How To Sell A 30-Share

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Mar 6, 2000 by Sean Luce

You might not think that, in the age of Radio station fragmentation,there could exist a behemoth with market shares so high. Think again! They are out there, and they have the same challenges as any station at the bottom of the ratings.

There are many Country music stations that are ratings powerhouses. Understand how to use what you have: You can leverage exceptional market reach with a little less frequency. As much as there are no variables involved with purchasing airtime in a market where the average might be that you have to buy six stations deep, you can eliminate some of your competitors and possibly make the case of having to buy only three-deep when you carry such a strong rating.
 
Controlling your inventory can also mean pricing your competitors out of the buy. With a market-dominated share, you should be setting the rate in the market. With this also comes exacting a higher rate that would not leave many crumbs on the table for your competition. Not only will other Radio stations be left out, but you can also take out newspaper budgets and trim up the local TV and cable budgets.

BEATING BACK OBJECTIONS

 "Your rates are too high, and we will buy around you." You don't need an elitist attitude here, but you should know what your station is worth. You have a 30-share for a reason; take advantage of it. You have obviously done something right to command such a large share. Don't let a media buyer bang you on the buy-around-you bit. No matter what rating you have, you should always be positioned with the local contact at the account so you can command a dictate. You are selling a Mercedes, and most clients want to be associated with the best, where rates can take a back seat to performance.

 "You're too stingy on promotions" ?- common with stations that need to protect their market share. If every time you opened up the mike and blabbered a new promotion or some mindless chitchat, you probably would not have the rating you have. Ask your client if they want to sell their product and build their brand, or if they want their commercials to fall on deaf ears at the expense of promotions. They don't have tent sales every day,do they?

 "What goes up will come down." Maybe you haven't experienced this yet, but you will. The biggest hindrance might not be your station, but could be you and how you sell it. Never forget that little things mean everything, no matter what your rating is. In good times we forget what got us through the tough times, and that was working hard and smart. Send clients thankyou notes, seed them, be a resource and not just a commodity spot peddler. Service and knowledgeable reps are still the most integral part of the selling process. Eighty percent of the reason they buy you, regardless of ratings, is you, and what you as a sales rep bring to the table.

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