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Thursday, September 18, 2014

(SALES) Highlights From The Radio Show


Great leaders love what they do, and as often mentioned by many who work in media sales, it isn?t really work if you love what you do. That was obvious when Bud Walters, president and founder of the Cromwell Group accepted the NAB 2014 National Radio Award from Gordon Smith, the president of the National Association of Broadcasters during Friday afternoon?s lunch at the Radio Show. I won?t soon forget his acceptance speech, which was marked by moving words about the love he has for his people.

You can measure great leaders by the people they work with and the people who work for them. All you have to do is talk to some of Bud?s people and you?ll know what I mean when I talk about measuring leadership by the people who work for you. On Wednesday night I had a chance to quiz a couple of his people who attended our ?Liquid Fire? sales seminar recently in Tennessee.

You have to figure that, over the course of a month, we have encountered thousands of impressions in our mind and retaining what you saw and heard is not easy. Repetition is the mother of learning so I wanted to see what was retained by Jana Hampton, station manager at WBUZ/WQZQ in Nashville and Nichola Spencer, senior account manager from WBUZ/WPRT/WQZQ, so I asked what they learned and remembered from their training at TAB.

They cited the transitioning into problem-related questions with Step 4 of the ?7 Steps of the Opening Call?: ?On a scale of 1-10, and there is no perfect 10, how would you rate your advertising effectiveness?? When the prospect replies with a ?7,? for example, they nailed the follow-up question of, ?Why not an 8 or 9?? Now they can dig deeper into problem-related questions. Okay, what was the next thing you learned and use in your training? I asked. This time they cited the ?3 Reasons an Advertiser Should be Advertising With You 52 Weeks a Year?:
1) People Move. Approximately 20 percent of people move every year, according to the Department of Commerce, which means people are constantly changing their buying habits and places they shop. So the objection of having been in business for 50 years and ?everybody knows me? is thrown out the door.
2) People Forget. We encounter 250 to 5,000 advertising impressions every day according to Advertising Age. Who stands a chance of being remembered? The business that is there once in a while or the business that is constantly present in the minds of the consumer day in and day out on your media? Answer: Day in and day out, all the time.
3) People Take A Long Time To Make Up Their Minds. Here is where the buying cycle comes into play. Average time to buy a motorcycle, for example is eight to nine months, once they start to think about buying a new motorcycle and they begin Stage 1 of the 4 stages of the buying cycle. If the motorcycle dealer pulses a campaign with no consistency, every other month or so, they tend to make little impact for ?share of mind? with the consumer.
Well done Jana and Nichola from the Cromwell Group. Bud had quite a few of his people in attendance that day. Another mark of a great leader: They are always training their people even on the basics.

It felt like radio was making a comeback judging by the atmosphere at this year?s Radio Show, even though the 2nd quarter was pretty tough on some groups that saw flat-to-marginal revenue growth. I do know of one group that posted a 19 percent increase in the 2nd quarter. This year?s Radio Show did feel like 18 years ago when radio had steady growth and Radio Ink presented their first Radio Wayne awards. It?s always great to see people in our industry being noted and awarded. Regardless of if you win or not, just being shown on the big screen at the ?Show? is something special. Congratulations to all of the finalists and winners from this year?s group. I know, personally, 1998 was a very special year.

On Tuesday, I attended Kurt Hanson?s Rain Summits at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Kurt laid out a good speech reinforced with research. I especially noted his research that radio is losing 5-6 percent a year in audience, which in the end translates into losing revenue for some. So what are we to do? Selling digital is one of the answers; and selling solutions to keep your advertisers close to you (when you control the production of a client, you tend to control the dollars and influence from that client because you are the idea provider). In other words, you are the sustaining resource to that client. Sometimes, it?s just bringing a new idea that keeps you closer.

Great job by Erica Farber and the RAB along with Gordon Smith and John David from the NAB, and all of the people who went into making the 2014 Radio Show something special. Thank you!

Sean Luce is the Head National Instructor for the Luce Performance Group and can be reached at or Sean?s new book The Liquid Fire can be found on

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