A Review of “Thriving in Change”

This review was published in the January 14, 2021 edition of The Small Market Radio Newsletter. Written by Jay Mitchell, editor.

The Best Sales Advice You’ll Ever Get

How Pat Bryson’s new book can turn your business around.

Sales consultant and SMRN contributing editor Pat Bryson has a new book, Successful Broadcast Sales: Thriving in Change. It’s a continuation and an extension of the philosophies and techniques that Pat uses every day to help her clients serve their clients better —and make more money as a byproduct.

I am very picky about the sales advice that I pass along, whether to
my own staff or the readers of this publication. Too many sales
consultants, over time, get too far away from the street to be of much value, because their advice becomes more theoretical and less practical over time.

Pat, on the other hand, is on the street with her salespeople virtually every day, learning anew what makes clients tick, how we can help them, and what we need to do to break through to have the opportunity to do so.

Pat’s new book is a reiteration of the solid fundamentals—the time-tested principles of good, old- fashioned customer-focused sales—all the stuff that, as the legendary Dean Sorensen once said, “worked so well we quit doing it.”

Pat places appropriate attention on the business of sales—how to set up, maintain, and monitor a growing sales business. (She implies what I have always believed—that the best salespeople approach their craft as though they were in business for themselves.) After all, you could be the best salesperson in the world, but unless you’re organized enough to get in front of the right people with the right message often enough, you are going to fail.

First, Pat colors in the background: The two worlds of sales (the world of the salesperson and the world of the buyer). The sales process (“There’s nothing magical about sales. Sales is a process. Understand the process, work the process, develop good skills, and the rewards will be yours”). The psychology of the buying decision (“Why do people buy anything? Why do people buy from us?”).

Once Pat has established the “whys” of selling, she launches into the “hows.” That way, the reader of this book is given techniques in context, not just a set of unconnected things to say and do.

Some may find some of this book to be boring—you’ve heard it all before. “It’s just the basics again.”

Those who have that attitude toward this book in specific and “the basics” in general miss the point entirely. The founder of this newsletter, Bob Doll, once said to me, “If a sales consultant tells you something that you’ve never heard before, run like hell in the other direction.” I’m tempted to use Dean Sorensen’s expression again, but I’m sure you get the idea: sales, like sports, consists of a set of basic principles that we practice over and over to get better and better.

Maybe I’m simple-minded, but the most exciting thing to me about sales is talking about the basics. In doing so, I always learn something—a new dimension, a new application, a new way of presenting. That’s the feeling I get whenever I talk with Pat, and that’s the feeling you’ll get when you read this book.

But Pat has written a sales book that is not only for all times, it is especially good for these times— times of disruption, times of change. The final chapters of her book are no less grounded in practicality and real-world experience, but they offer invaluable insights into, as one of her chapters would have it, “doing business in a new world.” How has the sales process changed? How have the needs of the consumers changed, and how can our clients keep up?

As much as I love this book and believe it presents a definitive roadmap for where broadcast sales is going, I must warn you: buying the book and putting it on your shelf is a gigantic waste of your time and money. On the other hand, buying the book, reading it from cover to cover, and keeping it on your desk for handy reference, will save you time and make you a lot of money.

Buy the book. Make the commitment. Thank me later.