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Old 29th January 2008, 07:55 PM   #1
radiogirl
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Default What Scares You About Radio?

You know I've always wanted to ask this of my local prospects, but it would just sounds rude to come out and say it like that -- and I can't think of a polite and respectful way to ask when their body language so clearly indicates that they'd rather be just about anywhere else in the world than talking to me.

I've been selling radio for just about two years now, coming off of being involved with marketing and promotions for small business from home and having run my own home based businesses for years before that. I've finally gotten to the point where I've met with just about everyone on my list and I've made all the "easy" sales (that is sales where they've had an inkling where they wanted to be on radio and just needed a facilitator to help them get there).

So now my challenge is tackling some of those prospects that I believe could benefit from radio, but have very little interest in talking with me...those who fear me because they know (in the end) my goal is to have them buy from me.

So what exactly is it that small businesses fear about radio?

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Old 30th January 2008, 09:13 AM   #2
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Default Small Business and Radio

Hi Radio Girl
I think many small businesses fear the pricing of radio ads. Especially if they have had a visit from the Big Radio Sales Players out there. I was meeting with one ad agency and he told horror stories of how the big players (with many radio stations) put together packages that will break the bank. Plus I think many small businesses don't know how to get a true read for what was spent versus what they received in return. I have only been involved with radio sales for a few months now and it has been incredibly difficult. I was hoping with our prices and our range of stations, we would have success but it's tough out there. Of course, the economic conditions aren't really helping. I just put together a large package of about 800 radio spots for a 3 week strength of time (broadcasting in MA/NH) and I am hoping working with them will give me a good testimonial and reference for future sales. Good luck to you!

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Old 30th January 2008, 10:29 AM   #3
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Default

That could be. I don't understand that. When I develop proposals I base it on the expectations and budget that the business owner has shared with me. I don't understand the mentality of putting something out of sync in their hands.

Even if they do buy it's not going to be a happy sale -- they're going to feel snookered and have higher expectations of any plan that out of their comfort zone.

I'd rather sell them a small package with clearly defined expectations and have them buy from me the next time and the time after that...churn and burns are not my style.

The ones that are challenging me now are the ones that I don't even get to the price/proposal range with - because they see me coming and have excuses in hand before I walk in the door (or won't even make an appointment to see me)

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Old 30th January 2008, 12:12 PM   #4
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Default Sounds familiar

Yes, I can feel your pain. Unfortunately, I think we are the minority in radio sales, we listen to the client and budget constraints. Have you purchased a house or a car before, and you have those sales people who just don't listen or think they know better than you what you want. I think radio sales people are often put in the category of sales people to avoid ....". The hardest part for me is that it is taking up so much time to sell these radio ads that I am losing time selling our "real products". I have tried everything and have only sold a small inventory over the past few months. Like I have said in previous postings, I can't believe radio ads at $7.00 per spot or less in some cases, hasn't caught on. Maybe I should price them higher because the prices are too good to be true. WHo knows?! Best of luck to you!

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Old 30th January 2008, 12:31 PM   #5
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Thank you.

I do have a nice stable list of regular clients...it's breaking through the plateau that's bugging me --

I want to reach through and reach out and show them -- but need to understand the roadblocks first...

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Old 30th January 2008, 12:35 PM   #6
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I don't have much radio advertising experience, just a few clients that have also done radio advertising that I am familiar with, so let me share my perspective.

For starters, I live in a large metro area. My experience is it takes more than one ad, and repetition based on the clients experiences I have witnessed with radio advertising. In a large metro area where repetition is required, the cost becomes a real concern based on my experiences. In comparison, my clients don't look at a pay per click campaign only cost .75 cents. They look at the total cost for repetition. Outside of the straight cost with the radio advertising, an ad needs to be created. That seems like another hurdle to me. There are costs involved. Second, I've heard so many bad radio ads I don't have a lot of confidence that mine will come out the other side good. I'm not a fan of the owner doing the voice, so I'm assuming I'll probably have to pay for the ad to be created plus creative services for voice. Ok, if I'm confident that the cost factors are going to be possible for my budget and that I am going to have creative and campaign that has a chance, I then need to consider how much sales this is going to generate and the cost involved in converting the leads. I'll have to take phone calls, provide product, and have costs associated. What is left over will be my profit. I expect my marketing to be a revenue generating expense. I have heard so many say it didn't work for me, I have little confidence in seeking out this on my own. In particular because I have to also consider the other advertising options available. This includes online advertising. Based on own experiences, I'm not likely to stop doing something that does work - most companies have advertising in place of some sort that does work - to take a chance with the above.

