Chris Lytle

Chris Lytle’s innovative training has reached hundreds of thousands of broadcast salespeople throughout the world and his entrepreneurial spirit has its roots in Wisconsin broadcasting. He has helped radio sellers and their managers build careers and realize levels of personal success they had only dreamed of. Many people call him “mentor.”

Lytle began his career in 1972, at WCLT-AM/FM in Newark, Ohio and joined Mid-West Family Broadcasting in Madison in 1973 where he was quickly promoted to local sales manager. It was there that he modeled relationship selling and coached with expressions like “Your clients get better when you get better.” Lytle joined American TV in 1978 where he continued developing the character of “Crazy TV Lenny” in TV and radio spots. In 1983, Lytle, along with his partner and wife Sarah McCann, launched The AdVisory Board, a sales training company based in Madison where they produced recorded sales training sessions and management seminars that have touched more than 250,000 sellers, programmers, managers, and advertisers. Lytle has written four books, numerous distance learning courses, and given more than 2,300 presentations on four continents and in all 50 states always proudly representing Wisconsin broadcasters.

 

54 Comments

  1. Karole White says:

    Congratulations Chris!

    -From your friends at the MAB!

  2. Natalie Knox says:

    This is an honor that is L-O-N-G overdue. Congrats, Chris! Bar none, you are THE best sales trainer ever! EVER! (The Ice Storm Sale is THE best!) Thanks for helping so MANY people learn how to sell “puffs of air!”

    Super Fan
    Natalie Knox
    Co-owner
    Star 97.7
    Ellsworth, ME

    • Chris says:

      Appreciate your kind comments and will never forget checking out Steven King’s house in Bangor with you.

  3. Bob Berry says:

    Wisconsin Broadcasters Hall of Fame .. The W should stand for WORLD Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Kudos to best fundamental sales trainer on this planet. There is no one better at teaching newbies and reminding old dogs how to do this job right! Here’s to another 2,300+ presentations!
    – Bob Berry KIMA TV/KUNW TV/CW9 Yakima WA

    • Chris says:

      Harrison Ford said it best in “Indiana Jones: “It’s not the years, it’s the mileage.” Thanks, Bob. You motivate this motivator with your praise.

  4. Tad says:

    Congratulations – a long way and a long time from whiffle ball in your backyard in Newark

    • Chris says:

      Maybe that’s where I got my competitive streak. We played a lot of pick up games on Moull Street. Thanks, Tad.

  5. Bill Vancil says:

    Congratulations to the Most Valuable Player on the WISM Wizards’ City Championship team team, and most valuable radio sales guy in the wotld! Welcome to the Hall of Fame, my friend. Truly well deserved.

  6. Bob Abella says:

    Chris,
    It’s been an honor to work with you during the various phases of your career; beginning in those early WISM 1480 days . Though I’ve never officially been a broadcast sales person, as a production business owner, I learned a lot about effective copywriting and about helping my customers solve their problems; which in turn contributed to my business success.

    And I didn’t even have to pay.

    Thank you very much.

    • Chris says:

      We have spent a lot of time together in the studio. And by editing all my mistakes, you got a lot more reps than most of my audience members. Thanks for all you did for me, too, Bob.

  7. Dale Ganske says:

    Congrats Chris! Well deserved! I don’t eat donuts anymore (Chico’s Donut Shop), but still can fire off my rifle in a salute to you!

  8. Well deserved honor, Chris. I enjoy re-quoting your wisdom on a daily basis, with attribution most of the time!
    Education without action is merely entertainment.
    Thanks for keeping the streets safe for radio!

    • Chris says:

      “To know and not to do is not to know” is another chestnut. Thanks, Mike. Glad to do my part.

  9. Pepper RiccI Doud says:

    Certainly well deserved. Thank you for all you’ve given to the industry. I was one of the many students to learn and use your training, which helped launch me to new heights.

    • Chris says:

      New heights? You were making more than me as I recall. You’re a true Radio star, Pepper. Thanks for commenting and I’m glad I could help you.

  10. Keith Morton says:

    Chris is the most open minded, interesting, and dynamic fellow I’ve ever known. Kudos to a well deserved honor.

