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April 17, 2014

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12/03/07 Post This In Every Sales Department In Radio

Itís painful being on the other side of the desk. Because I have a passion for radio and I want radio to succeed, itís hard to see radio people failing. As Iíve mentioned before, I handle the marketing for a friend who owns a local business. In the year weíve been advertising, weíve used only one radio station ó and business is soaring. Weíre now on two stations in the same chain, with double the budget.

During the past year, the business owner and I between us have received only one phone call from a rep at another radio station. A year on the air, and only one other station has phoned to try to get our business.

Whatís wrong with this picture?

That call was today, from a young, nervous-sounding AE:

Rep: Mr. Rhoads, my name is Joe Salesguy, and Iím from K123.
Me: Yes?
Rep: I spoke to your client, and he told me you handle his radio.
Me: Yes?
Rep: I wondered if you had considered K123.
Me: Nope.
Rep: But K123 is number one in the market.
Me: It is? Really?
Rep (pause): Well, with adults 45-plus.
Me: SoÖ.
Rep; Well, I wondered if you would like to change stations or consider K123.
Me: No, thank you.
Rep: But we have the XYZ Sports Team and all these sports packages.
Me: So?
Rep: So youíre not interested?
Me: No, thank you.
Rep: Is it OK if I send you a media kit?
Me: No, thank you. Donít waste the postage. Iíll just throw it away.
Rep (flustered): But ... you donít want a media kit?
Long pause
Rep: But weíre number one.
Me: No, thank you.
Rep. Ah. Oh ... OK, thanks. Goodbye.

I was not unkind, but I was playing coy because I wanted to know how the salesperson Ė who sounded to be around 20 ó would respond. I wanted to know what itís like to be on the client side, and get pitched.

This kidís sales manager should be shot for sending a rep out on to the street with no preparation whatsoever. He had no engaging questions. He did not ask me what I was trying to achieve. The only answers he had for me were about features, not benefits. He pushed features ó and I donít care about features. Little did he know that I have more budget to spend. He never asked.

This poor kid will probably be fired for not getting results, and itís not his fault. Itís his bossís fault.

Clients care about one thing: results. Engage me. Speak my language. Do your homework before you call. Find out my needs, my issues, my frustrations, my vision. I donít care if youíre number one. I donít care who you have on the air or the reach of your transmitter or the size of your audience. Solve my problem, and my money is yours.


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