Pending Business: The Early Renewal Seagull | TALKERS magazine : TALKERS magazine – “The bible of talk media.”

Pending Business: The Early Renewal Seagull

| January 10, 2022

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Don’t do it! Whatever you do, don’t sell like a seagull.

During the course of the past year, especially during pandemic impacted inventory cycles, every kind of sales approach you can imagine was and still is in play. The most creative techniques seem to be coming from inventory challenged businesses, like real estate. The real estate sales world has spawned reality-style TV shows that are now featured on Netflix. Do we really pay to watch a show about sellers?

Back to our topic, the annoying  “seagull” sales strategy. Please don’t fall into the seagull pattern. You “fly” in, drop a package and for whatever reason, never properly follow through. It can happen to the best sellers as you try and test the waters on an early renewal. As you read through this description, know there is a simple course correction that can help right the ship on what could be impeding your sales flow and sending negative vibes to your clients.

Recently, my marketing work has shown me this weakness in radio sales. But it can be turned around into an easy win-win.

As you review your contracts, perhaps there are a few that can renew four or five weeks prior to expiration, helping your base billing going forward. You send a blind email to your client asking if there could be consideration for an early renewal, based on your attached extension-style package. Messaging about political windows, the talent working hard, or even ratings is included in your email. After a few questions and comments from the advertiser, the seller goes into silent mode. The sales process has stopped.

No instant signature so the seller stops communicating? Seriously? Yes, it happened several times last month!

To the advertiser, your station-focused facts are white noise. Despite all the work in that sales meeting, you stepped into the pothole of sales meeting facts that have no real benefit to your advertiser. Important facts to you could be nothing but white noise to the advertiser. So what do we do?

  • Heads-Up. Alert your advertiser that early renewal opportunities are coming. Set the stage for a win-win.
  • Discuss performance and results. Remember the check-in? How are we doing? Feedback is a key.
  • Show a clear incentive. Be focused on what’s in this early renewal that will move the needle.
  • Follow-Up, follow up, follow up.

Let the seagulls do the fly-by. Early renewals can be achieved when you believe in the win-win.

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