    • Chris says:

      I’ll see you in Chicago’s best fitness facility on Thursday, my friend. Thanks to you and City Wide Super Slow. There are three stages of life: 1) Youth; 2) Middle Age; and 3) “Gee, you’re lookin’ good.” I heard that a lot before my induction.

  11. Brian Papstein says:

    Chris,

    What a great honor for you AND Sarah. … I remember the first couple of times we met at the RAB Managing Sales Conference in Dallas. I thought to myself that finally there was someone who understood the goal was not to stun and amaze the audience with techniques and BS, but someone who spoke “regular guy” and conveyed information clearly. The workbooks were that vehicle – and from there life became much better on the streets for radio sales folks exposed to your information. … Hard to grasp that this was 30+ years ago! … So many areas that are still being embraced by generations of sales folks is a true reflection of the market shift (Moving the Mountain) that you caused.

    Thanks from those of us in micro markets throughout the country who have been able to have more productive (positive ROI) for the businesses we work with when we apply your presentations to them.

    • Chris says:

      I was trying to sell an executive sales training one day. After about 45-minutes, he relaxed and leaned back in his chair. He said, “Chris, I like you. You’re not too slick.” Thank you, Brian. I remember meeting you at a seminar in San Francisco and spending time with you in beautiful Eureka, CA.

  12. Diana says:

    Chris, this is a fabulous testimony to your work. It’s been a pleasure working with you over the past few years! Even though I’ve only seen a small slice of what you have to offer, I know it’s made an impact on our audiences for the better. Congratulations! Much deserved!

  13. Kevin Kelly says:

    Chris,

    Well done! Congratulations from your friends at Indiana Farmers Insurance. Thanks for making a difference.

    • Chris says:

      I love helping people sell “intangibles.” Insurance or air time. Thanks for bringing me to Carmel, IN, Kevin.

  14. Congratulations Chris!! You are fantastic, and like your bio says, A lot consider you a mentor, I myself consider you that. I took ignite and it was amazing. I learned so much from it and was pumped up every day after my 20 minutes doing your lesson.

    You deserve this!

    • Chris says:

      And you applied the learning, April. Not everybody does that. But, thankfully, quite a number of people do apply it and succeed.

  15. Mark Sanborn says:

    Big congratulations, Chris! Happy for your ongoing success and recognition!

  16. Paul Neace says:

    I can’t think of anyone more deserving Chris. I was breaking in a new AE last week and the Chart was a vital tool in what I teach…I wonder where that came from…? Strive for Level 4 but don’t settle for less than Level 3. Keep making a difference, my friend!

    • Chris says:

      And Level 2 is 100% better than Level 1, Paul. And then I wrote, “You don’t have a business relationship until someone writes you a check.” Thanks for commenting, Paul.

  17. Derron Steenbergen says:

    Congratulations Chris! Thank you for clearing the path for so many of us to follow. We all know it is done properly if we do it the Lytle way. You are the best!!!

    • Chris says:

      It’s great to have a sales pro and professional speaker like you following in my footsteps, Derron. You’re gaining on my, my friend.

  18. Rod Schwartz says:

    I remember our first exchange. It was in a rented meeting room at some motel in Spokane, Washington, c. 1980. Chris is presenting one of his famous “rubber stamp” proposals (“This is the most commercials my station will let me run for you.”)

    I raise my hand.

    Me: “Why do you limit the number of commercials to 12 (?) times a day?”

    Chris (flashing a knowing grin): “Because I’m not Jim Williams.”

    You certainly were not, Chris. You studied a lot of sales and advertising masters and passed on what you learned from them (I even found a copy of Bernice Fitz Gibbons’ book on eBay), but you blazed your own trail, making it it wide enough and deep enough for thousands of us to follow and learn from you.

    We accidental salespeople owe a great deal of our success and appreciation for the business we work in (and on) to you. So, it’s great to see you formally recognized in this way.

    Kudos, thanks, and congratulations, compadre.

    • Chris says:

      I like this so much, Rod, I might have it burned into the back of my WBA HOF plaque. Thank you for sharing these memories and your high praise.

