Which Type Accounts For 60% of The Dollars Sold?

Published in RADIO INK – November 6, 2022

You’ve probably heard the discussion on transactional versus relational buyers. Transactional buyers are mainly concerned with price, with acquiring what they need and getting on with their lives. Relational buyers are concerned about relationships. Price is not as important to them. They are more likely to become long-term customers.

Which brings us to the discussion of how we sell to our clients. Are you a transactional or a relational seller?

Let’s explore the difference.

In transactional selling, the focus is on the product. It forces the buyer to make the connection between their needs and what we are selling. Often, they can’t do this because what we offer them doesn’t fit their needs exactly.

Selling packages falls under transactional selling. The price is usually small, schedules are for a short time (I’ve rarely found a package longer than 3 months). As a transactional seller, you might present this way:

“We have this new package out… It’s only $99, $150, $250. I thought you might like it.”

“This package has the cheapest rates of the year. But you have to do it today.”

“I know you want to support the team, community, etc.”

“We have these Holiday greetings. It’s only $99.”

Sound familiar? While I realize we do need some packages, especially if we are selling sponsorships to something, but I encounter the “package du jour” weekly. I call this “selling a ‘thing.’” The “thing” is the package. Because most transactional sellers haven’t progressed to selling a concept, they sell the “thing.”

Relational sellers focus on the product needs and personal needs of their buyers. They fit their offering to those needs. They present what the client needs to buy, not what they need to sell. They tailor the campaign to the specific goals of the buyer. They understand the buyer’s needs and goals because they discovered them by doing a detailed customer needs analysis. They spend more time developing the relationship with the buyer and understanding how that client’s business works. The upfront time is longer: the payoff is bigger.

Today most of us sell radio, digital, outdoor, print. Successful salespeople sell campaigns, not a few “spots”.

Here’s the point: 60% of dollars involved in selling are sold in the consultant (relational) posture.

What type of seller do you want to be in 2023?

P.S. My book, “Successful Broadcast Sales: Thriving in Change” can give you a roadmap to transitioning from a transactional seller to a relational seller. Or, you can get your managers to hire me to teach you how.

Pat Bryson is CEO of Bryson Broadcasting International, a consulting firm that works with salespeople and managers to increase skill levels. She is the author of two books, “A Road Map to High-Dollar Broadcast Sales” and “Successful Broadcast Sales: Thriving in Change” that are available on her website

A Lesson Learned From a Friend in Iceland

Published in RADIO INK October 31, 2022, written by Pat Bryson

Just before COVID hit and made my passport irrelevant, I was attending a Radio Days Europe conference in Vienna. One of the many radio friends I’ve met doing my job (I SO like that about what I do), is a programmer for a radio station in Iceland. Siggi is a tall guy, and I’m sure his entire life has had trouble finding clothing that fit. He mentioned to my friend Evie and me over dinner (it’s not ALL work at these conferences) that he was going back through London to get a Bespoke suit.

Not wanting to sound ignorant, I responded, “That’s nice.”

And then later asked Evie, “What the ___ is a ‘Bespoke suit’?”

That’s why Google was invented. I looked it up. For those of you who might also be uninformed, let me explain. Instead of buying a suit off the rack or having a suite off the rack altered a bit to fit better, a Bespoke suit means that the tailor draws the suit pattern ON YOUR BODY. He doesn’t even alter a previous pattern. He creates a new pattern especially for you. And guess what? It fits like a glove!

This got me to thinking. What we need to do today in 2023 selling, is to create Bespoke campaigns. We should draw a client’s pattern expressly off their needs and goals. We shouldn’t take a suit off the rack (re: package) or use a campaign we designed for another client. We should create one JUST for this client. When we do, it will fit like a glove. It will meet their needs and goals exactly. Their message can be used only for them.

Now, here’s the thing. Bespoke suits cost more, much more, than off-the-rack suits. But patrons don’t care. They are willing to spend more because they get a product that is EXACTLY what they want and need. This is the answer to getting clients to give us larger budgets. It’s not about the money: it’s about getting a campaign that fits them exactly.

How do we get there? We spend time up front with clients doing an in-depth needs analysis. We understand their business. We understand the client. We become a member of their team. They view us as a necessary resource. Remember “relationship selling.

Today we are charged with selling more than radio commercials. We have multiple fabrics in our garment room. We have many ways to create exceptional campaigns that will raise revenue for our clients. This, in turn, will raise our revenue.

Ladies, in case this seems targeted for the gentlemen, have you seen “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris”? If not, I recommend it with a box of popcorn and some tissues. It will answer the “Bespoke suit” for women.

Happy Selling!

Pat Bryson is the CEO of Bryson Broadcasting International, a consulting firm that works with sales managers and salespeople to raise revenue. She is the author of two books, “A Road Map to Success in High-Dollar Broadcast Sales” and “Successful Broadcast Sales: Thriving in Change”.

How To Be The Number One Resource For Your Client

Published in RADIO INK October 17, 2022, written by Pat Bryson

I don’t know about you, but “I have a guy” (although to be politically correct it should probably be “I have a person”) whom I call for medical advice, legal advice, when my car needs repairs, when I need a haircut. Each of these people represents my number one resource for information about their area of expertise. They are the people to whom I refer my friends when they ask, “Do you know anyone who does…….?”

Our field of expertise is advertising. We should strive to be the person our clients call when they have any questions on how to market their businesses. They should be anxious to refer their friends, knowing that we will give the friend the same service and excellent advice they experience.

How to we earn that amount of respect and confidence?

Our first step is to know our clients’ businesses inside and out. When we are with them, we talk about the business of the business BEFORE we talk about the marketing of the business. If we don’t have a thorough understanding of how the business functions, their problems, needs and goals, how can we expect to translate those needs and goals into an effective marketing plan? And because we seek first to understand, we become trusted resources. Our clients see that we are not there only to take their money.

Number one resources keep current with the ever-changing business and economic landscape. These outside forces often create the need for changes in marketing strategy. They anticipate the needs and bring information and ideas to help their clients navigate the evolving circumstances. Sometimes that means adjusting schedules. Sometimes it means altering the messages to resonate with what customers care about NOW. Think back to the evolving ads during COVID. Ads went from “Why you should buy this product” to “Home is more important than ever. Keep your family safe.” After a couple of months, that approach was outdated, and the consumer moved on. Messaging moved on also. Number one resources know that they must provide creative ads relevant to the consumer at this moment. They use “theatre of the mind” to make their clients’ messages memorable.

Number one resources understand every vehicle they sell. Whether that means selling radio, digital products, print, outdoor or all the above, they have the expertise to coordinate campaigns across all platforms. Even if they do not personally sell all the platforms, they still coordinate ads so that the potential consumer receives the same message from each. This saves clients time and effort. When they think “marketing” they think “Call my number one resource.”

Number one resources connect clients with one another to fill needs. One of the reps I coach had a new client getting ready to open a business. That client was looking for a location. She knew that another of her clients had a building to rent. She put the two together and magic happened. Great salespeople look for connections. They sometimes help solve more than marketing problems. They know people who know people.

Number one resources provide excellent, top-of-the-line service. They begin every relationship by asking their client, “How do you define ‘exceptional’ service?” Then, they deliver it! Whether it is seeing clients once a month or once a week, they follow through with in-person, phone, text, and email contact. They stay close to their clients.

Number one resources take the time to sharpen their own saws. Our craft is changing rapidly. I’ve always marveled that most professions require continuing education hours to renew licenses and to stay current. We are professionals also, but radio does not require continuing education. But we should! It falls to each of us to spend time perfecting our craft, learning new things, being in the position to advise having all the latest information. I grew up with a manager who believed in training. We affiliated with trainers who came in monthly. We attended every seminar that came within a hundred miles of our station. We never stopped learning. This, in large part, is why I do what I do today. I know that it is no longer good enough to be “B” players. We must be “A+” players to rise to the top of our profession. This requires executing the basics well while understanding the psychological aspects of selling.

2023 will be the year of the sustaining resource. I hope you may become one. Then, you truly will be the number one resource and the answer to the question, “Do you know anyone who is great at marketing?”

Happy Selling!

5 Ways To Be The Best Seller In Your Market

Published in RADIO INK October 3, 2022, written by Pat Bryson

If you are a radio salesperson, you know there are lots of us out there. When you call on a new or existing client, you may have been the fifth or sixth sales representative in their door that day. We are all inundated with emails. It’s hard to grab someone’s attention by email. Ditto getting someone on the phone to make an appointment.

With all this competition vying for a businessperson’s time, how do we stand out? How do you become the best seller in your market?

