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AN OWNER’S ATTITUDE THAT IS KILLING COMMERCIAL RADIO

radio commercials sales

A radio station owner/manager once told me it’s stupid to invest in training for the people who actually create the radio commercials because, in her words:

“Radio is a sales-driven business.”

And that’s the problem: For her — and for many like her — the business of radio is all about selling commercials.

And if you continue to see radio as a sales-driven business, you’ll continue to fight each other for your share of that pathetic six or eight cents of the advertising dollar.

But if you see radio as a results-driven business, your entire model changes. If you focus on delivering measurable, profitable results for your clients, you’ll get more than 6% – 8% of the business.

If you see radio as a sales-driven business, then you pour all of your resources into putting as many salespeople on the street as possible. And if your station invests in training, it invests only in sales training: prospecting, cold-calling, getting past the gatekeeper, overcoming objections, closing techniques, etc.

But let’s do the math:

You’ve got more salespeople on the street, so you should be making more sales than you used to.

And you give them all sorts of sales training: You send them to seminars & conferences, you buy them books and CDS and DVDs and online training to help them sell better.

So….More salespeople, selling more because of the continuing sales training you give them.

So you must have an ever-growing client base, right? I mean, all these salespeople out there on the street every day, using their finely honed sales skills….Your active client base must be bursting at the seams.

I assume you’re 100% sold out, the Law of Supply & Demand has practically forced you to keep raising your rates, and you don’t have room for any new clients….Right?

Oh.

Why not?

Attrition. Yesterday’s clients who are not today’s clients. Today’s clients who will not be tomorrow’s clients. Why?

Because they’re not getting the results they need to justify the expense of advertising with you.

Because for too many of them, advertising is an expense, rather than an investment.

What’s the difference between an expense and an investment?

An expense is money out the door.

An investment is money out the door that comes back later…and brings some new friends along.

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  • John Pellegrini September 30, 2010, 5:52 am

    When you place no value on the results of the sale – you have no sales. When you place no value on the product you’re giving your customers – you have no customers. When you place no value on anything you do – what you do is worthless.

    It boggles the mind that these concepts are completely ignored by so many business people.

  • Mike Hanson September 30, 2010, 7:10 pm

    We’re you at my elbow for most of that part of my career when I was a minority partner in a radio group control by the “heroine” of your story?

    What you say is what is the reason “radio” is doomed. And I don’t want to be a partner with most who still have shares in it.

    “Communication media” will always thrive and grow, but that’s because communication media (whatever the technology) listens to those they need to satisfy, understanding the last on the heirarchy of the key three—-consumer, employee and shareholder—-is shareholder.

    You say the truth Dan.

    (Sigh.)

    Mike.

  • Tom Daniels September 30, 2010, 11:31 pm

    Bingo! Well Said, Danny Boy!

  • Anonymous October 1, 2010, 1:04 am

    despite all the sales training, many newer salespeople think they can only breeze thru the door with a produced \spec spot\….and \copy\ better produce it ASAP or else. \Sales\ will always out rank \copy \ , whether the salesperson is a newbie or not. Pity the poor in house copywriter who is trying to serve the \paid clients\ well…the expectation with lazy salespeople is \drop what you’re doing \ per their command ASAP-TFN. If only salespeople could rely on their stations results, and …well….SELL the station! Several of my \spec spots\ ended up being dubbed from casette and aired on the competition ….we never got the buy.

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