veterans by making good plays. Self motivation and improvement is critical to their future. Players that don’t consistently make good plays are called ex-football players. Here are some simple rules to follow to become a veteran advertising salesperson.

1 – SMILE – It is amazing how contagious a smile is. It has been said that the attitudes you receive from other people are usually a reflection of the attitude they feel from you. It is hard for someone (co-workers, supervisors, family or customers) to treat you poorly when you are smiling at him or her. Smile at your co-workers. Smile at your supervisor. Smile at your family. Smile at your customers. I always would begin to hum, sing or whistle as I reached to open the door of my sales call. It always resulted in a smile or friendly greeting from my advertising client. It is so-o-o much easier to sell advertising to a business owner when he is smiling than when he is grumpy.


2 – REVIEW YOUR SUCCESSES AND YOUR FAILURES – Like the veteran football player you need to review what you did right in past performances and what you did wrong. Break down the play. What materials did you use for presentation? What words seemed to instill a light on the advertiser’s face? What attitude did you approach the sale presentation with? Were you smiling or just going through the motions? Did you feel excited about the special section or promotion you were presenting or did you feel it was just another promotion? Repeat your successful performances and improve your actions that had poor results.


3 – PROVE YOURSELF TO YOUR JOB– Too many people are waiting for their job to prove itself to you. It never will. A career in advertising sales can be gratifying and rewarding if you approach it with the right attitude. Prepare yourself each day to have a great experience. Plan your sales calls the day before so you create the opportunity to prepare for them. Approach each day with a plan to do something great. Identify a task that will make a difference today. Design a play that will score a touchdown.


4 – LEARN YOUR CRAFT– Schedule some time each week for self-training. The best advertising salespeople know how to design great ads and know how to present their ideas to clients. They have confidence because they have knowledge. They spend time learning how to do their job well. Most people spend more time practicing their hobbies than they do practicing their job. They spend hours working on their golf game and minutes practicing their work. You will make more money and feel better about yourself if you spend more time improving your skills at selling advertising and less time improving your putting game.


Here is a quote about attitude: “We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play the one string we have, and that is our attitude” -Charles Swindoll, inspirational writer and preacher-


Dave Baragrey is a business consultant and sales trainer for Publishers-Edge, a Special Section syndicate for print and on-line special sections, and Consulting business specifically designed to help newspapers and shopping guides.

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