I’m not trying to be dramatic. I honestly believe this is the root cause of many unsuccessful and frustrated careers in radio sales. The radio industry isn’t in trouble, it’s just evolving and it’s time we start evolving too. Maybe a simple change in how we position ourselves as Radio Sellers will be the answer?
In this video, I’ll share why selling radio commercials is a path that will lead you to No-Wheres-Ville! If you’re ready to finally start seeing an increase in sales and a higher retention rate, watching this video will help.
Hey everybody, Jamie Aplin, CEO of CreativeReady and you likely clicked on this video because of the title! You’re thinking “how can this guy who’s supposed to be PRO Radio be telling me NOT to sell Radio. Well, I don’t want you to hear what I’m NOT saying. I’m not saying that you should stop selling radio, obviously. What I AM saying is that I want you to stop selling Radio Spots! Stick with me for a couple of minutes and I promise you it will be worth it.
Last month I met with a senior level manager at a good sized radio group and we were looking at their year over year comparison and every year they would have all of this brand new business, which was fantastic and they were very happy about it, but then looking at the following year all of that new business would just die off. So there was literally no carry over. They would sell these contracts and they were selling a lot of them but then after the contracts were done, the clients would just go away. And they were doing this year after year after year.
So think about that, every year they would go out and sell a whack ton of new business, and then they would have to go out the following year and do the exact same thing all over again just to make up the loss in sales. And rightfully so, this senior level manager was beyond frustrated with the trend.
So why was this happening? Was it because their account reps just weren’t that good at selling? But they were selling … and they were selling a ton.
The reason was, and I said this directly to them, the reason you have all of this new business one year and then a bunch of zero’s the next … is because you’re selling Radio Spots.
I know that feels like a bit of an oxymoron? I mean, isn’t that precisely what we’re selling? Spots on the Radio?
Yes and No. You can’t sell radio advertising without at some point producing some spots. But ultimately, big picture, you’re not selling your client a radio spot you’re selling them a brand. Or, as we like to call it … an Audio Brand. Every company has a visual brand, right? A logo, colors, shapes and fonts and in just the same, every company should have an audible brand . Especially in this day and age where audio and video content are at an all time high.
So you might even want to start positioning yourself as more of an Audio Brand Specialist as opposed to just a radio seller. Because we all know that it’s not JUST about radio anymore. It’s about helping your clients build stronger, more recognizable brands. You’re obviously still selling radio and likely digital but your positioning yourself in a way that’s going to give you longevity and it’s going to allow you to make the BIGGER asks! You want Annual contracts or even multi-annual contracts! That’s the approach that’s going to change the game.
IF you continue selling contracts on a spot by spot basis, you’re missing out and you’re actually not doing your client any favours. You might think it’s a victory because you’ve just made a sale and you may even have your client convinced that scraping together enough budget for a 3 week schedule is going to be the solution to their marking but trust me, in the end, you’re just tainting the soil.
This type of sales strategy will just end up producing another business owner that eventually says “No thanks. I tried radio once … it didn’t work.” And then you’ve got your job cut out for you trying to convince them to give radio another shot. Which you likely won’t do and then you might as well just take them off your list.
Look. You’re the expert and it’s up to you to educate your clients on how radio works.
At CreativeReady, we like to use the term “Annual Plans and Audio Brands.” And we totally believe that this is the ultimate win/win strategy for you and your clients.
Annual contracts that have consistent frequency paired with an Audio Brand that is catchy, creative and compelling … is the formula to a successful advertising campaign. And if you can create a successful ad campaign for your client … they will do it again … and again … and again. Until it gets to the point where their radio advertising is so etched into their local market that everyone thinks of them first when they need whatever it is your client sells. Well Congratulations! You’ve basically just created a self-renewing client.
And the best part is … their advertising is working and that usually means their business is growing. So now you’re a hero … a hero that’s get paid.