By Bob Quick
It amazes me that in 2019, after 30 years in this business, I still come across talent and programmers that think sales only happen in the sales department. If it wasn’t for your creativity, there wouldn’t be much to sell other than spots. Your ideas for features, promotions, events, and more show your own business acumen, even if you aren’t going door-to-door to sell them on your own.
Think about it: you sell yourself to your audience every day through your tweets, posts, breaks, appearances, etc. You’re charming and engaging and people are drawn to your personality. It’s your brand.
That’s what the salespeople do. They sell a brand. The radio station’s brand. And you’re part of it.
You do the same thing, only you’re asking for something more valuable than money…your listeners’ time. Research studies have proven over and over again that time is more valuable to people than money. So when you, as an on-air talent or program director, make a successful sale, you’ve squeaked an extra quarter-hour out of a listener, convinced them to show up at an event, or driven them to your website to enter a contest.
Whether you admit it or not, we’re all in sales.
So, you might as well use those talents to your advantage.
Go on a sales call when asked. Introduce a salesperson to your friend who owns a business. Inject your creativity into a spec spot.
I know sales and programming have always been at odds, but when you show an interest in helping the sales department, you’re thought of first to host a remote broadcast and get paid the talent fee. You’re the first one they think of when there’s endorsement money to be made. You are the one that they suggest when other money making opportunities come up for outside work (on-hold voiceovers, hosting a cruise vacation group, client television commercial work, etc.).
See, you’re selling yourself, your brand, every day, with everything you do.
If you throw up a block and are hard to work with, those opportunities will pass you by. And the midday guy will get them. Unless, of course, you’re the midday guy. Then you won’t and someone else will.
When you offer up ideas for promotions, stunts, features, specialty shows…you’re also proving your value to your employer. And with your knowledge of the product, those ideas will save you from other ideas that could add clutter or work against the radio station’s brand.
Because if you don’t come up with the ideas, someone else will…like the sales department.
Or worse…a client.
Have you ever heard of the Wheel of Meat? No?
OK, I promise I won’t tell your salespeople about it.
Bob Quick has performed just about every job in a radio station…on-air, programming, operations, sales, and management. Currently, he works with over 300 radio stations in his 29 state territory as Manager, Radio Partnerships at Motor Racing Network and helps numerous other small and medium market stations through his business Quick Radio Consulting.