In an earlier story I told of how, back in the ’70s, when I was station manager at WISM radio in Madison, Wisconsin, audition tapes from announcers would come across my desk. In those days, disc jockeys would send out reel-to-reel tape recordings with samples of their on-air performance. Usually, the tapes were “telescoped.” That is, the bulk of the music was spliced out so you’d hear mostly the disc jockey doing his thing. This one day a manila envelope arrived first class, containing one of those reels. The receptionist, who sorted the mail, knew from the package’s appearance, that it was to be routed to my desk. When I opened it, I saw it was not from a disc jockey, but rather a radio sales person who was working in a small town in Ohio. His name was Chris Lytle. I read his resume with interest, noting that he had been the Ohio collegiate high jump champion. Hmm. . .tell me more. Hobbies included. . .basketball? Yes! Visions of upgrading our WISM basketball team danced in my head. The tape, by the way, contained some commercials written and produced by Chris. Listening to a few seconds of the first one was enough for me. I went directly to the office of our General Sales Manager, Phil Fisher, and handed him the tape, commenting, “This guy looks like a heck of a good sales person, you’ll want to take a close look at him.” Never one to overlook an opportunity, Phil contacted my soon-to-be power forward and hired him to join the station sales staff. Chalk up an assist for me. That year, 1974, the WISM Wizards went 15-2 and won the Madison City League Championship.
Our leading scorer, Chris Lytle, was later named WISM Sales Manager and eventually started his own sales training business. Since then, he has conducted nearly 2300 seminars throughout the English-speaking world, and is the author of the business best seller, The Accidental Salesperson, named one of the top ten career books the year it was published. Chris’s second book, The Accidental Sales Manager was published in 2011. Unfortunately, no NBA scouts were at any of our city league basketball games, or Chris may have had a totally different career. However, becoming one of the top sales trainers in the world, a best selling author, and a terrific guy was, for Chris Lytle, a slam dunk.