Industry Views

Pending Business: In Radio Sales, It Pays to Be a Great Listener

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp

Do you still struggle with keeping the dialogue moving in the right direction on your sales calls? Let’s face it, if you are not careful you could violate one of the golden rules of selling talk radio – be a great listener.

First calls are the most difficult, especially in this era of Zoom, Teams, etc. You try your best to develop rapport, build chemistry and move through a needs analysis as you learn about your potential advertiser. High achieving sellers have that special skill of blending questions and fun facts that build common ground while navigating the needs analysis through a range of questions designed to qualify the prospect and confirm a follow-up call.

Sounds simple enough, but why do most sellers fall short in the starting blocks. There is no mystery here to solve, this is Selling 101 that starts with preparation and ends with a commission check. Let’s walk through some start points:

If you are responsible for any of the 26.5 billion minutes viewed of “Suits” on Netflix, you know that Harvey Spector (lead character) earned millions doing homework and knowing how to ask the right questions. How about you? Are you prepared to ask the right questions and listen to the answers that will lead you to comeback with the right proposal? Sometimes keeping the dialogue moving can be challenging. Perhaps you’ve asked too many questions that went nowhere or just resulted in one-word answers. What to do? A recent article in Make It quoted Matt Abrahams, a public speaking expert at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, who suggests saying, “Tell me more” during a conversation is the secret sauce behind improving the communication flow.

Makes sense. Showing genuine interest in what your advertiser is saying, allowing more information to be shared, with you spending more time as the listener helps everyone develop better rapport and move closer to a win-win. I have always been a big fan of another Golden Rule of Sales: “Words matter.” Have you ever finished a call and asked yourself, “Why did I say that!?” It all goes back to preparation. If you know what to ask, how to allow your advertiser to expand on a key point, and do more listening than talking, your sales should increase, and your commission checks will show it!

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: