If you are a copywriter who is new to radio sales, and even if you are an old time radio sales rep who has been around the block and also write copy, your should be able to identify with this…
Now, my top tip for radio sales is really, really simple…
It is… Shut Up, Stop Selling, and Start Listening
Yes it’s that basic and simple.
Sure, everyone knows listening is important from parents to teachers, priests to police officers.
Go on, just let them talk about themselves.
But sometimes, you’re very eager, and it’s all just way too easy to go into instant ‘sales’ mode.
Does this sound familiar?
“Hey there, Mr. Prospective Client. I think your business needs us. Here’s why we’re so great… and here’s what we can do for you… and look how many listeners we have… (BLAH, BLAH, BLAH)”
You know the rest, or you may have said worse than this – and honestly I hate it when someone mentions the stations ratings when talking to a new, prospective client. They don’t really care.
Why don’t they care?
Well, Mr Steven Covey, author of ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, said it best: “Seek first to understand then be understood.”
If you understand what it is that a client… wants, needs, what their pain points are, what their world view is, who actually says yes and is the decision maker, and why they need to advertise… well then you have pretty much already made the sale.
You are coming from a position of knowledge, and you can deliver a sales solution suitable for them based on a deeper understanding of what their business is all about, and what they want to achieve.
How you do this is by asking open ended questions, then shut up, listen, and take notes. As a copywriter you should be used to this tactic as you uncover more about a client, and you can discover the one great hook to base your commercial around by doing it. So sit there and shut up… Seriously!
On any first meeting, introduce yourself, and ask questions, don’t interrupt, and take notes – let them talk. I will repeat the most important part of that… shut up and take notes.
An example of the type of open questions you can ask are:
- How are you feeling today?
- What motivated you to ask me to talk to you about radio advertising?
- How did you get started with this business?
- What is the most important priority that I can help you with today?
- What is the biggest challenge you face in business today?
- What is preventing you from achieving that?
- What has worked well for you before?
- If time and money were not a factor today, and you had full authority to make changes, what would you change in your business today to make it better tomorrow?
Then, this is when you talk to them about how you think you might be able to help them. Once you have discussed some of the options, ask:
- I know I shared a lot then, did you have any questions?
- What have I not covered that you would like to know more about?
You have just spent probably almost a half hour listening to your client talk about themselves, and you haven’t asked them yet about the sale.
Why? Because people like to talk about themselves and think that they are the star.
Next time in “New To Radio Sales” we look at asking the big questions and what you should have in your arsenal ready to respond with when you do ask the sale question.
Until next time, keep on selling!