After more than 30 years in the Direct Response Television Industry, I’ve learned a lot about the business. While I’m long retired, I continue to study it and write about it when I have something to add to the conversation. This is one of those times. First, a bit of historical perspective.
Back in the late 1990’s, QVC was in a sales slump as we entered the all-important 4th Quarter. I was single at the time, wasn’t dating anyone seriously and didn’t have any close family. While I was the on-air “rebel,” I was also the team home run hitter. I was one of the few hosts who viewed my position as a sales job. Most of the others saw it as a chance to be on TV. Using my sales ability, I usually outsold everyone else.
I went to management and told them I could work nonstop for the holidays. I let them know I didn’t want anything in return, I just wanted to use my ability to help pull us out of the slump. They agreed and I worked 50 straight days with no days off starting a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving through December 23rd. Some days, I was scheduled to work a double shift and even worked a few triples. I was glad management took me at my word, but I was exhausted.
As I had hoped, other hosts began to notice all the “home runs” I was hitting. Some Today’s Special Values that virtually sold out at midnight along with many other presentations that were setting sales records. Some of my peers started putting their shoulders to the wheel along with mine. My extra efforts inspired the team to do everything they could to help pull us out of a slump.
Our hard work paid off. At the end of 4th Quarter, we were far ahead of our yearly goal. It was a very proud moment for all of us. Although I had told QVC I didn’t want anything in return for my efforts, they did give me a large bonus for my efforts.
Even though I was in my late 40’s at the time, I learned an important lesson from this. There really is no limit to what dedicated people can accomplish if they put their minds to it and do the hard work necessary to make it happen. It’s a lesson that serves me well to this day.
So why is this story important to today’s Televised Shopping? After recently watching “The Big 3” Channels, and a few of the smaller ones, it became obvious to me that there are no visible signs of teamwork. It’s my guess that it’s everyone for him or herself. I can almost smell the competition between the hosts. Hell, there are few people more competitive than I am and I have always realized that success is never a one-man show.
Hopefully, the QVC/HSN hybrid and Evine will hire host managers who will inspire a sense of teamwork in their hosts. TV Shopping Hosts need a leader who can inspire the teamwork necessary to create a successful future.
© 2019 Steve Bryant – No portion of this or any blog can be reproduced or copied and posted on any online site or read aloud on any audio or video media without the express permission of the author.