Not trying to be harsh, and just my own opinion - but my two cents on some of the challenges from an outside perspective. It has much more to do with than the ad spot cost.

If in your shoes, I would consider a few tactics -

1) Use your own open ad spots to advertise some sort of free trial. This would allow those with interest to take it for a spin at little risk

2) Create some sort of starter package for those new to it. Include a group of spots and creation of the ad at a flat cost so there aren't so many variables to research.

3) As you have success with those, use those customer testimonials to promote these sort of tactics further. Consider how you can promote previous customers to generate interest in your services they are using. Not just your long time customers, but those that are new too.

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Old 30th January 2008, 02:07 PM   #7
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Default

Good points Logan and thank you for sharing them. They capsulize exactly what I'm facing.

I'm sure that a lot of the resistance is due to preconceived notions.

In your opinion, what would be the best way to show you that the concerns you raise are non-issues (assuming you were in my market or I was in yours)?

ie. Quotes/Proposals are on the full campaign, so I'm not going to say this is the cost per spot and leave it hanging on what it will cost overall. That's all upfront. If provided with the data I can/will forecast so that the advertiser knows how much the campaign needs to generate in order to be considered a success according the business owners perspective.

Writing and production are included with full approval by the advertiser - there is indeed some back and forth involved at this point if I haven't been provided with enough information for the creative to nail it the first time. I try to minimize this by having the writer send me the copy first because I do have a background in copywriting and will spot out and out ineffective commercials and ask for a re-write before presenting to the client.

My challenge at the moment is that I'm not sure how to present myself and get to the point where we are actually talking about these specifics and the services offered.

Not to say that I can exceed the current rate of return on any advertising a client currently does...radio is not for everyone and I know it won't make sense for everyone and I can accept that...but how does one get to the point of knowing without having a chance to present?

What would you need to see and/or experience in order considering talking to a radio representative?

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Old 30th January 2008, 02:42 PM   #8
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Radio, I am going to make some assumptions sheerly based upon what I have read from you. You are an articulate, well spoken person. The impression I get from you is that you are not a salesperson per se but more of a facilitator. You can take orders from clients that already show an interest in what you are selling. I hope you don't take that offensively, I could be way off base.

In sales you establish trust and create desire. You are fighting the trust issue because people intrinsically distrust a salesperson. Couple that with the rhetoric of "radio is expensive" or "radio doesn't work" and its easy to see how you can be stopped in your tracks when trying to setup leads.

During my sales I stride to overcome objections before they arise. This might be an effective lead in for you. Obviously not verbatim, but you'll get the idea.

RadioGirl: "Hi Ken, I'm Patrysha from WNBC radio. I wanted to call and introduce myself to you. I know you are a busy person so I won't take but a minute of your time. I'd like to sit down with you for 15 minutes this week and show you how local businesses are increasing their sales with some very affordable radio campaigns. I know most small companies think radio is too expensive or that it will not work for them. I'd like you to see what I have to offer. I think you will be very surprised with the numbers. Is there a time, morning or afternoon, that is best for you?"

Then of course there is the whole consultative approach to the actual sale but that is up to your particular selling style. Remember this.. I am in business to make money. If someone shows me how to make more of it, I am not going to turn them away. You may have some hurdles to jump through to convince me to give you the time but ultimately your confidence in what you are selling will win me over and get your foot in the door.

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Old 30th January 2008, 04:10 PM   #9
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I think there is a particular point that Ken makes that is important - "increasing their sales". I once sat down with a marketing exec that purchased a large project from my company. He was giving me some straight up feedback on why he bought from our company versus others. It came down to I showed him how we were going to increase their sales. He said "I'm always willing to listen to anyone who wants to help me make more money". I think that is the case with all and applies to your scenario.

Would you be able to offer a 'satisfaction guaranteed' policy - without hassle? I think the free trial approach addresses that and can be used as a hook to generate interests. Is that realistic/possible for you to do?

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Old 30th January 2008, 04:49 PM   #10
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Default Radio Advertising

Great Points Ken and Logan! I having been following this thread closely since Radio Girl and I are up against many of the same roadblocks. I think I am going to try the free 1 to 2 week idea and give it a whirl. Although, with radio sales, to see if it truly will work you should give it about 3 months and 3 to 5 times per day so the commuters/listeners get used to hearing your name. Most of our ads include the weather sponsorships which for me should hopefully be a nice benefit. Radio Girl do you have any sponsorships available?

Good luck.
Jackie

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