How To Be A Great National Sales Manager

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Julie Judge is the National Sales Manager for Hubbard Radio in Seattle. Last week at The Radio Show in Orlando, Julie’s name was called by Radio Ink Publisher Deborah Parenti as the 2018 Radio Ink Radio Wayne Award winner in the NSM category. She tells Radio Ink that when she heard her name called, “It was an awesome feeling of elation, excitement and pride all at the same time.”

Julie’s supervisor is Michele Grosenick. “Julie is the most effective National Sales Manager that I have worked with in my 37-year radio career. She strikes a wonderful balance between the needs of the rep firm, the clients, and the radio stations. She is a smart and creative radio professional who understands all aspects of our business and I’m very proud to have her on the Hubbard Radio Seattle team.”

When Julie returned to her office, coworkers had already cleared off a spot on her shelf and made signs for her. They were as excited as she was about the win.

Here is our extended interview with the 2018 Radio Ink Radio Wayne National Sales Manager of the year.

Radio Ink: Why did you choose radio as a career?
Julie Judge: I started in radio while I was in college and fell in love with it. What I thought was going to be a part-time job that helped me pay for school turned into so much more on so many levels. The more I became immersed in the various aspects of radio, the clearer it became to me that this was where I wanted to be.

Radio Ink: Why did you get into sales and then sales management?
Julie Judge: I started in programming and promotions before going into sales. Sales intrigued me because it provided me with the opportunity to interact with potential clients as well as coworkers. As I grew my sales skills and began mentoring some of the newer sellers that I worked with, the transition to sales management was natural for me. When you can help your team grow and look at things from different perspectives it helps them meet not only their goals but their client’s goals as well. I love being able to be a part of that process. As I continue to grow and evolve with the business, I love being able to share that knowledge with my team. I learn from them as well.

Radio Ink: What is the outlook for national sales for the year ahead?
Julie Judge: National sales will have its ups and downs as does local sales. The keys to growing national sales is having a strong partnership with the rep firm, creativity, and strong client as well as agency relationships. The more both the NSMs and the rep firm can get in front of clients and agencies to provide them with innovative ways to increase their business or brand awareness through the use of radio, the stronger the future for national sales.

Radio Ink: Why has radio not been able to increase its overall share of the advertising pie in recent years?
Julie Judge: Digital certainly has had an impact on radio advertising budgets. As an industry we need to be diligent in our efforts of keeping radio relevant and top of mind with advertisers.

Radio Ink: What are the three biggest challenges to being a successful NSM today?
Julie Judge: 1.) Shorter and shorter turnaround times; 2.) Decreasing CPMS/CPPs; 3.) Gathering everyone together at a moment’s notice to brainstorm an idea for a client. The programming and promotions and digital staff are all working on their own projects and there are many times that I need to pull them all together quickly to work out the perfect promotion for a client who of course needs it “now.” When I am in the office, that task is a bit easier. The tricky part is trying to pull off those sessions via email and conference calls when I am working remotely between calls.

Radio Ink: Give us a success story you are most proud of over the past year.
Julie Judge: I have had several that I am very proud of. If I have to pick one it would be getting our brand-new Country station (KNUC) The Bull on the Disneyland buys. As soon as we got our first jock on the air we were invited to do a live broadcast from Disneyland by the client. Both myself and my our Program Directors and Marketing Directors have strong relationships with the client. At that time, only KQMV and KRWM were on the agency buys. We did two Disney promotions and one live broadcast for The Bull which were extremely successful. With the client’s backing I was able to get The Bull added to the next agency buys for Disney. I am always thrilled when I get our top-rated stations on buys or when we do endorsement campaigns that hit it out of the park for clients. When I can make a client happy with a brand-new station that is just forging their identity in the market and just beginning to grow ratings, I take a special kind of pride in that accomplishment. I love it when clients feel the same passion for the product that I do.

Radio Ink: What advice do you have for other managers out there working the accounts hard and facing the challenges you face every day?
Julie Judge: Always remember to communicate with your team as well as your clients. In national sales, we work in a very fast-paced, quick-turnaround environment. Sometimes, taking a moment to ask questions and actually listening to the response is the most efficacious way of achieving everyone’s goals. Remembering to acknowledge the little things as well as the big ones with the rep firm, your clients, and your coworkers also goes a long way in promoting success and pride for everyone involved.

Reach out to Julie to congratulate her at jjudge@hbi.com

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