By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Depending on your station’s sell-out status during this pre-election, COVID-19 and weather-driven window, “take it” or “leave it” can change in minutes. Same for your sales call planning; minutes count.
This environment reminds me of a never-ending dialogue with one of my better sellers. As we would head out on calls, the conversation would inevitably turn to juggling priorities. Our one-on-one meetings always ended with a list of priorities. Those priorities were specific and time-lined for the seller. But life happens, priorities shift, and focus on performance turns into pandemonium. Sound familiar?
The president came down with coronavirus, Hurricane Delta slammed the Gulf Coast, Rush hosts the president for two commercial-free hours and the great debates continue to make headlines. Were you able to shift your sales planning priorities as fast as the news cycle changed? Are you ready to juggle with your eyes closed?
Organizing chaos is part of our new sales world.
Some tips to keep you on track during these unpredictable times.
- Organize your systems for fast access. One of my favorite philosophies is balancing speed with experience. You need both. Your files (computer or manual) should include all the vital contact info, as well as important “won-lost” notes. Refresh as often as you can. Personnel changes are a daily event and WFH creates access challenges.
- Stay in close contact with your managers. Know your packaging, parameters, and people to connect BEFORE you start. When I served as a VP sales at WDZL-TV we published specific “take rates” for sellers eyes only, and brought the concept to several radio stations. Do you know what your managers will “take” today?
- Be ready with ideas and critical information for your direct clients. Sometimes speed wins and sometimes the best idea win. The combination is a recipe for long-term success in any sales environment.
- Prioritize your call list and discuss it with your managers. Make sure you are on the same page. If you are in the midst of a weather emergency, everything from inventory to production is a conversation.
- The audience is engaged. So important to keep that foundation of the news/talk format front and center on every call!
There is never a shortage of opportunity for smart sellers in any business. But when it comes to fast-track change, news/talk radio is #1!
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