When business to business sales professionals think about prospecting they usually think about clever ways to open the door and meet their prospect. They must get past security guards, executive assistants, voice mail systems, and receptionists to deliver their 30 second plea for a meeting. Most sales people tell you that it takes at least seven tries to schedule a meeting after you get to the person you want to talk with. Then it's a tedious process of gathering information about your prospect until you know enough about their business to make a sales pitch. This takes months! But Lee Kantor has a track record of getting prospects to the meeting after just a couple calls. When they get there, they'll tell you anything you want to know. Lee Kantor is the founder of Atlanta Business Radio X, an Internet radio station.
CEO's love good PR. Just imagine calling the CEO of your prospect company and inviting them to be your guest on a business talk radio show. That first call should get you past the receptionist, executive assistant, and even the voice mail. Then all you do is develop your interview questions and schedule a time for the show at Radio X. They get to tell their story to you, you get a voice record of the conversation so you don't even need to take notes, and you get to build rapport while providing your client with a real value. The best part, your client gets a permanent link to the interview which they can link to on their website. From there, it's a matter of salesmanship and personal rapport. After the show when you make a follow up call to pitch your solution, you should get a warm reception.
While Lee was working in the marketing department for a fitness center, he and his partner wrote a book on loosing weight. The natural path was to promote the book on talk shows and found himself hosting a weekly Internet radio show, "Dr. Fitness". His sense of humor led to a great following. "It was easy to get guests for the show." And then the epiphany hit him - "Why not do this for other people, for a fee?" Lee found a paying client. That job funded his own studio and Atlanta Business Radio X was launched.
Today, Atlanta Business Radio X is well established with a community of hosts. Lee helps hosts network with each other to share success stories and qualified prospects. It is the networking and community that really sets Radio X apart from other Internet radio stations. Lee admits there are some stiff competitors out there who offer a similar service for free, but they do it over the phone. "When a salesperson can meet face to face with a key prospect there is a much higher conversion rate and that makes it worthwhile to pay for a studio interview."
Lee wants his clients to be successful, so he is there to co-host the program, make sure the conversation stays lively, and that the technology is practically invisible to the host and the guest. Lee is typically out the door at 3 PM each day and edits the programs from the comfort of his home office. At the end of the day, it is great PR, it was fun, and two business people came together for a meaningful exchange.
Lee is documenting "how to do it" so he can expand into other geographic markets. He isn't sure about whether to franchise the model or not but he knows this business model is scalable and it can be successful in other cities too. Lee is also evaluating the idea of putting Internet radio in-house at companies with large sales teams but at this time feels the program has better credibility with prospects when it is outsourced rather than in-sourced.
Sales and marketing is rapidly evolving with our society. People don't want push advertising, junk mail, spam email, or in your face multi-media presentations. They want value and will respond to invitations that add value to their mission. It seems that commercial free, Internet radio is catching on and creating a venue for business people to meet and initiate deals.
Lee grew up in New York City and Miami. Seeing his father as a career employee of the US Postal Service, Lee realized he was a bit of a maverick and would never be able to work in corporate America. Lee pursued a degree in advertising from the University of Florida. While at UF, he worked on a team that won an advertising contest with an Atlanta company. That early success launched his career into the advertising field. The creative side of advertising was a good fit with his nonconformist spirit. Lee has a blast hosting and co-hosting programs on Radio X and the bug seems to be contagious. Lee's eleven year old son, Max watched him do a show and said "That's easy, I can do what you do." So Max now hosts his own 10 minute show "Kid Power". Max has interviewed kid stars from Hollywood and has an international following.
For more information about Atlanta Business Radio X check their website www.businessradiox.com
Reporting and photography by Sam Dobrow. Sam Dobrow is a freelance writer and photographer. For more information on Sam Dobrow visit www.samdobrowphotography.com.