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Marijane Milton

Aggressive Sellers Are Winners


How many times in the past few years, or even months, have you read this: The radio industry is going through a period of dramatic change. The most dramatic it has ever encountered.

Once? Seven times? Forty-seven? Well, get used to it. Because it is true, and it is only going to get more dynamic. (If you find yourself moving quickly past comments like this to look for more stable ground, you should take that as a warning.)

Consumers and advertisers have more ways to interact with our listeners and fans than ever before. We can intersect with their lives just about anywhere they choose to be. This means dramatic opportunity for the salespeople who see the potential this offers them and their customers. But too many salespeople and sales managers seem to be in a waiting game: waiting for business to rebound, waiting for categories to reboot,  waiting for management to provide training, waiting for better/newer/shiner assets and equipment. They might wait a long time. And then one day realize the world has passed them by.

The old saying goes, If it is to be, it is up to me, and that rings true here. So take control of your career and your destiny today by becoming fluent in everything you can do for your client to truly set yourself apart as a professional.

Take the initiative to figure it out on your own.
Do you understand all the different assets you can sell at your cluster? Really? Do you know when and how to deploy them? How to make them work? Do you know how to make them work together? How they are measured and priced? Can you point to case studies in your cluster that you can share with clients? If you dont know, learn and dont expect others to spoon-feed it to you.

If you are selling social media, use it yourself.
You cant sell social media programs to clients if you dont use it yourself. You will not come across as authentic or believable. If you havent already, get on the bandwagon and figure out what people respond to and why. Offer to serve as an admin for a volunteer organization. Learn what the insights mean and why they matter. Apply what you learn to your clients.

Embrace accountability.
Todays advertiser expects accountability from media partners. Its not enough to provide spot times and hope for the best. You have to know how to make campaigns work, and you have to know how to show a client they are working. Align expectations in advance, monitor progress, and be prepared to show the client how people are responding to different components in the campaign. Many of the integrated assets at your cluster have accountability built right into them. This is a good thing for you.

To grow your own business, grow the industry.
Today we can use video, streaming radio, Web ads, e-mail, social media, texting, mobile couponing, e-commerce, and more along with a foundational radio campaign to grow a clients business. That means you have potential all around you, and a lot of the old standard objections to radio are no longer relevant. So stop monitoring other radio stations for leads. Get creative, and look everywhere for companies that can benefit from your expertise and access to your fan base.

Marijane Milton is international director of revenue innovation and training at MBMI. She worked at Entercom for 11 years as its vice president of training and development, prior to joining MBMI. Reach her at

(3/8/2014 6:37:02 PM)
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