“Disruption” is a topic that dominated a second NAB Show session in Las Vegas featuring radio sales leaders, and depending on who you talk to, the changes being seen on the street may differ from battles being waged in the C-Suite.
Appearing at a Tuesday panel “Radio: From The Streets and The C-Suite” moderated by RAB President/CEO Erica Farber, Townsquare Media EVP/Radio Erik Hellum noted that the biggest disruption seen in his organization is being seen by its clients – and how much their business is changing.
“In mid-sized markets our clients had 16 media salespeople calling on them. Now, it is 84,” Hellum said. If Townsquare’s sales execs could simply focus on their stations’ strengths, cutting through the clutter could prove successful. Univision Radio/San Diego AE Meaghan Clark is one of those 84 sellers.
How has the shift to digital of local dollars impacted her during her 5 ½-year tenure at Univision’s two regional Mexican FMs in the market? “Disruption is affecting my job in that more people are calling on our clients every single day,” she says. This requires her to “foster that one-on-one relationship with them.”
Clark tries to see them on weekly or every-other-week basis – a move designed to build the personal relationship, something Farber acknowledges as “important as ever” for a radio sales team. Brian Black, a Sr. AE for Beasley Media Group’s Las Vegas cluster, turned inward when looking to solutions on how to keep clients in the mix while adding new clients to the stations’ roster. He says, “It doesn’t matter if we have something new to sell somebody. I’m still the same person coming back month after month, year after year. My number one job is to be trustworthy and my number one rule is just to not freak out. If something comes down the pike, just relax and take a look at it before reacting to it.”
That said, “all are freaking out – but don’t freak out.”
Clark recommends not getting lost in “everything that’s happening around you,” or “the minutia.” Being consistent and being focused will help to achieve this.
Also appearing on the panel was Cox Media Group EVP Bill Hendrich, who quoted Peter Drucker – the father of modern business thinking – in saying, “Identify the future that has already happened.”
Hendrich implored sellers to go and identify the trends and changes and adapt their business style to attract new clients. “If you look around, that world has already happened to you. Pandora is not going away.”