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Pending Business: Old Habits

| July 12, 2021

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — It’s been over 260 years since Benjamin Franklin warned American sellers.

“Old habits die hard,” he wrote and so we are reminded every time we see him on the largest denomination of American currency, the $100 bill.

Yet our digital PayPal, Venmo, Zelle, ACH, wire transfer, direct deposit, etc. society has leapfrogged way beyond anything Ben could have imagined. And so that visual reminder isn’t as present as you may think. But his phrase has stood the test of time and stands tall as a warning to every seller in the radio/audio business. Why do most sellers still ignore someone who organized the first fire department, post office, library and creator of that all time best seller, the lightning rod?

My marketing work requires working with sellers and managers in 50 to 60 markets annually. No matter what market size, when a proposed schedule is finally delivered, nine out of 10 times we see CPP presented, not CPM as specifically outlined, requested, maybe ignored.

Too much work to change that overused template? The selling and buying dialogue is brought to a cold standstill as we correct schedule parameters two, maybe three times before a submission is possible. Momentum swings from positive to frustrated, because that’s the way we’ve always submitted: CPP not CPM. What you’re transmitting to the advertiser is, “I’m not listening, and my habits are in control.”

The needs of the advertiser change faster than the seller, yet the seller’s habits slow down the transaction. Stop letting habitual auto-fill reflect a muscle memory approach and control your rapport. Old habits die hard and can destroy the momentum you need win the business today.

Have key performance indicator (KPI) discussions worked its way into your sales meetings and dialogue? If so, then work it into your sales flow and presentations. If not, know that many advertisers and ad agencies have moved past you. Those old habits need to go the way of old clothes.

Take a minute to:

  • Look through your client proposals. Do you still use a template that was designed before “facemask required?” Have you included updates, new key selling points, and lineup revisions?
  • Review your key words. We all know words sell. Has your pitch flow been updated since “facemask required?”
  • Same old, same old?

Old habits can hinder your sales performance. Start working on breaking your outdated sales habits today!

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