The first thing, and basic to being a good seller, is to know your products. Today most of us sell more than radio. We may sell digital products, print, outdoor. We have lots of golf clubs in our bag with which to play the game of advertising. Which product or products will we choose to make the shot? Without a thorough knowledge of how these work on consumers we are behind the curve.

Along with this knowledge, we need to know how to create effective schedules. What type of frequency and consistency do our clients need in any of these vehicles to move their revenue needle? Now that we have multiple advertising vehicles to sell, the tendency may be to split the original budget among the various choices. Diluting a schedule on one vehicle to add additional vehicles will not result in success. We need to become comfortable asking for enough budget to cover all the platforms in an effective way for each. Remember, most likely your clients are spending that amount of money somewhere, just not with you. Giving the money to you allows you to coordinate the messaging across all their platforms which will create greater results for them. It also saves them time as they only need to deal with one person: YOU!

This leads us to the next skill you need to become the best seller in your market: you know how to create great messages. What does your client’s ad need to communicate? What sets them apart from all competitors? Why would someone shop with them or buy their product? Once you can answer, “Why?” it’s time to translate that message into sound and graphics. Too often in radio we forget how powerful sound can be. We forget that people buy emotionally. They respond to messages that are relevant to them. They respond to messages that evoke emotional responses in them.

It’s important to coordinate these messages across all platforms. We know that most customers respond after receiving various “touches”, usually five or more. If these “touches” are similar in all platforms, the message becomes more memorable. Our job for clients is to give them space in the minds of potential consumers. If our clients are not in the file drawers of their potential customers, they will never have the chance to sell them.

Now that we have mastered our world and helped our clients to increase their brand, it is important to expand your own brand. How can you become known as the marketing expert in your town? Attend local business events. Meet people. Pass out your cards. Let them know what you do. And what do you do? You use your advertising platforms to help solve problems for local businesses. Right now, most of us are helping our clients to deal with inflation, finding staff, changing messages to keep pace with supply chain problems. There are very few businesses out there today that are not dealing with one or more of these.

You can also use LinkedIn and social media to promote success stories that you have helped to create. One of the salespeople I coach regularly posts short interviews with his clients on LinkedIn. The client gives a testimonial on how he has benefited from working with the station.

Haunt the Chamber events. Speak on marketing at every opportunity. Join service clubs. They often have the movers and shakers in any community as members. These people can be powerful references.

Another person I coach has an 8 ½ by 11 sheet full of clients who have agreed to serve as references. When she leaves a needs analysis, she gives that sheet to the prospect and encourages them to call the references. By the time she returns to present, the prospect is already sold!

Now we get to the most important thing you must do to be the best seller in your market: KNOW YOUR CLIENTS! Great salespeople today have a deeper understanding of their clients and their businesses than ever before. They are probing for information during every interaction. Business is evolving quickly today due to outside influences. Great salespeople keep pace with those changes, altering messages as needed. They understand the metrics of their client’s business. They meet with annual clients at least four times a year to do a more in-depth needs analysis to make sure the advertising plan is still on target. They provide follow-up that is customized for each client. They are in contact with each client at least once a month. Some clients may require weekly or biweekly contact. Some prefer to use text, some email, and some phone calls to handle logistics. The best salespeople ask, “What do you consider ‘exceptional service’?” Then they provide it.

Although we have spent several paragraphs talking about our world, this is only the basic knowledge great salespeople must have. Once you have that, what truly matters is understanding the world of your client. Knowing our world simply gives us the skills to diagnose and prescribe once we understand what our clients need and what their goals are. Think of it as going to your doctor with a problem. You HOPE they have a thorough knowledge of medicine, but you also hope they will seek to understand YOUR SPECIFIC PEOBLEM before they start prescribing a course of action. That’s what we do: we diagnose through a needs analysis then we prescribe a course of action using our advertising vehicles.

Have I given you five ways? I lost count. Being the best seller in your market requires commitment to your station and especially to your clients. Your goal: when someone asks whom to call for advertising advice, the answer is YOU!

Happy Selling!

How Salespeople Will Win In 2023

Published in RADIO INK September 19, 2022, written by Pat Bryson

Being a successful salesperson today requires a new level of sophistication and expertise. No longer can we “sell a package” and expect to rise to the top of our industry. The business landscape is constantly bombarded by external influences: there is a disturbance in the force. Our clients are daily trying to deal with these shifting sands. The salespeople who will win in 2023 will become the guides for businesspeople showing them a way to survive and thrive no matter what happens in the world.

