RAB Insights

RAB Research Archive

You are a brand

Last week during our first Radio Sales Essentials class of 2024, we spent a great deal of time discussing strategies for prospecting in 2024. Part of the discussion was centered on building your personal brand because we know that if you are known for what you know, people will come to you. Being known before you’re needed is the essence of branding. There are plenty of tools at your disposal to build your brand, and we've written lots of sales tips on the topic.

We advise advertisers to use the Four Keys of Advertising Success when trying to build their brand. The Four Keys are: Reach, Frequency, Consistency and Compelling Creative. Today, as we focus on prospecting, which relates to your personal brand, we're going to use the Four Keys with a process we call seeding.

For anything to grow you must first plant a seed. This sounds ridiculously simple. However, we are constantly trying to "grow" business relationships without first planting seeds. Seeds can come in many different forms: People talking about you, people reading about you or any exposure potential clients have to you in a "nonselling" mode.

I want to focus specifically on the process of intentional and focused seeding. This is the practice of finding an article or information that you know will be of significance, relevant or interesting to your client.

• You photocopy the article.

• Use a highlighter to mark a few of the key points.

• Staple your business card to the top left corner.

• In some white space, you hand write a note to the client: "Kevin, thought this article may be of interest to you."

• Sign it, put it in an envelope, hand address the envelope and send.

Handwriting and mailing (not emailing) is KEY to standing out. It shows you took the time to do this personally, not some autoresponder or email database blast.

If you plan your prospecting and lead development with great efficiency, you will get optimum results if you send three to four "seed" pieces before you make initial contact. Two things happen:

1. The client is already "familiar" with you.

2. You have a specific reason to make the call (to discuss the content of one of the articles.)

A warm prospect call that starts with, "I wanted to talk to you about that article I sent about focusing on the middle third of your team for maximum growth potential" is much different from a cold call that begins with: "I'm calling today to see if I can help develop your sales team with some state of the art, blah blah blah… "

Focusing on the Four Keys and starting a seeding system can be a great first step to becoming known before you are needed. It allows us to practice what we teach our advertisers about the importance of marketing. You are the product. You know how to market, but have you ever created a strategy to market yourself?

Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at Jeff.Schmidt@rab.com. You can all so connect with him on X and LinkedIn.

Jeff Schmidt, RAB