How To Be One Of Radio’s Best National Sales Managers


Jeanne Griswold is the National Sales Manager for Cox Media Group in Orlando and Miami. She’s been in radio for 26 years, working the national side of the business for the past ten. One of Griswold’s former managers tells Radio Ink Jeanne has been a successful NSM because she displays leadership in every aspect of her job. “She excels at training and leading local staffs in negotiation, agency skills, and developing large accounts. And she’s proactive with her peer group in developing innovative ways for Cox to set ourselves apart from other broadcasters.”

Griswold was a Radio Ink Radio Wayne National Sales Manager finalist in 2017. If one of your goals is to become a successful NSM in the radio business, you’ll want to read our extended interview with one of radio’s best.

Radio Ink: Why did you choose radio as a career?
Jeanne Griswold: I had been a media planner/buyer right out of college. When I worked with the reps from various media, I found that the radio ones were the most passionate about their medium. When I was looking to make a career change it was my mother who said I needed to either go to law school or go into radio sales. (She was teaching journalism/advertising at UNC at the time). She was a smart woman and she was right – radio was a great fit for me. The consumer response for clients was immediate and I loved the creativity and fun you have working in a great radio environment.

Radio Ink: What led you into management?
Jeanne Griswold:  That was a natural evolution for me. I loved helping other people on my team with their clients and training them on the more technical side of our business, something I have always been good at. Helping someone else understand how it fits together so they can do a better job for their clients and then grow in their career was very rewarding. I had been mentored by great people, and I have always mentored other people in all areas of my life – both personal and professional. I went from being the person that people came to for help to being a sales manager.

Radio Ink: What attracted you to sales, and how did you become a national sales manager?
Jeanne Griswold: In sales you can really control your business and your career. If you work harder/smarter you will be more successful – and it is really under your control. I started in a smaller market, so I was both the GSM and the NSM. After my media planning and buying experience it was really just the other side of the desk. I always enjoyed the challenge of the puzzle that it takes to put a successful buy together. After thinking about the various roles I had in my radio career it was clear that the one I enjoyed the most was the national role. When the opportunity came available at Cox Media Group, I knew that was where I fit the best. I have been in the national role for the past 10 years and it has been great.

Radio Ink: What is the key to being a successful NSM today?  
Jeanne Griswold: Having a high level of adaptability in the changing and fast pace of the current media environment is critical. Another key is to keep a competitive advantage and have it be sustainable. A program that is sustainable, scalable, and highly efficient can enjoy extraordinary growth and profitability. As an NSM today, we make sure that the sales and programming management understand the challenges the national clients are facing and that we all work together to help these clients achieve success in our markets.

Radio Ink: What motivates you to work in the radio business every day?
Jeanne Griswold: I still find working in a great radio environment exciting. One of my GMs used to say “when you are driving to work you should be excited to be on your way to our stations” and that is still true for me. The way our medium connects with listeners is unique – and I like being a part of it. We make a positive difference in our communities every day. How many industries can say that? I really enjoy working with my national reps and our clients. In a business that is extremely competitive, my national teams are so buttoned up on their business that it makes it a lot of fun to strategize and work with them on accounts. They are smart and competitive, and it’s great to work with them every day. I strive to be the one person in my markets that a buyer will call to ask a question about the market.

Radio Ink: What keeps you up at night?  
Jeanne Griswold: Markets face challenges of increasing profitability, revenue growth, market share, share of voice, and competitive intensity. My thoughts revolve around what can I and the rest of my team do to individually and collectively impact positive results and outcomes? Is our work pace keeping us competitive and a market leader – do we have the speed to market and how can we improve it? What can we do to grow our business through efficient and effective processes that offer profitability? How will we move to the next level and new revenue growth?

Radio Ink: How do you educate yourself so you are always on top of your game? What should other managers do?  
Jeanne Griswold: Staying on top of my game requires a lot of reading and data analysis. I keep up with current media spending and trends in my markets as well as nationally. Reviewing the competitive landscape both in and out of the radio industry as well as consumer buying habits helps me stay on top of what may change. I think we all have to become better stewards of our business. Paying attention to market growth trends, determining the precise triggers and categories for growth will keep us ahead of the curve. Understanding the inventory and pricing so that we maximize what we have for advertisers and continue to grow our revenue and share is critical. The media world is becoming more horizontal as advertisers, agencies, and consumers want to be reached across multiple platforms, and we need to make sure that we are a resource for our clients and help them understand the role that radio plays.

Reach out to Jeanne to congratulate her on being a great ambassador for the radio industry at [email protected]


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