Pending Business: Why Buy? | TALKERS magazine : TALKERS magazine – “The bible of talk media.”

Pending Business: Why Buy?

| May 10, 2021

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Stand by for our first personal one-on-one meeting. Lots of questions will follow, so get ready for some self-talk.

Why buy advertising on your station? You know the answer(s) to this in your sleep. Yet why do three different sellers give three different answers? It sounds silly, but even at the best run stations, large market or small, my experience is the answers vary a little too much. Try this. Don’t think, just grab a pen and write the first answer that comes to mind. Why buy? If you say, “It depends on the advertiser,” read on.

Let’s look at a few other professions and see how they deal with the right answer to why buy?

Successful lawyers will share their performance track records with you. No matter what the fee, ask about results and you should get immediate clarity.

If not, get another opinion. How about a health care professional? A recent trip to my physical therapist netted a fascinating response to “How effective is this?” The answer was 55%. Think about that answer. The newer therapeutic process worked a little more than half the time. But years of discomfort ruled the decision. We went ahead with rehabbing a tough ankle injury, despite a little better than 50/50 chance of success. Of course everyone’s favorite: the airlines.  Why take a specific carrier? Price, schedule or something else? What’s most important to you when you buy that airline ticket?

Fast forward to your day-to-day selling.

  • How often are the campaigns you design for your advertisers effective?
  • Do you have benchmark thresholds for budgets, timelines and creative that you share with your advertisers, especially the new ones?
  • Does your talent and station deliver the expected results every time?
  • Do you evaluate the percentage of renewals based on performance?
  • Are you still stuck in sharing how long you’ve worked in the business instead of how many advertisers have been with you?
  • Do you have the numbers at your fingertips when on the call?
  • Does your station have a sales sheet that brags about renewals and performance or is it the same old list of companies?
  • How about those heritage sponsors that have been with your talent for live reads? Still fearful your competition will attack?

News/talk radio has one of the best track records of advertiser retention. Yet we never see that number in a presentation. Why do we default to old habits in a new, high-speed broadband selling environment? Be bold and stand taller in how you show performance results.

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