New South Radio’s Kelly Crocker


Kelly Crocker is the Sales Manager for New South Radio’s 6-station cluster in Jackson. General Manager Bob Lawrence says hiring Kelly was the single greatest hire he’s made. “She’s added so much toward creating and building a new culture within our organization. She’s incredibly creative, upbeat, and works with our sellers daily to manage more than just their accounts; she helps build a strong sense of teamwork and accountability from all.” Kelly Crocker is Radio Ink’s Sales Manager of the Week.

Kelly quote: “It’s a great family owned company. It;s nice to work with a family that allows you to make decisions and create fun.”

Radio Ink: How did you get into radio sales?
Kelly: A family member of mine sold radio for the Holladay family when I was in college. She thought I’d be a good fit. I met with the owner and the rest is history. I spent 10years in radio and then went to TV for 10 years. When the management position came open here I met with the manager and we hit it off with the same vision and goals. I am now the sales manager at New south radio??

Radio Ink: How did you know you’d be good at selling radio?
Kelly: I knew the value of radio but at the beginning I had a hard time closing accounts. I spent a lot of time working with seasoned sellers and knew I was making the right number of calls. My problem was not asking for the business. When I started asking and meeting people face to face it was like an avalanche. My sales soared. At that point I was motivated to do more. Being open to learning and having those seasoned people was key.

Radio Ink: Do you find yourself teaching sales people now how to ask for the order?
Kelly: Absolutely. That’s my greatest piece of advice. If you can do it, ask in person. It’s a lot harder to say no to someone in person.

Radio Ink: Why do you think you’re a successful leader of salespeople?
Kelly: I’ve been in their shoes. I don’t ask anything of them that I haven’t done myself. I understand their frustrations and challenges. We know how to keep them motivated. Luckily we work for a local company that gives us the ability to create incentives. My biggest challenge from them is change. They don’t like change as most people don’t. We’ve been showing them from day one, if they keep an open mind we will help them grow their business together. We’re very fair and have earned their trust. Being consistent with decision making has been key to success in this market. I’m very blessed to have a great team.

Radio Ink: One of the things the radio industry is always going through is recruiting good people who stay for a long period of time. How do you find a good salesperson?
Kelly: Usually it’s someone who’s never satisfied. Someone who always wants to make money, is open to change, and willing to learn. You can teach radio to people, but not that grit and determination to make the extra cold call or phone call. That’s what it takes to sell air.

Kelly with 4 of her 6 Sellers and Traffic Manager:
(l-r) Laurie Chaplain, Darlene Palm (traffic manager), Alexis Ramsey, Keith Robinson, Kelly Crocker and Scott Steele

Radio Ink: What do you do to keep yourself sharp and motivated?
Kelly: I take advantage of all of our resources. Leaning in on our other business partners, my General Manager, talking to our clients. Asking them about market conditions. Clients are willing to share a lot with you about their industry and challenges. I want to know what’s going on in the market and what challenges they’re facing.

Radio Ink: What advice do you have for other sales managers working in this highly competitive environment?
Kelly: Building a team that enjoys working together and seeing each other succeed is the key. We try to create a work environment here where everyone genuinely likes each other. Every day isn’t going to be fun but creating that positive environment is key. We have strong relationships with our other departments like traffic, production, and promotions. They are vital to the success of sales. We like to keep them involved with the success we’re having so they know the promotion they put together for us sold. Or the traffic order they entered ran correctly. Keeping them tied into the success. One thing my GM and I started, was account management. Making sure that we have the right sellers aligned with each account. Moving those accounts around and making sure we’re getting the most we can out of them. I spend a lot of time researching leads and categories. We like to push new business and create incentives for that new business. Also keeping each other aware of what’s going on, we have a group text. WE can let people know what’s going on. It keeps them motivated with a little friendly competition.

Radio Ink: Do you have any advice for salespeople?
Kelly: This has been a really challenging year with COVID. The only two things you can control are your activity and attitude. Keeping your activity up you will eventually find a yes. Having a good attitude everyday and keep pushing forward. No stands for “next opportunity”

Reach out to congratulate Kelly on being names Radio Ink’s Sales Manager of The Week at [email protected]. Nominate your sales manager for Sales Manager of The Week HERE.



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