I’d like to share the view of Johanna Sabido, she is the director of Channel 43 Multimedios Houston, a Hispanic TV station, and the guest of the first episode of my podcast La Pizarra (The Slate). Johanna is a self-made entrepreneur who started out her career in her native Colombia, where she worked on camera for a television station and later moved to the US where she started working for Radio Unica in Houston.
As a young mother she preferred to work on the production side and she was put in charge of the sales department at the radio station, which was very challenging for her at the time, since she felt the pressure of having to earn a commission. Later on, she was offered the opportunity to work for Multimedios and with the support of her husband she felt more confident to knock on many doors and attend meetings, she started to enjoy the networking opportunities and everything that involved getting to know her clients interests and developing strong working relationships.
One of the things that really helped her make an important shift in her career was being persistent and not feeling discouraged , she says that “ I received hundreds of Nos before I got a Yes , and that day I kept on knocking on more doors because I felt the excitement of closing a deal, so I continued to look for more favorable responses” . Getting to know her clients and what they could teach her by learning about their way of conducting business, is something that makes her consider every encounter as a learning opportunity.
One of the most important things about making a sale is that you must believe in what you’re selling, otherwise you will not get good results. She learned the most valuable lesson about being a great salesperson from one of her clients at a car dealership , after she did a thorough presentation of the package she was selling he said ”I have no idea what your TV station is, but I believe in you”.
Johanna believes that at the end of the day your authenticity is your strongest asset, not so much the product your selling, but earning the client’s trust. Channel 43 is part of the Multimedios business conglomerate that has been around for more than 100 years, it includes real estate, vineyards and a newspaper company among other ventures.
Another challenge has been in convincing certain clients to buy air time for cycles of at least thirteen weeks, many of them think that a onetime deal can bring good results, when the truth is that we all have to see a TV commercial several times before we actually buy the product or we recommend it to someone else.
Johanna recommends including all types of publicity in addition to TV and Radio spots, they need to use social media and digital ads, and even billboards, and be aware that publicity works very well but not instantaneously, it needs time to build a brand that people can remember.
One of the worse things that a salesperson can do is talk badly about their competition, this will inevitably work against you, since you might end up working for that company one day and the fact that you said bad things about that company in the past can make you lose your client’s trust.
Johanna also talks about the fine line between perseverance and being too persistent, if you start bothering your clients to much you will become the person they want to avoid.
This doesn’t mean that you should stop at one phone call, keeping in touch is important but it needs to be done in a way that clients will be open to and they will even thank you for staying top of mind. Many times is you hear a NO it doesn’t mean your product isn’t good, it might just mean it just wasn’t the right time for them or they had invested their funds somewhere else for the time being but later on things will work out.
Following up with your clients are letting them know you’re there to support them when things go wrong is necessary to keep building that trust. Some of Johanna’s clients have stayed with her for many years.
Although most clients prefer to have their commercials sponsor the news programs, Johanna recommends they get on a daily rotation of different time slots to get a varied viewership. Not everyone will watch the news every day, they might prefer Prime Time shows or morning talk shows, if you limit your publicity to one demographic you will miss many other potential buyers.
When asked about the type of commercials that go well with the Hispanic population, Johanna mentioned the importance of creating commercials that are geared toward Latin American viewership since they will have a stronger impact than those created for the general market. She strongly advices clients against acting in their own commercials because it can work against them and discourage consumers from trusting that brand. A well-trained professional actor will sell the product on camera much more effectively.
Johanna keeps a balance between her work and family life by being totally honest with both sides, her bosses know she needs to be available to her family when they need her and they are very understanding , her husband and her daughter and son know she loves her work and will continue to fulfill her professional life. It hasn’t been easy, and she’s had to miss a few volleyball games, but she continues to keep the balance as best she can by cooking dinner every night and going out on the weekends.
Johanna and I also spoke about the importance of self -motivation, when times are tough it’s important for her to keep a positive mind by believing in herself and doing daily affirmations to pull through.
When things don’t go according to plan she believes in looking for a way to solve them instead of giving in to desperation or waiting for things to change, if a miracle is what we need we need to do our part to make it happen. Miracles can happen every day, you just need to be present and be ready to find them.
You can listen to the La Pizarra podcast with Nicky Mondellini on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Play.