Working With Mr. Not-So-Big

Selling Radio Direct with Pat Bryson

All too often, we fail to close business because we are speaking to a person who can say, “No” but can’t say, “Yes”.  I call that person Mr. Not-So-Big.  As companies have multiple decision-makers or ultimate decision-makers in another geographic location, getting to the person who can make a final decision gets harder.

Sometimes, we just can’t get to Mr. Big. When that happens, what do we do? There are several avenues we can employ with Mr. Not-So-Big to increase our chances of getting the sale.

First, and most obvious, we can try to get Mr. Not-So-Big to arrange a meeting with Mr. Big. Get Mr. Big involved in the sales process as early as possible, ideally, during the Phase 2 Customer Needs Analysis Phase. Failing that, he needs to be in the presentation meeting. That can’t happen? Now what?

We can find out just how “sold” Mr. Not-So-Big is on our proposal by asking him, “On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being you don’t like it at all and 10 being you have to buy it now, how sold are you on our solution?” He needs to be a 10+, completely sold on the proposal, or he probably can’t “sell it up” to his boss.

We can also ask Mr. Not-So-Big to authorize the agreement  “contingent on” the approval of Mr. Big. This is another way to test his commitment.

If he won’t sign the agreement, you can ask if he’ll write on the proposal “This looks good to me. I think we should do it.”     

Another technique is to rehearse Mr. Not-So-Big for his meeting with Mr. Big. “Do you think Mr. Big will have some questions about this proposal?  What do you think they might be?  How will you answer these questions?”

In other words, you rehearse with him his answers to these possible objections. 

As you go through this process, you’ll get a feeling about how likely it will be for Mr. Not-So-Big to be able to sell this to his boss. No one can sell our campaign like we can, but sometimes Mr. Not-So-Big has to serve as our proxy.  Get him ready to carry your message forward.    


About The Author 

Pat Bryson is the founder of Bryson Broadcasting International, a consulting firm that works with radio stations around the world to increase revenue by raising the skill level of their sales staffs. Her client list spans from the United States to Canada, Europe and Central Asia.

Pat has spent her entire career creating a culture of over-achievement for her stations. She began her career in radio sales, becoming one of the highest billing sales people in her market. Her career advanced to General Sales Manager, and then to Market Manager. Since starting BBI 7 years ago, she has helped hundreds of radio stations to find, train and grow great quality sales people and managers.

Pat was the recipient of two prestigious educational fellowships from the Educational Foundation of the National Association of Broadcasters: a fellowship to the Executive Development Program and a fellowship to the Broadcast Leadership Training Program.

She publishes the Bryson Broadcasting International Newsletter twice monthly and is a contributor to Valerie Geller’s latest book, Beyond Powerful Radio: A Communicator’s Guide To The Internet Age.

You may contact Pat at [email protected] or visit her website at