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When my sales manager comes to town for his quarterly visit, we drive to many of my customers. The problem is that he insists that we listen to political talk-radio programs that I do not like. My manager is not open to discussions about turning off the radio. What can I do?

The radio hosts may be voices from the right or the left, but it is not right for your manager to impose either of them on you. Your manager pays quarterly visits, and the quality time you spend with him should not be spent on broadcasts of political ideologies. Your manager is missing a major opportunity to communicate with you, develop sales strategies, solve problems, and build the working relationship.

Up to this point, you have given him complete control of the airwaves, but it does not have to be that way. You have been simply telling him that you do not want to listen to his favorite shows, but you are not presenting him with any attractive alternatives. He does not sense any reason to shut off the radio.

The next time he comes into town for a ride-along, you should prepare a list of questions about your present clients, future clients, and product issues. As soon as the two of you hit the road and he hits the button for his favorite programs, bring out your questions. He is either going to turn his program down or turn you down, and his decision is going to answer many important questions.

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