How to Build a Great Radio Sales Team.
Recruitment. Hire high-percentage candidates in the first place.
Must be brave and smart, with an insatiable curiosity for all things
retail. Proven media sales experience is a "must hire" criteria and
outside sales experience of any kind is a big plus. Media sales is a
career, not a job, a life, not a lifestyle. Hours? 24! All
candidates must be prepared to live, eat, drink, sleep, smoke,
breath, toss and turn advertising sales!
Training. There was, is and always will be just two ways to sell
media. You're either a spot hawking, cold calling, package pushing
MEDIA REP or you're a true ACCOUNT EXEC operating on a two-call
consult-and-sell methodology. I've only been in the biz since 1983,
but I'm still waiting to meet my first package pusher with a
successful career in broadcast sales, earning an above average income
year after year, owning a big house, putting kids through college.
etc. Yet, sadly, a one-sheet spot package is what most media reps
are given as training.
Compensation. Pay the highest commissions in your market. Period.
Set a structure, and don't change it. And never, NEVER put a ceiling
on an AE's ability to earn. Never, ever "adjust" account lists by
taking from one to give to another. Make every AE build his or her
list from accounts NOT on the air. Never, ever, cheat an AE out of a
commission. Great AEs don't work to achieve station goals. They
work to achieve their own. And you, the sales manager, must be 100 percent
committed to THEIR financial success!
Eliminate protected account lists. If an account is NOT on the air,
it's OPEN! If an AE secures the business, then it's his or hers. I
think it's ridiculous to hire new people to sell and when they call
on a business NOT on the air, someone starts hollering, "That's on my
list!" Too many sales nanagers spend way too much time fiddling
around with account lists and managing all the drama they create.
Never, not once has a prospect called me to complain about one or
more AEs calling on his or her business. When it happens, I'll
simply ask, "Well, who do you prefer, then?"
Eliminate daily call sheets and spend more time with your AEs. Call
sheets are nothing more than creative writing. I work with my AEs
closely every day. I can smell it when one is coasting. I don't
want them taking time off the streets writing some bogus puffery.
Give them what they need most: daily one on one meetings developing
creative for new business presentations.
Kevin Neathery is General Sales Manager of the Jonesboro Radio Group
KDXY-FM KDXY-HD2 KDXY-HD3 KEGi-FM KJBX-FM