By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — The past 10 days could have been the epitome of a news cycle in overdrive. Coronavirus, virtual presidential conventions nominating candidates, Apple is worth $ 2 trillion, extreme weather, demonstrations, and the first ever all-team protests in professional sports. No shortage of content and controversy…. especially in sports.
The once enjoyable sports talk banter of rivalries, pre-game predictions, and bad calls are no longer so simple. Used to be that sports talk radio was the electronic escape to the sports bar with friends and fans. You could almost taste the wings and cold beer. Today players and on-air personalities are tackling complex issues with newer topics up for discussion everywhere from social media to your station’s dial position. Let’s be clear, this is not about play-by-play, this is about selling your local sports talker hitting on topics that last year at this time weren’t up for consideration on a sports talk show sheet.
How will the new-talk of sports talk be sold? Will you be faced with a “too controversial for us…” objection in a format that used to be the fun part of your sales day? Remember the mantra of local sales, “They buy where they listen.” So what are they hearing on your sports talk station today that could be a game-changer? It’s a new-talk day, sports fans.
Some takeaways to help prepare for your next sports talk sales calls:
- Educate – Evolution vs. Revolution. Sports talk radio is always evolving reflecting the storylines driving the cycle.
- It’s always about the audience – Your on-air talent’s fans and followers are the connection that delivers the value proposition your advertiser needs.
- The advertiser is King – Sometimes we lose perspective when the banter moves to personal opinions. Let the advertiser be the advertiser, you be the professional seller.
- Preserve your relationships – Some advertisers will want a break to step back and gauge reaction. Better to work through the challenges than lose what may have taken years to build.
- We are in this together – The advertiser is going through more issues with no handbook than ever imagined. The safe harbor of sports talk may seem stormy right now. Be smart and steady.
- Teamwork wins – Use the assets and resources your station can offer. From creative to the manager’s office, go the extra mile to show your client how important their business is to you!
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: Steve@Lapcomventures.com