Pending Business: How Do You Like to Be Coached? | TALKERS magazine - talk media trade : TALKERS magazine – “The bible of talk media.”

Pending Business: How Do You Like to Be Coached?

| January 18, 2021

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Oops, did I just invert the pyramid — as in the traditional “it’s up to you to adjust to your manager’s style?” Does your selling style fit the station sales culture?

Even pre-pandemic, has the sales culture changed, adjusted, grown?

Let’s take a lesson from one of the most competitive environments around.

Ask any college athletic coach and you will quickly learn the importance of recruitment. The fact is one of the difference makers in hiring any elite college coach is the ability to recruit. Here’s a short version of a pre-pandemic, game-changing personal experience. We will soon see the direct connect to your performance.

For many years our radio station was a major affiliate of the FSU Seminoles football network. One year I was honored with an invitation to dinner with legendary coach Bobby Bowden. I am and always have been a student of great coaches. I keep a notebook of takeaway lessons from every interaction. It goes without saying I jumped at the opportunity to meet the man who ranked number two in most wins.

Recruiting and coaching great sales and on-air talent is part art, part science. What about recruiting and coaching great athletes? I asked coach Bowden, “How has recruitment changed?” Here was one of the greatest college football coaches of all time explaining, in his always humble, humorous way, how he was adapting to the changes in the culture of young athletes, and the budding world of online information about top recruitment candidates. Nearly 300 FSU players have been drafted into the pro ranks and here was a Hall of Fame coach adapting his recruitment program.

Fast forward to today’s talk radio sales environment.

In the past several weeks my marketing work has taken me to two top 20 market radio stations that have no formal systems for sellers to feedback to on air talent. The pattern is predictable. The seller sells, the host does the endorsement read, and results are disappointing. The host reads are off target and the dance begins. No one has taken the time to adjust the feedback system.

Do you ask your talents how they would like to be coached on advertiser feedback?

Do you touch base with your advertisers to get feedback?

Do you work a regular feedback loop with your talent?

Don’t leave your talk radio talent in the dark abyss of no feedback until it’s too late. Learn from the great coaches. Adjust your style, because your competition is out “recruiting” the business right now.

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:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Sales