Radio Sales Today

RAB Sales Tips

Maximizing Agency Relationships

Like a local direct client with multiple layers, for instance a car dealership, the key to maximizing your ability to help them is to work with multiple layers. In a car dealership, that would involve not only the general manager or new and used car managers, but the parts department, the body shop and the service manager. With agencies, this same philosophy holds true. The key to maximizing your revenue from an agency, and having greater influence and assistance, is to work with all the various levels of the agency. Recognizing that some agencies will limit whom you can work with, we’re going to share the ideal situation. The ideal situation for any seller is to have relationships and access to all levels within an agency - from the principal on down. Too often, we find ourselves in reaction mode by only working with the agency buyer, when they call with a request for proposal or specs for an upcoming buy. Or if you call the buyer who does not have a RFP (request for proposal), they may tell you that there is no reason to talk today. Again, a buyer’s specific function is to negotiate and place buys when they are ready. Agencies that are not located in your city are particularly interested in what is happening in your market. This can include changes in the economy, local or regional competitors to the clients they handle, events that are particularly impactful for the community, any purpose-driven initiatives like disaster relief, feeding the hungry, etc. All those types of things would be helpful for an out-of-town agency to be aware of. One nonintrusive and generally welcomed practice could be you generating a monthly newsletter about your market. Updates from the chamber of commerce, the local news, competitive updates or any of the things we just talked about could be put in a one-page newsletter format and sent to all the leaders in the agency departments. We caution you not to use this communication as a selling tool, meaning we recommend that you not include station packages, or promotional opportunities, but limit your communication in this document to market information that may be relevant to them. Your goal, as we’ve shared with local directs, is to be a source of business intelligence, and a resource to your agency partners. Sellers who are doing this now report excellent feedback and results. If you are the only seller from your market providing this information, you will be seen as a resource the agency can count on for nonsales-type information - information that is helpful for their buying and planning. It’s quite likely that if you were to call the account executive, planner or creative group of an agency out of the blue, the results would not be appealing. They might even tell you that you need to work only with the buyer. This is why we suggest this approach of being a source of business intelligence. It’s nonthreatening, and it can be very beneficial in helping you cultivate relationships at all levels of the agency. Tammy Greenberg is our SVP of Business Development at RAB, and she can be a great resource should you have any questions about larger accounts, advertising agencies, etc. Tammy is the author of many of the resources we have geared towards advertising agencies and larger accounts because that’s her area of expertise – business development for the radio industry. Feel free to reach out to Tammy at Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at You can also connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB