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What is Radio Sales?



By Phil Brown
Director/The Ohio Center for Broadcasting
Cincinnati Campus

Radio Sales can be an exciting career and can also be very rewarding monetarily when the right attitude and principles are applied.

Radio Sales are the “bread and butter” of a station’s revenue. Radio stations sell “air time” in order to play commercial spots. Commercials vary in length, but the majority are aired as :60, :30, :15 and even :05 second spots called “adlets”, and :02 second spots called “blinks.”

Radio stations can also sell “billboards.” These billboards are not the kind you see on the road, but are sponsorships such as traffic reports, weather reports, or studio naming rights that are generally :10 to :15 seconds in length.

Based upon the station you’re selling for, there are some things you should keep in mind in relation to the client.

When calling on a client, you must ask yourself if this clients needs would best be served based upon the format of your station, demographics, and other sources of NTR (Non Traditional Revenue) that your station offers.

The station you’re selling for has commercials 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are dayparts or “time slots” that may be more advantageous than others. For example, morning drive, usually between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., are the most expensive as far as rates go. Next would be afternoon drive, followed by mid-days, then evenings, and finally overnights and weekends.

Depending on your client’s budget, it’s best to try and spread their message across different day parts. Of course, what works best is to always let your client know that the key is frequency when trying to keep their brand in listeners' heads. Your job as a sales person is the life blood of a station. Without sales a radio or television station would be out of business.

As mentioned earlier, there are also other forms of revenue that can be sold to the client in addition to “air time,” such as remote broadcasts from a client’s location. You can also offer naming rights, such as "We are broadcasting from the Waltz Business Solutions Studios” and can set up contesting, listener events and giveaways to give added value to advertising packages. All of this will  increase the frequency that a listener will hear your client's message.

As with any career, radio sales takes time and determination to build a successful relationship with your clients. Once that is established, the only limitations you have are the ones you set for yourself.

If you're interested in media sales or would like to investigate other careers within the broadcast industry, check out our 41 Careers in Broadcasting Ebook.

For those of you who are ready to make your dream of working in broadcasting a reality, it's as easy as scheduling a tour at one of our six campus locations. 




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