Pending Business: Competitors Aren't Dumb | TALKERS magazine - talk media trade : TALKERS magazine – “The bible of talk media.”

Pending Business: Competitors Aren’t Dumb

| August 24, 2020

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Write this down and study it: Competitors Aren’t Dumb.

Why put that in writing? No less review it every Sunday, Monday, and Friday? Sunday -helped me plan meetings, Monday – helped me steer the countless decisions to be made, Friday – to gain perspective to weekly performance.

One of your biggest challenges selling news/talk is expanding a narrow, focused approach. Except for a few stations, the pitch is getting old and outdated. When was the last time you evaluated how a competitor sells?

We seem to have lost the art of competitive analysis. Here is one lesson I learned from a non-radio, multi-billion dollar advertising juggernaut.

Do you remember the Yellow Pages when it was an actual book thicker than a tire on your car? It was delivered to your front door with nothing but paid listings from just about every business category on planet earth. The Yellow Pages usually dominated local advertising. “Emergency” categories like plumbers, roofers, and personal injury lawyers typically had the biggest ads. Auto dealers, florists, and appliance vendors featured their branded logos. Every year we would dissect the Yellow Pages’ unique pitch, the fluid strategy by category and distribute leads in sales meetings.

We learned their pitch and listened to advertisers talk about WHY “it works.” We were adjusting the news/talk radio sell to be better received, more effective and through some talented sellers our revenues increased. The how and why of the Yellow Pages success motivated the “Look for our ad in the Yellow Pages” mention in spots. Competitors aren’t dumb and if you can’t beat them, collaborate.  No more Yellow Pages you say? Try dissecting the Google pitch and you will soon see the fundamental connection in sales strategy. In the beginning very few took Google seriously as a sales competitor and today Google, is the multi-billion dollar advertising juggernaut.

Looking for leads is one thing, understanding your competition is another.

Be realistic when you go through these takeaways.

  • Look beyond commercial radio. Audio, video, even old school direct mail is gaining ground with advertisers. How does your competitor present their platform?
  • What is the “WOW” factor in your pitch… in their pitch?
  • Assess your assets: “What is your biggest weakness?”  “How do you compensate?”

Learn from your competition and sell better!

Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.  Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy.  Contact Steve Lapa via email at: 

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Category: Sales