Radio Blog

This page contains blog articles on a range of topics of interest to professionals in radio sales, including everything from selling technique to the state of the industry. If you have an opinion on any issue regarding radio or would like to share some of your sales techniques with others, you can submit an article for the blog here (max 400 words, please).

CONFIDENT AND COMPETENT

You will always be your best customer. It's not a big account you service, nor is it a hot new prospect you just uncovered; it's you. The reason is simple. If you’re not completely confident at selling radio airtime, you will never come close to maximizing your sales potential.

The current economic climate makes the need to sell yourself even more important than ever. Even if you think you’re the exception to this rule or you’re not completely confident in the radio airtime you offer, ask yourself this simple question: “Have you ever offered a discounted price or bonus commercials to either keep a customer or attract a new one? Very few radio salespeople can honestly say they have never done this, if you have, it means you probably aren’t 100% sold on your station or the radio proposal you’re trying to sell – its merely the money you’re after and not something created in your clients best interest.

As consumers, when we don’t fully believe in what is being offered to us, we naturally expect a discount. We want something in return for not being completely confident about what we’re buying ourselves. Since radio salespeople generally don’t communicate the level of confidence required in order to buy the station at rate card, we want some type of concession to make us feel better about the purchase.

It’s something we have been for years in the radio industry – and it would be fair to say we’ve even trained our clients to expect bonus ads or money discounts.

To be completely sold on your stations benefits, not only will you need to use what you sell, but you also need to understand all of the features and benefits your radio station provides. As someone who works at ARIA I meet hundreds of radio salespeople each year and I’m always amazed at the number of salespeople who admit they don’t even listen to what they sell. I’m always surprised when I can’t hear my clients station booming throughout the building; and I’m shocked when I’m in a station reps car and they’re listening to a station from the stable of radio competitors in the same market. How can you be totally committed to a radio station if you’re not listening to it? And unfortunately it’s not uncommon for me to see salespeople shortchanging themselves and their station because they are unable to identify and explain the value of what they are selling. Although this sounds extremely basic, many salespeople I’ve worked with cannot even name five benefits their customers can receive by advertising on their station(s). They can however usually list five features – features are meaningless if they’re not linked to a benefit. Without understanding (and presenting) the full array of your stations benefits, there’s little chance a new prospect will ever buy.

A badly managed sales process is usually a good indicator of whether or not the salesperson is sold on the station he or she is selling. Nothing conveys a lack of confidence faster than a sales process that isn’t professional. Unfortunately, for many salespeople, a disorganized sales process is normal but it only serves to destroy more sales and, ultimately, a huge amount of profit. Despite the customer’s desire to buy, an unorganized sales process creates an air of skepticism that often can only be countered by offering some type of discount to close the deal.

With the current state of the economy, it is imperative that you are both confident and competent to achieve great success. In any sales call, you best communicate these qualities by being completely sold on your own stations benefits and value. And always remember, no customer is ever sold until you are.

Sell without Regret
Michael Tate, President ARIA

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