Risk Versus Reward: It’s Up To Us!


(By Pat Bryson) Human nature being what it is, a radio sales purchase will not take place until the buyer believes that their opportunity for reward is greater than their risk. That takes a real, live salesperson. Our job is to reduce clients’ risk factors by creating value in our campaigns. Other than offering a cheap price, this is something mechanized buying services have a hard time doing.

How do we make the most of this? In our presentations. Our solutions must include what, why, and HOW what we are suggesting will solve a client’s problems and help them to meet their goals. There are risk-reducing elements we can add to our presentations.

Testimonials, stories we tell about other successful radio sales clients, are golden. Do you have a bank of success stories? Success letters? If not, make this a priority. Consistently refresh your testimonial file. Every time a client tells you something great about their results, ask for a letter. If they don’t have time to write it, offer to write it yourself, then have them approve it and put it on their letterhead. But remember: the best salespeople are the best storytellers! When pitching a new client, TELL them the success story first. Then give them the written proof.

Another risk-reducing element we add to our presentations is a logo page. This page is full of logos of businesses that advertise with us. It’s an impressive group of advertisers.

“You are in good company when you advertise with us. Here are some of the businesses that have had great success using us.”

Some of my clients also include a team page. This page lists internal people at the station who touch a client’s order as it passes through our system. It might include the General Manager, Sales Manager, Salesperson, Traffic Director, Production Director, Copywriter, Business Manager, and Program Director.  Here’s how you use it:

“When you become a client of WXYZ you have a team assigned to your account. I will be your primary contact, but in case I’m out of the office and you need something immediately, we want you to know whom to call.”

Then you walk the prospect through the people. Give contact information for each. This gives them comfort. It also works well when you are a new salesperson without much experience. You are asking for thousands of dollars and the prospect is wondering if you know what you are doing.

“Yes, I am new, but my team has decades of experience. Your campaign is in our hands, not just mine.”

Many times, our new radio sales clients are unsure of what happens after they say yes. Using success stories and adding these elements to your presentations will help to manage the tension level that occurs when you ask for a decision. These risk-reducing elements will help you to close more agreements.

Stacking the value involves linking WHAT you are presenting with WHY you are presenting this particular campaign and HOW it will benefit the client. How will it help them to achieve their goals or solve their problems? Can you explain WHY you have scheduled the messages the way you have? Can you explain it in English, not “radio language”? Campaigns are created based on how the mind learns. We don’t just make schedules up. We create them based on the goals and objectives of the client and the scientific principles that facilitate learning. Advertising is education.

When next you present, double-check that you have provided enough relevant value and have risk-reducing elements in your solution. Higher revenue awaits!


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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