Pending Business: What You See Is What You Get | TALKERS magazine : TALKERS magazine – “The bible of talk media.”

Pending Business: What You See Is What You Get

| December 20, 2021

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — By now you’ve heard the forecast for holiday travel.

The estimate is nearly 100 million will be on the road moving from one holiday destination to another and that should be music or chatter to your ears.

If you sell radio ads for a living, time to high five your steering wheel. Congested traffic means more time in the car, listening to and engaging with your programming. Most importantly longer commutes are another indication of our attempt to get back to a more familiar post-covid routine. Isn’t it great to see the legendary commuter routine that made in-car captive listening a mainstay of radio sales?

Yet, despite significantly increased traffic you may still have plenty of inventory to sell. Is it just the calendar becoming your frenemy this time of year or is it the lack of visibility into that crystal ball that cracked during covid?

We in radio sales have never addressed the “take it for granted” sales syndrome. So 100 million radios will be rolling again this holiday season and most of us will greet the opportunity with a shoulder shrug and that same-old-same-old take it for granted attitude. Amazing, just a few short months ago we all wondered when we could leave the covid lockdown, jump in the car and head to anywhere.

Time flies, and the muscle memory of basic selling skills may still be rusty.  So let’s pause for a moment and refresh the bedrocks of talk radio sales, no matter how big or small your market, Nielsen subscriber or not, here are the four basic concepts that count:

  • Captive audience. That bumper-to-bumper traffic jam is loaded with radios on. If the average commute in your market is like mine, your talent has 30 minutes each way to talk to listeners. Numbers aside, most of us are creatures of habit…radios on!
  • Talk radio hosts were the first influencers. We originally pitched this as a friend making a recommendation. In today’s social media sales world, sellers pitch “influencers.” Call it what you will, just remember talk radio hosts were and still are the originals to develop the concept.
  • Proof of performance. Results count and if your talent continues to deliver for sponsors, update the pitch and show it!
  • Tenure counts. How long has your talent been delivering for their sponsors? Ever wonder if anyone else can match their long-term performance?

This is the best time of year to review your sales strategy. Remember to start with a strong foundation.

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