Pending Business: Five Basics for Better Sales

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — “Less talk, more listening guarantees increased sales.”

That may sound great, but it rarely works in today’s real world of sales.

It should read: “Better talk, closer listening can improve sales.”

Let’s unpack this.

Chances are your time in front of your advertisers is limited. Although your goals may be clearly mapped out, the sales process has changed and in-person calls are more limited. Email, links and web-based pitches are a critical component of the current sales environment. You may be a sales wizard, but in this COVID-adjusted world what happens before and right after you hit the send button is more important than ever.

Inspired by recent, real-world experiences, here are some points that may help you focus on and improve your pre- and mid-pitch skill set that will help lead to increased sales.

  1. Clarity is a critical step. Make sure you and your advertiser are together on the same page. You may take away CPM, CPP or price as the only criteria, when your advertiser is saying there is more to the deal than efficiency. Don’t be afraid to confirm the goals before you hit send.
  2. I can’t emphasize how many times I work with station reps who ignore how specific creative drives the goals of a campaign.
  3. Stop pushing the non-starters. Your management may be pushing hard on a particular sales initiative that may not be a one size fits all. Some ideas work better on the white board than in the field. The goal is to win the business and nothing works better than showing up with a good win.
  4. Be back timeline. How long should the advertiser’s budget wait before you get back to them? If you need approval on anything, give your advertiser a real world “be-back to you” timeline. While you are distracted and time slips away, so will that budget.
  5. Role reversal. This is one of my favorite lost arts. Very few sellers put themselves in the shoes of the advertiser. Try looking at your work through the lens of your advertiser. Have you touched all the bases you agreed on? Does your proposal truly read as a value driven win-win?

All of five points are so basic you would think they’d be ingrained in your sales culture.

Then why are there so many who forget to cover the basics?

Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa via email at: