Think Long-Term Clients

When I first got into radio, I tried to sell air time.  I quickly discovered I had no real talent for it.  As “easy” as it was supposed to be, according to the general manager, I never figured out how to close.

Our top sales person, however, did teach me a few things about selling that have stuck with me over the years.

First, know the value of your product to your potential client.  That value is the audience and its interest in the advertisers product.  Not the format or the antics of the personalities.  Those are just ways of building the audience.

Second, know the advertiser.  What do they sell?  What is the general health of their company?  How much competition to they have for the same product or service?  The more detailed the profile of the advertiser, the stronger the possibility of selling them air time.

The third step is creating a campaign with a  Unique Selling Proposition that is stronger and more focused than that of the competition.  In Boise, Idaho, for example there is a company that sells lawn care products that are specifically designed for a high desert environment that none of the other “big box” stores can sell with any level of expertise.

Finally, selling an annual contract creates a strong connection between the advertiser, the station and its audience.  The key to effective advertising, regardless of the medium, is consistent exposure.

The same basic concept can apply to most businesses.  Short-term contracts, also known as “test drives” may or may not lead to a longer contract, and are often a good deal more expensive to develop.

Long-term contracts may take more time an effort to create, but the financial benefits outweigh the costs over time.

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