Networking for radio sales professionals from Grace Broadcast Sales.
How does your station promote its ad sales department? Do individual salespeople get some on-air mentions?
Here's how one station did it thirty-five years ago...
In July 1977 I was a young salesman at KAGE AM-FM in the small market of Winona, MN, owned by Jerry Papenfuss. The General Manager and my boss at the time was Len DeSomer, a former copywriter for J. Walter Thompson and a terrific commercial producer, from whom I learned a great deal.
Our sales department had been receiving sales training from the late Jim Williams for a couple of years and by applying what Jim taught us had grown from just two of us, Harry Hastings and myself, to eleven salespeople. (By the time I left in 1979, I believe we were up to 15 salespeople.)
Len picked up a syndicated pro-radio promotion package called "Get It On Radio," that had been built around a short video, an engaging demonstration of the power of sound/radio, narrated by the prolific voice actor Paul Frees. The campaign also included a jingle package and other production elements designed for on-air use (more on this shortly), to support the face-to-face meetings with prospective advertisers and create a cohesive, multifaceted marketing blitz for our sales department. We would take the compact video player into the prospect's office, play the short presentation, then follow up with demos, proposals, etc. It proved to be a great tool for us.
I recently rediscovered an old tape I'd saved from my years in Winona, containing some of my favorite commercials and, as I'd hoped, some of the actual salesman-promotion spots that ran on the air as a part of the "Get It On Radio" campaign.
The three audio files below contain several tracks apiece. While the sound quality isn't the greatest, you may find the concept worth considering.
1) This first file contains two cuts, one of the pro-radio jingle tracks from the "Get It On Radio" presentation, and a promo spot for the KAGE Sales Line, a dedicated telephone number for the sales department. As you'll hear (with a nod and a wink to Big John Small), the telephone number is featured prominently throughout the campaign.
2) This second file contains four of the individual salesman promos. These were all Len's creations with no input from the sales staff. We were greatly surprised when he trotted these out during a sales meeting. (As you might imagine, I received plenty of ribbing over my personal promo spot, from clients and colleagues alike. As the stations' top biller at the time, I had it coming...)
3) This third file contains three more individual salesman promos. I hadn't remembered the way Len mentioned all the surrounding communities that we served, but I think this was a great way to let business owners in some of the outlying markets know that we were thinking of them and eager to serve them.