Don’t just sell your client time


By Eileen Decker

As the media marketplace landscape changes, the role of the salesperson changes, thus making the relationship between buyer and seller a much more collaborative partnership. Salespeople have morphed into marketers and true Account Executives, just as the agency people responsible for placing media have turned into investors instead of just buyers of media. The sign in one major NY Agency’s reception area reads: “Investors of our clients’ budgets”.

If we take a look at the way consumers’ behavior and lifestyles have changed, you can see the challenges advertisers have in trying to reach today’s consumers.

It used to be Radio, Broadcast TV and Print were the major media outlets used for advertising messages; then cable arrived and started the ball rolling for alternative advertising options for consumers. Advanced technology has made new pathways for today’s consumers whose lifestyles now interact not only with Radio, Broadcast TV and Print, but with cable, outdoor, internet, online, streaming, cell phones and iPods as well—all which have the potential to deliver an advertiser’s message.

The challenge for advertisers to reach these consumers continues to expand as more and more people are consuming media outside of traditional patterns—a record number of homes using DVR technology means a television program is more often that not viewed long after the original broadcast.

When the behavior and lifestyle of an advertiser’s target audience becomes so diverse, the ways to reach this target and stand out from the competition and the clutter of mass messaging is the ultimate challenge.
The very nature of Radio being a personal medium affords advertisers unique opportunities to connect with the consumer, and it is the responsibility of Radio Account Executives to bring these opportunities to the table.

The creativity of Radio has no barriers and is nimble enough to accommodate a variety of executions that will make an impact on consumers with the varied deliveries of the advertiser’s message. The spoken word format is a very powerful environment as it is foreground radio and it engages the listener and creates a reaction. If a radio personality is passionate about a product or service he or she uses, a client can benefit greatly from a personal endorsement. Radio can also be the springboard for extensions of an integrated campaign incorporating multi-touch points to the consumer with the inclusion of text messaging opportunities, opt-in newsletters that extend the content of a radio show, product integration within a program, streaming, podcast sponsorships, live event synergies and listener participation through contests and promotions.

A winning campaign from concept to execution cannot take place without the combined cooperation and teamwork of the Media Department, the Advertiser and the Radio Account Executive.

The success of an Account Executive to aid an Advertiser in increasing their products’ awareness and sales can be found in the word SALES itself:

Service – Excellent client service is paramount. Be extremely responsive to your clients’ deadlines and their need for a quick turn around, providing them with all necessary information in a timely and accurate manner. The importance of following up after meetings and relaying information at the end of their campaign is supreme.

Accountability – Being a credible source of information for your client and providing measurable results is imperative.

Listen – Too often Account Executives make the mistake of trying to sell something that will not meet their client’s needs. It’s crucial that an Account
Executive listen to what a client is saying about their product, their customer, and their media goals and objectives.

Expectations – Managing a client’s expectations about what your offerings are and what they can accomplish is necessary to establish upfront. The depth of knowledge of your product and how to incorporate the clients’
message the right way paints a better application for success.

Solutions – As Radio Account Executives, we have the luxury of offering a variety of executions of a radio schedule to accomplish a client’s objectives depending on the product, the message and target audience. It’s the
Account Executive’s job to educate and present unique opportunities—to provide solutions—that will help grow their clients’ business and provide answers to a client’s need.

This is a very exciting time to be in Radio Ad Sales. Radio presents advertisers unlimited opportunities and environments to reach their customers. Don’t just sell your client time. Market their product and be the best advisor and collaborator for their advertising dollars.

Remember, the partnership between an Account Executive, the Media Department and the Client is the blueprint for a successful advertising campaign…and at the end of the day Radio Account Executives have the perfect tool—RADIO—as it is a powerful call to action for an Advertiser.

Eileen is President/Sales for Dial Communications-Global Media (Dial-Global) in NYC. She can be reached at [email protected] or 212-967-2888.