Pending Business: Drop These Excuses and Earn More

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Here is a tip or two to help you increase your income.

Drop these two old school excuses from your sales banter and get closer to the winning side of your business interactions.

I am as serious as your commission check. What I am about to share, fresh from the field, is as old as your first pocket calculator with the same limitations of performance, yet I hear this day after day in my marketing work. It’s old, tired, and needs to go.

  • “We don’t give it away.” The statement makes no sense in today’s radio sales environment. Did I upset a few stuck-in-the-90s managers? Sorry, but in our multi-platform, hyper-competitive media landscape, the cold reality is every successful company packages to win. How, what, and when you package is the difference between winning and losing business. My view is nothing on the planet is “free” or “given away.” From “free” apps that collect data from your computer or smartphone, samples that are carefully designed to acquire new customers, to clothes and old furniture that become charitable write-offs. Forget your concept of “free” or “we don’t give it away.” Most advertisers know this. Drop the pushback response of “we don’t give it away” and start revising your packaging to win. Adjust your pricing to fit the real-world value components. Look for the unique competitive advantage you bring and drill down on the value equation. “We don’t give it away” is a non-starter, a negative signal to the buyer, and a virtual line in the sand. Do you really want to end the negotiation? Try this: “We can make this work if we adjust the package to include…” rings closer to a win-win opening a faster path to a sale. Move to the same side of the table as your advertiser and your view of the opportunity will change.
  • “We have hard costs.” Seriously? My path to radio station ownership included 15-plus years at publicly held and privately owned operations, from sales manager to general sales manager to director of sales to VP of sales. The responsibilities of those jobs never covered electricity, insurance, capital expenses, health benefits, rent, or any of the other hard or fixed costs of station operations. Why would any seller integrate the “hard costs” banter when they have no input, real-world expertise, or accountability to those line items? I guess the reply from the advertiser should be move, find another insurer, or have you tried solar panels?

Maybe today’s column pressed a button that opened your thinking or maybe not. Either way, sales is a dynamic process. Zoom, teams, etc. have moved into the sales mainstream. Are your sales strategies keeping pace?

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: