Which Type Accounts For 60% of The Dollars Sold?


(By Pat Bryson) You’ve probably heard the discussion on transactional versus relational buyers. Transactional buyers are mainly concerned with price, acquiring what they need, and getting on with their lives. Relational buyers are concerned about relationships. Price is not as important to them. They are more likely to become long-term customers.

This brings us to the discussion of how we sell to our clients. Are you a transactional or a relational seller?

Let’s explore the difference.

In transactional selling, the focus is on the product. It forces the buyer to make the connection between their needs and what we are selling. Often, they can’t do this because what we offer them doesn’t fit their needs exactly.

Selling packages falls under transactional selling. The price is usually small, and schedules are for a short time (I’ve rarely found a package longer than 3 months). As a transactional seller, you might present this way:

We have this new package out… It’s only $99, $150, $250. I thought you might like it.”

“This package has the cheapest rates of the year. But you have to do it today.”

“I know you want to support the team, community, etc.”

“We have these Holiday greetings. It’s only $99.”

Sound familiar? While I realize we do need some packages, especially if we are selling sponsorships to something, I encounter the “package du jour” weekly. I call this “selling a ‘thing.'” The “thing” is the package. Because most transactional sellers haven’t progressed to selling a concept, they sell the “thing.”

Relational sellers focus on the product needs and personal needs of their buyers. They fit their offering to those needs. They present what the client needs to buy, not what they need to sell. They tailor the campaign to the specific goals of the buyer. They understand the buyer’s needs and goals because they discovered them by doing a detailed customer needs analysis. They spend more time developing the relationship with the buyer and understanding how that client’s business works. The upfront time is longer – and the payoff is bigger.

Today most of us sell radio, digital, outdoor, and print. Successful salespeople sell campaigns, not a few “spots”.

Here’s the point: 60% of dollars involved in selling are sold in the consultant (relational) posture.

What type of seller do you want to be in 2023?

P.S. My book, “Successful Broadcast Sales: Thriving in Change” can give you a roadmap to transitioning from a transactional seller to a relational seller. Or, you can get your managers to hire me to teach you how.


Pat Bryson is the CEO of Bryson Broadcasting International, a consulting firm that works with sales managers and salespeople to raise revenue. She is the author of two books, “A Road Map to Success in High-Dollar Broadcast Sales” and “Successful Broadcast Sales: Thriving in Change” available on her website. Read Pat’s Radio Ink archives here.


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