By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
Simple question, tricky answer. Unless you are organized.
If you are a professional athlete, you are paid to put points on the board or stop the opponent from scoring. Did you ever watch a competitive body builder work in the gym? Some have a journal and a tripod to mount their mobile phones recording technique as they work through their routine, carefully blending form and precision. The professional entertainer? Paid to sell tickets. Professional politicians? Easy, get the most votes.
Professional ad seller? You get paid to close business.
Is the better question, “What business will you close today?” Of course, it is. Wait, most sellers never start every day with the stomach-churning question, “What business will I close today?” Maybe that question is a little too focused. After all it drills down the process to the very measurable result of being organized, skilled, and focused. Just like that high achieving athlete or getting a ticket to that sold-out performance, someone was ready to answer that elegantly simple question, “What will you focus on today?”
Let’s start the process of learning how to better sharpen our focus skills. Suppose we start with an easy how-to, as in how-to prioritize your call activity. Your sales calls will fall into five major categories:
— New Business. The lifeblood, the very oxygen of the radio business. Remember this: radio advertising, when measured honestly (political ads, COVID economics adjusted) is a single digit growth business. Unless you are making developmental calls, attrition, competition, and the wobbles in the economy will overwhelm you. Make the developmental calls a priority.
— Renewals. The most efficient sale you will make is the business you currently have. Work on renewals when timely.
— Service. My experience is this is the number #1 weakness of most radio ad sellers. Learn how to follow-up, check-in and listen without looking for a transaction. It’s about making sure your rapport is healthy and ready.
— Collections. Do you need an explanation? Just be sure of your numbers and documentation before you make the call or send the email.
— Internal. Collaboration with management, programming, production, or biz ops starts here.
Simple enough. Five columns to list, prioritize and budget your daily call activity. Owners and managers who are reading this, help your sellers when they get distracted. What will you focus on today?
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: Steve@Lapcomventures.com.