  19. John Bouwhuis says:

    Well deserved!! I was fortunate to play golf in your foursome many years ago. I have spent 30 years in broadcasting. Attended many of your seminars in Michigan and bought more copies of The Accidental Salesperson than any other must read book. It was a standard for every one of my sales teams. Your success in helping so many people in so many ways, that goes far beyond your knowledge, proves this award is well deserved.
    Thank you for all you do.

    • Chris says:

      As John knows, I am a better speaker than I was a golfer. I retired from golf about 13 years ago. Thanks for making “The Accidental Salesperson” a best seller, too. I appreciate your post.

  20. As a young seller in Chillicothe, Ohio I went on sales calls playing STTS so I could get better every time! Thank you Chris, congrats!

    • Chris says:

      STTS stands for “Sales Training That Sells.” It was an early cassette series that later became Lytle-ISMs (Instant Sales Meetings.) Thanks for the story. As Hugh knows, I’m from Newark, Ohio. The Newark High School Wildcats were in the same league as the Chillicothe, Cavaliers. Lifelong learners get more out of life, as Hugh can certainly attest.

  21. Jim Timm says:

    Congratulations, Chris! Your impact on our industry and the advertisers we collectively serve is immeasurable. I owe a great deal of my own achievements to having been trained by you so early in my career.

    • Chris says:

      I’m old enough now, that I’ve trained broadcasters like Jim who’ve gone onto become highly respected state broadcast association execs. I am proud to have helped you, Jim, and I deeply appreciate your comments, my friend.

  22. Michael Wright says:

    Congratulations Chris!!! You have been and continue to be a huge asset to our industry and we are all very proud that you are home grown right here in Wisconsin!!!

  23. Chris says:

    The operative word there is “continue.” Thanks, Michael. As I said in my acceptance speech, “This is a HOF induction, not a retirement party. I still have a lot to contribute to this industry.

  24. Rex Hansen says:

    Hall of Fame. Wow! I remember meeting you in 1980 as a rookie AE at WISM AM/FM fresh out of college. Fortunately, with your the help of your training I was able to make it a second year in radio sales. It worked for me and since then I’ve shared your training with many, many sellers. Thanks to you they became “successful sooner”. Congrats old friend, your HOF recognition is well-deserved. We’re all proud of your success story!

    • Chris says:

      Making new broadcast advertising salespeople successful sooner has always been the mission, Rex. I’m glad I helped you along the way and that you passed the lessons along to your teams. Has it been 38 years, though? No wonder we call each other “old friend,” my old friend.

  25. Rod Landon says:

    Congratulations Chris! So glad to see you recognized by your peers. I learned from you early in my career and have continued to benefit from your training as a rep and as a manager (from the Leadership training). I’ll always remember your providing the finer details of selling…so effective. You are a great asset to thousands of radio sellers. I’m proud to be an example of one of those reps from SIU with the “halo effect”. Keep up the great work!

    • Chris says:

      The Leadership Institute was quite an experience. Norm Goldsmith, Ken Greenwood and I were competitors who managed to collaborate four times a year for seven years. Ken turned 80 during one of those 4-day sessions. So, Rod, when you say, “Keep up the good work,” I will. I won’t be 80 for another 12 years!

  26. Eric Olson says:

    Wow news is SUPER spreading about this and I’m sure if my Dad Chuck Olson was “into those computers” he’d congratulate you here as well from Madison, Wisconsin! You’ve clearly touched a great number of people including this on air talent who attempted sales in Mankato, MN many MANY moons ago. Congrats Chris!

  27. Chris says:

    I wonder where all these people are getting a link to this video? Thanks for remembering me to Chuck and thank you, Eric, for your recollection.

  28. Joe Koff says:

    Chris,

    So proud.

    Like in the Wizard of Oz, you were always a Hall of Famer, you just didn’t have the honor. Thank you Wizards in Wisconsin and thank you Chris for all of your contributions to our collective successes.

    Joe

    • Chris says:

      Thank you for your kind comments, Joe. Sure, I’m in the WBA Hall of Fame. But how do I get into the Ring of Honor?

  29. Chris:

    This is a tremendous honor. Congratulations! Glad we share a first name!

    Chris

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