What skills do we as radio salespeople need to become those guides? How will we spend our time?

Winning salespeople in 2023 will do MORE: Much more! Prospecting for new business is the beginning of any relationship. The winners in 2023 will prospect constantly. They will look for and recognize opportunities at every juncture. No matter what managers might assign as a number of new calls to make daily, the winners will do more. One of my favorite stories is of a salesperson who excelled at prospecting. One day on the way to the station, he had a car wreck. By the time the tow truck had hauled his car away, he had an appointment to meet the owner of the tow truck business to talk about advertising. Prospects are all around us. We encounter them daily. The best salespeople follow up on these.

They also ask for referrals. They use their existing relationships with clients, family, friends to expand their footprint and search for businesses who might need their help. More, more, more.

Winners in 2023 will recognize the need to constantly improve their skill set. Selling radio today requires much more than selling radio did 10 or 20 years ago. They will devote time daily to learning new skills, to acquiring new information that can assist their clients. Good is no longer good enough.

Winners in 2023 will have a deep understanding of their clients’ businesses. They will know that it’s not about US: It’s about THEM. What are their goals and objectives? What obstacles are keeping them from achieving these goals? How is their business changing in response to the external factors affecting it? The successful salespeople will understand the metrics of their clients’ businesses. This understanding will allow them to create successful campaigns designed specifically for that client’s business.

The winners in 2023 will provide solutions, ideas, and moral support for their clients. So often when times are stressful, businesspeople view the world as a half-empty glass. The winning salesperson in 2023 will always have a half-full glass. They will identify problems and challenges and then direct their clients toward the solutions, not grovel with them in the problems. Businesspeople have faced unique challenges since 2020. They have operated in uncharted waters. Although they may be experts in their field, WE are the experts in marketing. We know how to turn their challenges into opportunities. The best salespeople in 2023 will never lose sight of that fact. They will be the catalyst in helping their clients to survive and thrive.

Winners in 2023 will sell schedules, not budgets. Most clients do not know what they should invest in radio advertising. They know what they have spent. They know what we have let them spend. But more often than not, they have purchased ineffective schedules that do not have enough frequency per week (think OES) nor are they long enough (think 52 weeks minimum) nor do they have a relevant message. The successful salespeople in 2023 will advise their clients on what type of schedules they must utilize to solve their problems. In fact, they will insist on it. Doctors don’t let their patients write their own prescriptions. Nor should we.

The winners in 2023 will utilize all the tools in their toolbox. Some will sell radio only. Some will also sell digital. Some will add direct mail or billboards. Today we have many options and vehicles to help our clients to solve problems. The key as to which ones we include in the campaign depends on our deep understanding of our clients’ problems and goals. We provide many of the services that ad agencies once did.

Winners in 2023 will utilize radio’s secret weapon: the power of sound. Too often, we overlook the need for relevant messages. The mind is a powerful thing: we can stimulate it by crafting messages that use sound. We can transport the listener anywhere. We can create situations. We can make them laugh or cry. “People buy emotionally and justify it with logic.” Nothing stirs the emotions as well as a professionally done radio ad utilizing the theatre of the mind. And remember, we are the professionals.

Winners in 2023 will be focused. They will utilize their billable hours wisely. They will recognize that our job is a “whatever it takes” job, not an 8-5 job. They will never quit. They will be so convinced that we have the solutions to creating business for clients that they will not accept “No” as an answer. Not only will they think outside the box, but they also won’t even HAVE a box.

And finally, the winners in 2023 will understand how important our jobs are. Nothing happens until someone sells something. In our economic system, someone has an idea for a product. They make the product. They advertise the product. They sell the product. They make more product……you get the drift. Making those products, advertising, and selling those products turn the wheels of commerce. They create jobs. If those wheels stop, as we saw in 2020, all sorts of bad things happen. The wheels must turn. The grease on the wheels of commerce is advertising. It is what we do. If the US economy is to be strong, commerce must happen. Our job, through helping the local businessperson to increase their revenue, will strengthen the entire economy. Never let people question whether what we do is a “real job.” Not only is it a real job, but it is also a vital job.

The winners in 2023 will recognize their importance to not only their local economies, but to the US economy as well. We can be a driving force for good, for recovery, for succeeding.

I look forward to the challenges of 2023. One of my greatest joys is working with my clients and their clients to move the revenue needle. Are you ready? If so, 2023 will be the best year ever!

