Radio advertisers want results. And they want them NOW!

Selling Radio Direct with Pat Bryson

I was on a zoom call a couple of weeks ago with a very good salesperson. She had emailed me to say that she had been experiencing a rash of cancellations in the past few weeks. At this time in the recovery of the nation, a “rash” of cancellations seemed out of place. What was going wrong? This was the topic of our zoom call.

I asked her to give me one example so that we could do a forensic analysis of the process. This particular business was a garage door company. Although they agreed to a long-term schedule, they wanted to cancel after 3 weeks. My first question was, “How long to people think about buying a garage door before they do?” (Unless their current door malfunctions and their car is stuck in the garage.)
The answer is several months. Why, then, would it make sense to expect phone lines to light up in three weeks? It doesn’t, but our clients don’t understand that. In their heart of hearts, they expect to air a commercial today and have the teeming masses show up tomorrow shouting our call letters.
Which brings me to the point of this newsletter. How well do we manage expectations UP FRONT with our clients? Do we quantify what they expect? Example: “I want more traffic in my store.” OK, how much more? How much traffic to you have now? How long did it take you to achieve your current level of traffic? How quickly do you expect the additional traffic to happen?”
We need to quantify their expectations. And, if those expectations are entirely out of whack (that’s an Oklahoma term for “ridiculous”) we need to tell them. We know how advertising works. We know the process to educate potential customers. And, we know how long it takes. We need to explain the recipe for effective advertising:
  1. Enough repetition per week to reach a 3 frequency
  2. Consistent enough (at least 52 weeks)
  3. A relevant message
Results will build over time. Depending on the product and the product’s gestation period, results will come sooner or later. Usually, advertising has ramped up to generating great results between 6 and 9 months into the campaign. This doesn’t mean your clients won’t see results before that, it simply means that peak momentum will not have been reached yet. Think “Train” starting down the tracks and gathering speed till it is running at full capacity.
The key to happy clients is to educate them on what their advertising can and will do if done properly. This education must be done at the time you are selling them, not later when they want to cancel. At that point, it sounds like an excuse. If done up front, you sound like a marketing genius as you accurately predict the trajectory of their campaign. And if, after preparing them for delayed gratification, their ad happens to hit a 2%’er who is buying today and comes in immediately, you look like a hero.
I’m always happy to work through a forensic analysis with you to determine a strategy to save business and hopefully, to resell these clients. My thanks to the salesperson who reached out to me and provided the inspiration for this newsletter. I hope other readers will benefit from her experience. We get better by analyzing our wins and our losses. That’s how we improve!
Happy Selling!


Pat has a New Book

What will broadcast sales look like in the future? What new skills will we need to be successful? How has the world-wide business interruption in 2020 changed how we will do business in the next year

Looking forward to 2021, we need a strategic plan to recover lost revenue for our stations and for our clients. The ideas in this book will help you to develop that plan.
“Successful Broadcast Sales: Thriving in Change” provides a clear, concise roadmap for understanding the world of our clients, accessing those worlds and living in them to create successful campaigns. It explores how we must adapt our sales systems to succeed in an ever-changing business landscape. Knowledge is the key to unlocking success for us and for our clients as the new year arrives.
This book takes a retrospective look at the pandemic of 2o20 and presents a blueprint for adapting to the changes brought about by new ways of doing business. It outlines a way forward to successfully navigate and thrive in change.
Inside you’ll find:
  • A sales system designed to accelerate success for both new recruits and seasoned professionals
  • Understanding the internal motivations that move clients to buy from you
  • New ways to prospect, new categories of business, that will keep your sales pipeline full
  • Questions to uncover what clients are thinking and planning for the next years
  • Presentations designed to craft high-dollar, long-term campaigns
  • Strategies to reduce attrition
  • New ways to hone your creative skills to produce relevant messages for businesses
  • Ways to integrate radio and digital advertising to achieve greater results for clients
  • Wisdom from managers around the world regarding how to manage teams remotely
The ideas in this book will make money for you and for your client! Add it to your sales library today!






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