Cumulus’ Dean Canter


With over 31 years in the business, Cumulus Media Dallas/Fort Worth Sales Manager Dean Canter is now in charge of 10 salespeople that are out on the street making it happen at KPLX-FM, KSCS-FM and KLIF-FM.

Cumulus Dallas/Fort Worth VP of Sales Dawn Girocco tells Radio Ink
Dean Canter is absolutely one of the best in the business. “He is creative , analytical, intuitive, proactive and focused on leading our team to be their best. His vast knowledge and experience incredibly valuable to our whole team. He brings it all and we are fortunate to have him at Cumulus DFW.”

Here’s our interview with our Sales Manager of the Week Cumulus Media’s Dean Canter.

Radio Ink: How did you get into radio, then radio sales?
Dean Canter: My father was an on-air personality and also a PD, so I grew up loving radio. Fresh out of college and looking for career advice, I had met with a GSM who while walking me through the garage at their station, asked me which car I liked more, a new BMW or an older model car. Being young, I picked the new BMW. He said that it belonged to the salesperson who had been there a short time, and the older car belonged to the morning personality. The rest as they say, is history.

Radio Ink: How did you know you’d be good at selling radio? When did it click?
Dean Canter: I felt like I would be good at selling radio very early in my life, not that I thought it would be easy, but loving the industry helped a lot. It clicked when I worked at my first station and thought of creating an opportunity for us to partner with a print publication ( yes print back then) to do a combo sale. It helped show that a media mix was a good way to help the client and for us to garner more revenue. It clicked that this radio thing will work.

Radio Ink: Why are you a successful leader of salespeople?
Dean Canter: Since I was a teenager, I’ve always enjoyed coaching. I love the process of helping someone reach their potential. I do look at coaching a radio salesperson like coaching a player. As a coach, you need to help players recognize their strengths and how to capitalize on them; help guide them in overcoming challenges, problem solve and look at things differently. I want my team and anyone I work with to know that I will be in the trenches with them. Whether they need me to jump in or stay as far away as possible, I will do whatever they need for them to win. When they win, they should get all the credit. If they lose, we lose together. In addition, I’ve had some great mentors and colleagues who I continually learn from.

Radio Ink: How do you spot a great salesperson?
Dean Canter: I look for people with passion, excitement, internal motivation and good listening skills. A great salesperson will also be someone who is excited for challenges and has a genuine desire to help a client’s business grow

Radio Ink: How do you keep your team motivated?
Dean Canter: Good question. Be as positive with them as possible. This doesn’t mean we won’t have tough conversations, but I help them stay as focused as possible on the tasks, yes multiple tasks, at hand. I look at our job as spinning plates in the air. We must keep our eye on many things at once. Each plate is equally important.

Radio Ink: What are you doing to always be on the lookout for new sellers?
Dean Canter: Networking, talking to people in and outside of the audio space. Talking to colleagues in other sales industries. Talking to younger people who might be interested in audio. Bringing in new people to our industry is how we grow. I love a great rep who has experience but equally we want to bring in new people to learn how amazing audio and the digital space that we have to offer our clients is.

Radio Ink: How do you keep yourself sharp?
Dean Canter: I read up on what is happening in our industry and many other industries, every day.

Radio Ink: Over the past 18 months, what are you most proud of?
Dean Canter: This was a tough 18+ months. I am most proud of learning how to manage from remote working, keeping our teams as focused as possible through a screen. Seeing and talking to our clients through Teams or ZOOM has become the norm. Learning how to read situations online can be tough, so working through that has been a good accomplishment as well.

Radio Ink: What are your expectations for 2022?
Dean Canter: To continue to grow, learning as much as possible to make sure we are there to help our team grow revenue and relationships and learn more about all of the new assets we can bring to our clients. To hit and exceed budget is of course what we are here to do so we will do that for 2022!!

Radio Ink: What advice, in this competitive environment, do you have for other sales managers across the country?
Dean Cantor: If I could offer any advice, it would be to HAVE A PLAN, every day, every week, every month. Plans change but you can’t get anywhere without one. Also, don’t build walls between any departments. We are all striving to get to the same goals. Our mission statements within each department might vary, but we are all trying to do the same thing: grow our audience sizes and grow our revenue.

Congratulate Dean on being chosen as our Sales Manager of the Week by e-mail at [email protected] and nominate your Sales Manager HERE.



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