M.I.N.M.: Trivia Feud
Who: Cathy Deighan, general manager, Great Scott Broadcasting
Players: The eight members of the sales team
Frequency: Every Tuesday morning
Why I never miss it: "It's a fun, upbeat way to get our team up to speed on practical information it needs in radio and marketing."
Making a sales call is a fairly routine affair, as long as you know your stuff. "There's a ton of information for our people to memorize," says Cathy Deighan, 38, general manager of Great Scott Broadcasting, an independent broadcasting company based in Pottstown, Pennsylvania that has eight radio stations in Maryland and Delaware. So Great Scott has incorporated a little of Mark Goodson's magic into otherwise conventional weekly sales meetings at its office in Georgetown, Delaware. Every Tuesday, the sales team wraps up with Trivia Feud, in which players are tested on their knowledge of audience demographics, marketing protocol, and the key components of selling radio spots. "The best way to retain information is through repetition," Deighan says. The Feud has also helped Great Scott retain its talent. "We're a family-run business, and we're up against some pretty stiff competition," says Deighan, who assumes the role of Richard Dawson (or Louie Anderson, depending on your pop-culture references) each week. "But Great Scott has very low turnover. Most of our staff has been on board for several years now — something that is rare in this industry."
Is that your final answer?
"Reps have to know the qualitative and quantitative information about each of our stations, and they have to be able to answer clients' questions quickly. When we play the Trivia Feud, sales reps compete to answer the questions correctly. It can get pretty crazy."
"Before the game starts each week, we focus on something that the entire team is having difficulty with, such as objections from clients about rates. We also cover what's been going on in the past week — for example, problems with production or remotes — so that we can continually polish up and get better."
Come on down!
"The competing 'families' are selected randomly and are different each week, but there's always a clear sense of teamwork that carries over from game to game. Despite the competitiveness, the reps don't get embarrassed if they don't know a response. Instead, everyone on the team tries to help one another."
"The game usually lasts about 15 minutes, and at the end, each person on the winning team gets a prize. We have eight radio stations, so there's a pretty hefty prize closet. Some of the nicer rewards have been gift certificates for dinner, free car washes — and cash."
A version of this article appeared in the April 2001 issue of Fast Company magazine.