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Wayne Ens

The Secrets To Selling Radio Packages

12-4-2013

I am not a fan of selling one-size-fits-all station "packages" to advertisers. But working with hundreds of radio stations across North America, Ive learned that some account executives, and some transactional buyers, want or need "packages" to short-cut the selling process.

Before I reveal the secrets to how you can sell station packages more successfully, let me explain why Im not a fan of selling packages.

1.) Its ludicrous to assume you can create a one-size-fits-all package. A package published at an investment level of $10,000, for example, can leave $5,000 on the table from an advertiser who had $15,000 to invest, or can cause you to walk from an advertiser who was willing to invest $9,000.

2.) Packages are usually about your sales, your rates, and your inventory, rather than about achieving advertisers' goals.

3.) Packages demonstrate little effort on your part, and advertisers can be offended with the knowledge that the very same package is probably being presented to their competitors.  

The secret to selling station packages successfully is to NOT present station packages as off-the-shelf packages. Every station package can be custom-tailored to fit the needs of each prospect.and Im not talking about simply cutting and pasting the prospects logo name on the cover.

First, identify a specific client goal or need, right on the front cover of your would-be package.

Example: A special presentation to drive more traffic to your website for ABC motors. Or A special presentation to jump-start used car sales for ABC Motors.

A little due diligence can help you write a custom "Situation Analysis" as a precursor to presenting your station package.

You can do a quick walk-through of your prospect location, view the prospects advertising and website, as well as their competitors advertising and websites to do a short SWOT Analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats). Then demonstrate how your package can overcome those weaknesses or capture an opportunity youve identified.
 
Your goal is to prepare a customer-focused background and introduction to begin your presentation discussing the client and their needs, rather than jumping straight into your package.

Dont miss the opportunity to be creative. If you identify an opportunity to make the package bigger, talk it over with your sales manager. I once worked at a station that released a package with the goal of selling 10 of those packages. I identified a perfect fit for a prospect and approached my sales manager with an idea that resulted in selling all 10 packages to one exclusive sponsor.

Another tip? NEVER inflate your package value. If I tell you Im going to sell you a watch valued at $20,000 for only $10, how much do you believe the watch is really worth?

If you are going to make a value claim which is considerably higher than the actual investment, justify both your value and your discount.

To justify the value, make a laundry list that includes rate card or estimated values for each and every component in the package. If, for example, your package includes a sponsor poster or banner at an event attended by 10,000 people the promotional value of that $75 piece could be estimated at 5 cents times 10,000 exposures.

To justify your package discount, you might total each of the value components then only charge for the actual air time. This preserves your rate integrity while at the same time making the total package value believable.

Interestingly, prospects will accept and not question your estimated value of the package components if you are not actually charging for some of those components.

You might also offer the discount as a "new business discount" or a "customer loyalty discount," but never discount simply to get rid of inventory.
   
Last but not least, if you are the one designing your station package, think beyond discounting.think about a premium package. Auto dealers charge extra for their towing package or their sports package.

They build the value by costing each component separately then creating a package price that is less than the sum of the total of the parts, without ever discounting the base price of the car.

You can do the same, without discounting the base price of your air time.

If your package says something like sponsor credit with business name and slogan take the time to insert the actual business name and slogan. And if you are cutting and pasting from different presentations or packages, make all of the type faces consistent so as not to make it look like you cut and pasted.

Whenever possible, accompany your package presentation with a big idea, just like you would in a custom presentation. You can present your customer-focused idea either as a concept, a sample script, or, better still, an actual spec spot if the package size warrants it.

Never assume! Dont assume the prospect wants to advertise or is sold on radio or your station. Always take the opportunity to present a short summary of reasons to advertise, why radio can increase their sales, and why your station is the perfect fit.each of these three points being specifically tailored to each prospects situation.
 
Wayne Ens is the president of ENS media Inc. The stations ENS Media works with consistently increase their revenue beyond the flat or meager increases our industry as a whole achieves. You can reach him at wayne@wensmedia.com 



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