Lose your radio hat. Like it or not, your prospects have a huge appetite for “new media.” You’ll open many more doors offering to explore the use of radio in an integrated media strategy rather than talking about radio alone.
Think “new.” Look for prospects not using radio. Radio can be “new media” for those businesses not using radio, especially those who used to rely upon the nearly dead Yellow Pages.
Use “Three E’s” in every presentation: Engage, Educate, and Entertain with a variety of platforms, including videos, testimonials, spec spots, samples, written presentations, stories, and humor to make your case.
Underpromise and overdeliver. Always plan what you can do after the sale to deliver more than you promised to get the sale. And spend at least as much time pursuing repeat business as new business.
Read more, more often. You can find leads, ideas, and knowledge in almost every publication or blog to help you create more stimulating presentations.
Develop easy-to-convey formulas, like Share of Voice = Share of Mind = Share of Market, or the “Three R’s” of Results, Reach x Repetition x Relevance, or Resonance of the Message that clearly position radio’s strengths in the new-media landscape.
Early to bed, early to rise: Eighty percent of your major sales will be made before 11 a.m., before your clients have had to deal with too many customer complaints, employee problems, and other stress factors.
Ask for referrals. When a client expresses their satisfaction with your service, ask them for a referral and permission to use their name to capture an appointment.
Be aware of your body language, and your customer’s body language. Shake hands firmly, and always maintain eye contact to demonstrate your confidence.
Manage your account list. Know when to transfer less productive accounts to give you more time to superserve your higher-potential accounts.
Use the power of stories, analogies, and jokes. Develop an arsenal of stories and jokes that make your points in more convincing ways than boring statistics could. Jokes can break the ice, and stories can strike a powerful emotional chord with your prospects.
Plan your work and work your plan. Or to use another cliché, those who fail to plan, plan to fail. When you get to the office on Monday morning, your calendar for the week should be jam-packed.
Join the RAB. A rising tide lifts all boats, and a healthy RAB benefits our entire industry. Supporting, and benefiting from, the RAB’s member services is a right, an obligation, and a necessity.
Network more effectively, on social media and face-toface. Ask not what your network can do for you, but what you can do for your network. When you have done something of value for your network, members will turn to you when they’re ready to advertise.
Always present the benefits of 52-week advertising. Going into each month with 80-90 percent of your budget made with long-term business gives you more breathing space to capture the short-term business. Research of 540 local businesses proved the number one reason clients don’t book 52 weeks is that we don’t ask them to.
No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care. Care more about helping your clients make their budgets than you do about making your own budget, and something strange happens: You begin to make your budget anyway.
Go where no radio reps have gone. Share-of-mind surveys in more than 100 markets across North America have proven that the Share of Voice = Share of Mind = Share of Market formula works. When you crack a new advertiser who has no competitors advertising on your station, they automatically have the dominant share of voice with your audience, and the results will amaze even you!
Do some public speaking on the power of radio for local business organizations or functions. You’ll meet and influence the movers and shakers in your market, plus you’ll become a better presenter after doing the prep work for your talk.
Write your own weekly blog to promote radio, or subscribe to a blog service.
Present more spec spots more often. Hearing your sample commercial will be the most powerful tipping point in your presentations.
Have a valid business reason for every client contact. A valid business reason is a reason that benefits your client.
Develop a positive attitude. Practice looking for the opportunity in every problem.
Present more spec calendars more often. It’s difficult to get advertisers to book long-term spot schedules. But it’s much easier to get them to commit to weekby- week campaigns and objectives over the long term.
Present more co-op opportunities. A large percentage of co-op allocations go unspent each year because advertisers are too busy to explore them or do the paperwork. If you do the work for them, you’ll make more sales.
Destroy your media kit. The three fastest ways to get rid of an unwanted radio rep are to say, “I have no budget for radio,” “I can’t handle any more business,” and, “Send me a media kit.” No one has ever bought from a media kit.
Ask for and justify more on every renewal. Asking for more demonstrates your confidence in radio advertising.
Be a thief. Start stealing ideas that have worked for others in other markets. There is no such thing as a completely original idea. There are only original adaptations of old ideas.
When you think your day is through, make one more call. One more call a day, with a valid business reason to capture an appointment, will result in actually reaching 168 decisionmakers, and capturing 67 appointments, which will result in 17 more sales per year.
Practice makes perfect. There is always room for improvement. Role-play your presentations; practice handling objections and asking probing questions.
Target accounts that match your demos. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and think of all the products and services they need, then pursue sellers of those products and services.
Make your clients feel like VIPs. Introduce them to station managers, arrange meetings with your creative people, give them backstage passes and more.
Have ethical pricing strategies. Never let a tough negotiator, or a buyer who buys when you desperately need the revenue, to get a better deal than your best 52-week advertisers.
Use testimonials. Your successful clients are actually better radio salespeople than you.
Know your competition — and it’s not other radio stations. According to BIA/Kelsey, old-fashioned direct mail still steals the lion’s share of local ad budgets, and the lure of new media will continue to increase share if you don’t understand their strengths and weaknesses and how to redirect budget from them to radio.
Go the extra mile in pre-call prep. Conduct a mystery shop, do a store walk through, facilitate focus groups, talk to your prospect’s staff and suppliers, and more. Prescription without diagnosis is malpractice, and doing your homework before you present solutions assures you of presenting the right solutions.
Take credit for your pre-call preparation with the magic words, “In preparation for this call, I…,” explaining what you’ve done to earn the right to ask probing questions.
Present custom solutions. Never present “one size fits all” solutions. Even your standard station packages can be custom-tailored to fit each client’s situation and objectives.
Love it or leave it. Have fun with your peers, your clients, and with every campaign you develop. When your day-to-day challenges become problems instead of opportunities, it’s time for an attitude adjustment.
Do your homework. Complete 90 percent of the typical CNA (Competitive Needs Analysis) that your competitors try to conduct with the client, before you meet with the client. Then use what you’ve learned from suppliers, websites, trade publications, staff, and other sources to craft better, more meaningful questions when you meet with the client.
Last, but not least: “Isn’t it funny how the harder we work, the luckier we get?”