Or "Don't Try These, You May Not Like Them"

When the time comes to take your business to the next level I strongly recommend you consider signing-up with your local Sandler Sales Training franchise and use their system in part of your “sales winning armoury”.

I’m really at the start of this journey, but already it’s been highlighted to me that, one of the things that hold us back from converting prospects into sales, is ourselves and the baggage we carry around in our heads.

For instance, a fear of rejection making us paralysed at the thought of approaching a prospect or even, heaven forbid, cold-calling. (In fact Sandler teach you that, if you do your preparation properly, there should be no such thing as a cold call.)

Talking about money could be a big issue too. You may feel uncomfortable talking about the prices you charge, or your hourly rate.

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It’s a given that to survive in business, you have to do more than a little marketing and, if you can, have a “hook” to hang it all on, such as a special day: Either align yourself with an existing one, like the brewers and pubs do with St Patrick's Day. Or make one up, as the greeting card industry did with Fathers Day.

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Where did those five years go? It only seems like last year that we had the first coalition government since I don’t know when and now we are preparing to vote in, perhaps, another one. It’s also that time when the broadcasters, especially the BBC, gear up to cover the 100s of counts up and down the country, to give us the results and slice-and-dice what it means.

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With the possible exception of that bible of electronics design “The Art of Electronics” virtually every other book on professional audio is out of date fairly soon after publication.

In fact my experience is that the information contained in out-of-date publications can sometime be more troublesome that helpful.

The obvious place to go for useful info in the ‘net, so here’s a short list of sites that offer useful, accurate and relevant information connected with professional audio.

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So 2014 closes and, as 2015 starts, AV Resilience commences its fourth year of trading. 2014 was 12 months that saw AVR get on a firm footing, seeing regular, and quality, business going through the books.

The year also saw an upturn in enquires, which is always a good indication of the way business in the industry is going. Obviously, for various reasons, not all these convert into sales straight-away but are pleased to report that there are very likely to be positive outcomes in at least the first quarter of 2015.

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Apart from two years when, being a newbie to the world of work and not really knowing what I was getting in to and kind of lost the plot, I was building nuclear missile guidance systems (yes really, and my signature on the Official Secrets Act proves it) my entire working life has been in the broadcast media, and radio in particular. 

For over a quarter of a century I have been connected with this wonderful medium in one way of the other.

From presenting on hospital radio, building radio studios, selling advertising, station management and even station ownership. Not wishing to boast, but in its voluntary, commercial or state sector guises I have pretty much done it all and, in what seems unusual for these times, I have also made a living from it too. So I feel I am in a position to comment on what makes radio “good”. 

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Soho Radio is an online radio station located in the centre of London’s Soho quarter.

 20140819 SohoRadio

An AVR client alerted me to this radio gem, mainly because I was enquiring on the whereabouts of a piece his studio equipment and it turned out he had lent it to them.

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Radio stations frequently prompt the benefit of radio advertising to prospective advertisers yet spend very little marketing themselves. 

The usual reply is: “It costs money”. 

But stop and think for a second: What do the companies who run adverts on your station do? They are spending their money with you. 

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In professional AV and broadcast technology one thing is for sure:  The price of the equipment keeps coming down. It may not seem like it, but consider this. Compare the function and facilities you get on say an effects unit of today and one that was produced 10 years ago. The price has stayed pretty much the same, but look what you get for your money. Or conversely, look how much you don’t pay for the base model in a mixer range.  £30 for a note-pad model is not uncommon. I recall when Soundcraft broke the £400 barrier with the Spirit Folio range and we all marvelled how they could do it for the price! And don’t be fooled by the notion that a cheap price means poor audio quality either. With surface mount technology, CAD layout of PCBs and flow-solder manufacturing, you simply don’t have to pay a premium for quality audio specifications any more.

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There is a lot to talk about in this blog: from a new AV Resilience product to a recent studio installation. But by way of getting into this narrative I was struck by a huge billboard advert I saw in the street recently from Coca Cola. In fact, as I write this, I am staying in a hotel on business and I can see it from my window. As you can tell, I am not staying in a hotel in the rolling green fields of England but instead have a view of Salford, with the Manchester United ground in the distance and the aforementioned advert nearby.

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I have been meaning to get around to posting a blog on my thoughts on speech-based radio for a while now, but I am actually glad that my dallying has meant that this blog couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time. Earlier this month UK radio listeners were able to select all-talk station LBC as a new listening choice, as Global Radio, owners of the UK’s first legally licenced commercial radio station, rolled the service out from its London broadcast area to cover the whole of the UK. And just today Fubar Radio, a subscription based station dedicated to "uncensored comedy and talk", commenced broadcasting on the ‘net.

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In part one of this two-part blog I wrote about how you could, and should, make your studio equipment, the very kit you used to make programmes with, do more than just make a sound. It can be used as promotional tools too. In part 1, I outlined three ideas and part 2 covers four more.

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