Current Issue:

Current Issue

On The Cover:
Cumulus Chairman Jeff Marcus

Click here to subscribe to Radio Ink.

Radio Ink Writers

How to Build a Great Radio Sales Team.

Recruitment.  Hire high-percentage candidates in the first place.  
Must be brave and smart, with an insatiable curiosity for all things 
retail.  Proven media sales experience is a "must hire" criteria and 
outside sales experience of any kind is a big plus.  Media sales is a 
career, not a job, a life, not a lifestyle.  Hours? 24!  All 
candidates must be prepared to live, eat, drink, sleep, smoke, 
breath, toss and turn advertising sales!

Training.  There was, is and always will be just two ways to sell 
media.  You're either a spot hawking, cold calling, package pushing 
MEDIA REP or you're a true ACCOUNT EXEC operating on a two-call 
consult-and-sell methodology.  I've only been in the biz since 1983, 
but I'm still waiting to meet my first package pusher with a 
successful career in broadcast sales, earning an above average income 
year after year, owning a big house, putting kids through college. 
etc.  Yet, sadly, a one-sheet spot package is what most media reps 
are given as training.

Compensation.  Pay the highest commissions in your market.  Period.  
Set a structure, and don't change it.  And never, NEVER put a ceiling 
on an AE's ability to earn.  Never, ever "adjust" account lists by 
taking from one to give to another. Make every AE build his or her 
list from accounts NOT on the air. Never, ever, cheat an AE out of a 
commission. Great AEs don't work to achieve station goals. They 
work to achieve their own.  And you, the sales manager, must be 100 percent 
committed to THEIR financial success!

Eliminate protected account lists. If an account is NOT on the air, 
it's OPEN!  If an AE secures the business, then it's his or hers.  I 
think it's ridiculous to hire new people to sell and when they call 
on a business NOT on the air, someone starts hollering, "That's on my 
list!" Too many sales nanagers spend way too much time fiddling 
around with account lists and managing all the drama they create.  
Never, not once has a prospect called me to complain about one or 
more AEs calling on his or her business.  When it happens, I'll 
simply ask, "Well, who do you prefer, then?"

Eliminate daily call sheets and spend more time with your AEs.  Call 
sheets are nothing more than creative writing.  I work with my AEs 
closely every day.  I can smell it when one is coasting.  I don't 
want them taking time off the streets writing some bogus puffery.  
Give them what they need most: daily one on one meetings developing 
creative for new business presentations.

Kevin Neathery is General Sales Manager of the Jonesboro Radio Group