Pending Business: Sales Lessons from the Election Cycle | TALKERS magazine - talk media trade : TALKERS magazine – “The bible of talk media.”

Pending Business: Sales Lessons from the Election Cycle

| November 9, 2020

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Lots of sales lessons from this past election cycle… You may think this is a stretch, but here are just some you can apply today:

Forget the “funnel” and work the process of the decision. Most sellers work a sales funnel, i.e., pour as many accounts into the top, and expect the better ones will work their way through to a close at the end. This election showed the value of following a universally appealing theme throughout the process: the simple message “Vote.” Result? A record number of votes cast. Do you focus on activity — the number of accounts in your funnel or closed sales-results? Do you advance a simple, easy-to-understand benefit(s) to your prospects, or is it just the number of accounts you drive into the funnel?

The reality is your managers will ask you to regularly report on names and numbers of calls made, versus a clear focus on prioritized, qualified targets. If election coverage was your most recent package, what was the clear difference maker, the simple benefit between what you presented vs. TV or online?

It ain’t over, until it’s over and this election took five days to decide. The last time I was involved in daily broadcast sales, we worked a system that included nine contacts with a prospect before we expected a close. You read that contact number correctly — nine — sometimes more if we worked cold leads.

That number is what I call the “landscape average.” Not my number, a team average, and our teams always featured high achievers, low turnover, and solid earnings. A sales process that takes nine (or more) contacts requires an approach that mandates a commitment to stay with the process and a complete feedback loop until the result is clear. How about your team? How many contacts does it take until a deal is closed? How many contacts until you personally move the process from first call to close?

Finally, be clear about your path to success. Winners communicate clearly and always focus on their goals. Some stations have the best ratings they’ve enjoyed in a while, yet struggle to consistently deliver the revenue commensurate with audience performance. Business in this pandemic-impacted environment is still an uphill climb. Identify that clear, simple path to the business and bring the opportunity to a close.

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