Are You Starting 2024 With Profit In 2026?


(By Pat Bryson) I hope by now you have been talking with all your clients about 2023. In fact, I hope you’ve been doing so for the past two months and selling ahead. In doing so, I’m sure you’ve encountered objections to scheduling longer than a few weeks or months:

“I’m not sure radio works. You’ll have to prove it to me with this week’s schedule.”

“I want to test you. I’ll agree to three months.”

“Business is too uncertain to plan my advertising 12 months in advance.”

Selling long-term advertising has always been a challenge. Clients are hesitant to agree to more than short-term schedules. And yet, most advertising is about placing our clients’ businesses into the file drawers of our listeners’ minds. Our clients must be one of the first two or three names that come to mind when our listeners need their products or services.

We all know it takes time to do this. It takes consistency, repetition, and relevance. Making our clients a household name does not happen in a week, a month or even a few months. In fact, noted brain researcher Dr.Evian Gordon tells us that it takes 1000 repetitions of a message to change a habit.  This equates to 2.8 years if our listeners heard the message one time per day.

Which leads me to believe that we need to rethink how we sell radio advertising. Instead of asking for a few weeks, months or even a year, why not ask for THREE years? FIVE years? To create the most effective campaigns possible for our clients, we need to make sure that the campaigns are LONG ENOUGH to be impactful. And “long enough” is not a few weeks or months.

We don’t get three or five-year agreements because WE DON’T ASK FOR THEM! We wimp out. We accept the crumbs from the advertising buffet because we don’t have the internal fortitude to stand our ground, explain how advertising works, and insist that it be done correctly. 

I introduced this concept to a new group of sellers in October. I received a note from their sales manager last week telling me that one of his sellers had upsold a client 66% monthly and signed him for three years!

I challenge you to try this. Just change the end date of your campaigns. You may be surprised how often your client will say, “Yes”.

Happy long-term selling!

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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