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Prospecting and Getting the Appointment

August 29, 2013

Prospecting is based on a simple principle: The more that you do it, the greater your chances of reaping rewards. As a radio sales professional, you will have key accounts for which you are responsible. However, in order to be successful in the radio sales arena, it is important to recognize you have to keep current clients happy as well as add new clients to your sales portfolio.

Knowing your station’s profile is a key component in figuring out which target consumers match your prospect’s listeners. With this knowledge, you can begin to create a list of potential clients. The best way to do this is to simply use tools that are readily available to you to create a potential new client lead list, such as:

  • referrals from existing clients
  • local and regional telephone directories
  • Internet
  • newspapers

In addition, focus on your surroundings as you go about your everyday routine. For example, take notice of what type of local and regional businesses are moving into the area. The key is to plant so many seeds that you don’t have to worry about each individual sale. You’ll have far more confidence that if one sale falls through, another will sprout in its place.

  • Be selective and target key customers who have the greatest ability to purchase your products or services.
  • Take pride in the relationships that you form along the way, and treat each prospect as if they are already your best customers.

If you believe in your product or service, you can help people conquer their objections and make their lives a little easier. That will give you the confidence to want to be out there selling all the time.

The ability to get appointments is critical to the success of every radio sales professional. In the art of selling, one of the first sales practices that is important to master is simply making the call. Oftentimes, especially when one is new to the business, there tends to be some hesitation regarding making the call. There are definitely times when you have to build up your self-confidence. This is especially true when it is time to make the really tough calls.

The key to being prepared is by planning and doing research. And though it is important to be prepared, don’t get too caught up in planning as a way of avoiding. Avoidance just leads to failure. If you’re not making the call, you are getting nowhere in this business. Time is of the essence. The only way to be successful is by diving right in and getting your feet wet. Practice talking to as many prospects as possible. “No” will begin to turn into “yes.”

Other helpful hints are to practice your calls and develop a script for various situations. Do role playing with a senior coworker or your boss. They will know the tricks of the trade and how to direct you to handle certain questions or situations. This is helpful whether you’re new to the business or just need to freshen up your approach. Sometimes veterans become a little complacent when they are successful, which may lead to boredom. However, that lackadaisical attitude could lead to a slump.

By developing scripts and practicing, a rep can continue to develop his/her skills, which will, in turn, contribute to success. Once you get the prospect on the phone, be energetic, get to the point, and ask for the appointment. For all the refusals you receive, many yeses will follow to get you through the door.

-Nakia Smith, Sr. Sales Research Consultant

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