Forums » New To Radio Sales?

New RSC member wants to "learn the ways of the sale"

    • 1175 posts
    June 1, 2017 7:05 PM PDT

    One of our newest members, Peter Wilhelm, wrote:

    Hello everyone! My name is Peter and I'm just starting off in radio sales. I graduated this year wth my associates in Radio Broadcasting and through my internship at Regional Radio Group I am hoping to make some good money and learn the ways of the sale. Any beginner's advice is much appreciated; I hope to be apart of my sales team longer than the average turnover! Thank you! 

    • 15 posts
    June 2, 2017 7:02 AM PDT

    I recommend that you read three books on advertising for every book you read on selling. Become an advertising expert. Become a businessperson who happens to sell Radio advertising rather than a Radio Rep. And have fun. 

    • 48 posts
    June 2, 2017 10:20 AM PDT

    Don't forget to be human. It goes without saying you need to sell a good product that will work for the client. It goes without saying your knowledge and creativity are important factors in getting the sale. What some miss is being human. When you smile, are open and likable, it truly helps. You need to sincerely want to work for the client's benefit. There's something almost primal in us all where we can detect this. When the attitude is right, it helps in any bumps in the road and it gives the client a personal reason to have a preference to go with you. 

    I've always been friendly to everyone, from the receptionist to those below gathering information for the media buyer. I've had receptionists call me when a hard to catch person came in to the office and had some free time. I'd had employees suggust my pitch because I made the effort to be friendly and respectful no matter the person's position. 

    In fact, in direct buys, I had one department store where I learned employee names and made sure I knew department heads. I would talk to department heads to learn what they felt was important and I'd tell them my idea before pitching, asking how to make it better. When the store manager would hesitate, it was his employees that would ask if the store was going with my idea. The department heads made sure I knew every rep they dealt with so I could coordinate any special deals and extra co-op dollars.

    While time management is a huge deal since making every moment count means more sales and more money in your pocket, I will offer a little time just to be helpful when there is no perceived payback. I recall one client just starting out in the insurance business. He was doing great until his newborn had medical issues. He wound up writing for only one motorcycle insurance company. Certainly he couldn't buy from me but he was a nice guy and I felt his pain. I handed out business cards for him to motorcycle owners I came across. He now has one of the biggest agencies in his town. The payback was this fellow wound up playing golf with his Dad and a certain business owner. When the subject of his business came up I was mentioned. That certain business owner wanted to do business with me. He was a very substantial client and a regular. I can't say I earned the business from helping a guy going through a rough patch but it did insure my work was considered. I wasn't just another salesperson.

    I'm not trying to minimize knowledge or hard work. You need to do all of this. A genuine friendliness and concern take you from just another salesperson to a person with a face and a personality they trust and believe in. And that sometimes is the puch that makes you rise to the top. It's the proverbial icing on the cake. If you doubt this, I must ask how many times has a lesser pitch won out over a better pitch? The excuse might be 'cost' but is it not really because the decision maker simply liked and trusted the person behind the pitch better?

    • 77 posts
    June 3, 2017 11:59 AM PDT

    Don't give up too quickly! I see many people come and go from our industry... sadly they don't realize that the first few weeks are the TOUGHEST it will ever be. They say MOST sales are made after the 5th meeting.... but sadly most of these young salespeople quit calling after the 2nd or 3rd NO. Try this instead.... make a page that shows how many times you see each client and make it a game for yourself. See how many times you call on them before they say YES. Then set a personal goal to make that number better as you are in the business longer. REMEMBER you will get more NO'S... so don't take that personally. I can guarantee you this.... if you get more people saying NO.... you will also get more people saying YES! Go out and see as MANY people as possible... and have FUN!

    • 48 posts
    June 3, 2017 1:52 PM PDT

    That is certainlty right. I have been told 5 to 8 calls. Everybody says it is a numbers game. It is. The more businesses you see, the better your chances. As one boss put it, a no means not yet. He said you have either not learned enough about the client to present something they can say yes to or you have not reached that 'trust' threshold with the client. About once a year I got a real no. One boss said to always remember a no gets you another step closer to yes.

    I used to have a small number of clients that just plain brightened my day. On a rough day, I'd swing by to see how they were doing. I realized we fight ourselves sometimes to do the best thing for ourselves. For example, one January morning all my clients that always buy said no. I was down to those I didn't think would buy anything in January. I actually parked in the parking lot on one such place and never got out of the car, instead opting for a long lunch to try to regroup. I knew I had to ask. After lunch I stopped by the place I left without even walking in. They normally spent a small amount some months. Come to find out, January was their big month and they bought a schedule several times bigger than they ever had. I got more yes answers that afternoon from those I had little faith in saying yes.

    • 1175 posts
    June 15, 2017 3:18 PM PDT

    Update from Peter Wilhelm: Just wanted to give everyone an update on my journey into radio sales. I am now an official Account Executive at Regional Radio Group! This is very exciting for me. I've been brainstorming copy and price packages for prospective clients, along with getting to know my sales team and see their strengths and weaknesses. Everything has been great, on that note I'm opening the floor to anyone who has any advice on pricing and scheduling. Thank you all, have a great Wednesday and do greatness! 

    • 993 posts
    June 15, 2017 7:06 PM PDT

    Peter, congrats on your new position. Best advice I can offer is to learn how to create engaging, memorable advertising. As Chris Lytle posted above: "I recommend that you read three books on advertising for every book you read on selling. Become an advertising expert. Become a businessperson who happens to sell Radio advertising rather than a Radio Rep. And have fun." 

    To this, I'd add that you should pick up a copy of Chris' book, "The Accidental Salesperson."  Everyone who's read it swears by it, myself included.

    But I also want to take advantage of this opportunity to recommend a brand new book on broadcast advertising sales, written by RSC member "Doctor" Phil Bernstein, an expert on the subject. I had the opportunity to read and review both the draft and the finished product and cannot recommend it highly enough. It's pure gold! I wish I'd had it when I began my advertising sales career. It would have shaved years off my learning curve. As a roadmap for success in broadcast advertising sales, it's as good as anything out there and better than most.

    Because Phil is a member of our group, he's extending a special offer to RSC members, which I'll detail in tomorrow's newsletter. I urge you to jump on it and start reading it this weekend. Trust me on this - you will not be disappointed!


    This post was edited by Rod Schwartz at June 15, 2017 7:07 PM PDT
    • 8 posts
    June 16, 2017 10:19 AM PDT

    Hello Peter,

    Congratulations on your accomplishments. I wish you the best going forward.

    Remember radio is entertainment. Listeners do not tune in to hear commercials, at least not the average listener.

    Be informative with your message and use humor (entertain) when appropriate. Also, when putting together schedules adhere to one simple rule, reach and frequency.

    Reach the most listeners as many times as possible. Make the clients investment count and if you cannot do so do not take the money.