Radio Inc 2019 Most Influential Women in Radio - Pat BrysonPat Bryson tells Radio Ink she loves radio because radio informs us, protects us, entertains us, and becomes a friend and companion. “It uplifts us when we need to be cheered, calms us when we are stressed,” she says. “The power of sound creates an intimate relationship with our listeners. We are so much a part of their lives that they often forget how important we are to them.”

Bryson’s advice to anyone starting out in the business: “We must realize that the skills we possess today will not be the same skills we will need tomorrow and next year. We must never forget to keep learning. Expand your knowledge, your skill set, and your network of acquaintances. In the radio business, knowing the right people can open doors for you. Find a role model. Find a mentor.

“I hope that young people may realize that their ‘elders’ in the business, although they may have entered the digital world later in life, contain a wealth of wisdom and knowledge that people new to our buiness and to life can utilize. They should cherish what they can learn from experienced broadcasters.”

On whether the workplace environment has gotten better for women over the past year: “In some ways, the workplace has opened to women, given them more opportunity. Many of the sales staffs with which I work are over 60 percent women; some are entirely female. Women are occupying more mid-level and top-level management posi- tions, also. I believe women are progressing because we are good at what we do. Most women in broadcasting have not waited for doors to be opened for them, they have opened the doors for themselves. Once inside, they have surpassed expectations.”

Radio Inc Leadership Roundtable - Pat Bryson

What does radio need to be better at every day? That’s a question we ask every executive, every manager, and every advertiser we speak with on a daily basis, to keep up with the constant barrage of competition radio is faced with for the advertisers’ budgets. We reached out to some of radio’s top leaders and asked them: “If you could change one or two things about our industry, what would they be?” Here’s what they had to say.

Pat Bryson, BBIGrow its people. Raise the level of professionalism in everyone on staff. Concentrate on understanding our clients, creating outstanding campaigns for them that utilize theater of the mind, and selling schedules, not budgets. We need to be versed in all avenues of marketing so that we may become the “go-to person” for our advertisers. We need to be the person they think of when they need marketing advice of any kind.

Oh, and yes, radio should shout our attributes from the rooftops. We need to do a better job of being in front of categories of business that need to hear our message. Believe me, they are hearing from our competitors. When companies receive marketing guidance from their national brands, it doesn’t usually include radio. They are directed to other forms of marketing. In today’s world, that usually means digital. Many radio stations now can handle digital for clients. Do our salespeople know how to integrate radio and digital? It’s a powerful combination.

Pat Bryson
Bryson Broadcasting International

Radio Ink article August 20, 2018

Pat Bryson says she owes her success to the many mentors she’s had throughout her career. “Ken Greenwood, whom I first met when I was a student at the University of Tulsa and he was dean of the communications department, and Carl Smith, who first hired me in sales, were always there to offer advice and wisdom until their deaths a few years ago,” she says. “Finding people who may become invested in your success is vital. But it comes down to hard work and persistence. We will all have ups and downs in our lives and careers. How we respond to those events determines our success. Do we quit? Do we wallow in the setbacks? Or do we pick ourselves up and move on – find another way?”

And how is Bryson paying it forward? “I was fortunate enough to have received scholarships to the Executive Development Program and the Broadcast Leadership Training programs at the NAB. Those programs were life-changing. They invested in me. I want to give that back. And I’ve had the opportunity to do that with my clients. I’ve helped complete startup operations to create their infrastructure, hired and trained staffs for them, guided them as they grew.”

“I once worked with a wonderful lady who had won her station in a divorce settlement. She called and asked, ‘Can you teach me how to run a radio station?’ I was pleased to do so. I believe that the strength of the radio industry lies in large part with the smaller independent operators who spend their lives serving their communities of license. It is vital that they are profitable. My goal is to help them to be so by increasing the skill levels of their salespeople.”

Bryson goes on, “I also believe that we have one of the most important jobs in the United States. We live in a capitalistic system. Someone has an idea for a product, they make that product, advertise that product, sell that product, make more product, advertise that product, sell that product, etc. And so the wheels of commerce move round and round. The grease on the wheels of commerce is advertising. That’s what we do! We work with clients to help them to turn the wheels of commerce. ’Nothing happens till someone sells something!’ How true! Our jobs are vital to keeping America strong. And I believe that radio is the most effective way to influence consumer behavior.”