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The New Way To Sell Radio

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(10/24/2013 2:10:00 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
q29hzC Very good blog article.Much thanks again. Much obliged.
- NY
(9/7/2013 5:31:10 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
XkZGn3 Hey, thanks for the post.Really looking forward to read more. Want more.
- NY
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(4/27/2011 7:05:47 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Mr. Jennings is spot on...actually the book Strategic Selling was written in the early 80's by Miller/Heiman and along with Mr. Marks and Jim Hopes, I was instrumental in bringing the concept to New City Communications which later became part of Cox Radio. The concept is but one step in a process that requires highly trained and prepared sales agents to execute this properly. Sadly I agree that Radio Sales has become more "transactional" then ever responding to RFP's rather then being proactive.
- Paul Anovick
(4/26/2011 8:34:45 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Ok. Really? If this is the new way to sell radio, then the industry is in worst shape than I ever imagined. When I worked with Steve Marks and the folk at CSS in the mid-90s, we focused on identifying the types of buyers and influencers in client decision-making. It's a solid way of approaching the business, but it's been largely sacrificed by our obsession with reacting to business as opposed to trying to get out in front of it.

As someone who has moved from General Sales Manager to Account Manager and back over the last 10 years of my radio career, I believe the most critical change in the business is that the overwhelming share of key accounts that are represented by ad agencies. For example, I was shocked to learn how many auto dealer sales managers have very little say in the media decisions theses days. The importance of "going deep" on accounts has not faded, but the unique skill set required to gain access to the kind of intelligence discussed here has become harder to find. I believe that sales people who are unskilled at this task or who lack the true intellectual curiosity to pursue the depth of contact and knowledge required can actually do more harm to the cause than good.

More than ever before, agencies today are forced to weigh the benefits of collaborating with media reps/managers versus building walls around their clients. One false move by a gun-ho sales manager or account manager, and a sequence of political drama can be unleashed that can disrupt the agency client/agency station relationship. I totally sign on to the importance of understanding the decision-making process (which is often a complex dance of conflicting interests and power).

My take is that this is not "the new way to sell radio", but rather a re-statement of an approach that is at least a decade old by now. Based on my observations and discussions with ad and marketing execs, very few radio sales managers and sellers are equipped to go that deep in a way that's tactful and productive for all parties. I hope that more selective hiring and a serious investment in training both sales people and managers will position the industry better to capitalize on “the new way to sell radio”.

- Larry Jennings

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