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Pending Business: Rates, Rotation, Negotiation

| April 19, 2021

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla — Why do most sellers make a simple process so complicated?

Ask the right questions, listen carefully and your advertiser will tell you how to sell them…or not. Yet most sellers are focused on their own goals pushing for the package of the week. They fail to listen, ignoring the advertiser’s goals.

Let’s learn from high achievers in the current red-hot real estate market. The best of the best match seller with buyer after dissecting the needs and objectives of each.

Would a smart realtor show retirees a home in the best school district with young families even though that home matches their price range? How about showing the young couple an affordable home in a 55-plus community? Obviously, it makes no sense. Yet many sellers in our business do exactly that. They show rates and packages that don’t fit the advertiser’s goals, jeopardizing rapport and credibility with wasted time retooling and negotiating. My favorite is the low-charge rotator that must start and end according to management dictates. Yet the rotation doesn’t fit the advertiser’s goals.

It’s never an easy answer and always a drawn-out negotiation. Sound familiar?

Try this:

  • Start with a clear understanding of your packages. The features, benefits, and most importantly the areas of flexibility within the value proposition. Remember you don’t sell in a vacuum; competitors from all media are pitching daily.
  • Make sure you master the value proposition. Most sellers fade out.
  • Know your advertiser’s goals. Sellers are often tempted to push a round peg into a square hole trying to sell packages.
  • Line up your prospects in priority order. Everyone loves a deal, but selling snow shovels at 50% off in Florida is not where you want to spend your time.
  • Keep an updated list of your package buyers. Like the topnotch realtor, know your prospect. Nothing better than starting a call with: ”Hey Jim, I was thinking about you today as our team was introduced to…”

As we turn the corner on pandemic business paralysis, you will be faced with new competition at all levels. Smart competitors will lead with attractive and innovative concepts that are ready right now. Before you set the appointment to pitch your package, make sure you are properly prepared, knowledgeable about local competitors, and most importantly enthusiastic about your station.

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