By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
On the one hand, you know your station and market inside out. You are the tour guide who can navigate the advertiser through every fork in the road. You are proud of your station’s heritage and conversant with the demographics, psychographics, and socioeconomic profile of the population that resides in your coverage area. Rates, packages, program lineups, and historical revenue figures are at the tip of your tongue. Any out of the ordinary question is answered with a fast access, “Let me get back to you.” All are important traits that are critical components for top sellers and managers.
Now, here comes the cold water. You sell on “radio island,” insulated from the innovative changes happening daily in other markets. Even if your station is part of a multi-market group, unless you have sold, managed or kept a dialogue in multiple markets, when the sales innovation curve jumps elsewhere, yours flatlines.
Therein lies the dilemma. Stagnation nation. How do you learn new sales concepts and grow past what you know? “We’re kind of a big deal around here ” doesn’t play well with the experienced multi-market advertiser. And if your cultural mantra revolves around ”if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” then you can kiss the future goodbye. This is a real world challenge that can cost you revenue and ultimately relationships. I just went down this rabbit hole with several stations. The experience is disappointing and costly.
Here are some takeaways that may help:
- There is no back burner. So many sellers and managers delay, procrastinate, or push off what needs to be learned now and put into action today to keep up with our ever-changing media ecosystem. There are no spectators in sales.
- If it ain’t broke, break it. Learn from the advancements in the fast food business. Been inside a McDonald’s or Moe’s recently? Find one with no drive-through. You will experience the easy navigation touch screen (data capture for sure) with your order on its way to the pick up counter. “Welcome to (a newer) Moe’s!”
- Never stop learning. It may seem like a grade school cheer, but when was the last time you saw a Nokia phone, used a Groupon, or bought sneakers at Sports Authority?
I enjoy working with so many talented sellers and managers around the country especially those who continue to improve their skills by driving the learning curve up every time we connect.
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: Steve@Lapcomventures.com