Radio Sales Today

RAB Sales Tips

Prospecting — It's tough out there

Of all the topics we cover and share in our training materials, the one that causes the most consternation is prospecting. Who wants to call someone they don't know and try to sell them something they don't think they need? In our experience, advertisers rarely pick up the phone and call us because they need advertising. So, we write books and articles, do webinars and try to help sellers develop new business.

One of our most frequent questions is, "What makes a business a good prospect?" We found Tracy Baumann writing for the Brooks Group. In her article, she sharesThe 5 Characteristics of a Qualified Prospect .

Awareness of Need — In order to be truly qualified, a prospect must have a need that they are aware of. In other words, they recognize they have a problem. Authority or Ability to Buy or Commit — Baumann suggests two questions early in the process to make this determination: Who else, other than you of course, will be involved in the buying decision? Could you describe the process you will be using to make this decision?

Sense of Urgency — We don't have time to spend with prospects who aren't anxious to make a decision. If they have a clearly defined problem, you'll want to ask questions to determine what it's costing them not to solve it.

Trust in You and Your Organization — A potential client must trust you and your organization to be fully qualified.

Willingness to Listen — This should be the easiest to recognize, are they willing to listen to what you have to say.

Another popular question about prospecting is, "When do I give up?" Last week, our friend Jon Latzer from Salem Media shared how Salem aggressively and purposefully goes after new business. Jon writes:

At Salem, we spend significant time and resources on effective prospecting — Data usage in prospecting, effective category prospecting, how to prospect using video tools, scripts that can help with prospecting, audit checklists, selling seasons by category (when to and when not to speak with a category. Don't call an HVAC dealer in July to talk about AC. Make effective impact statements while keeping the outcomes in mind for a potential client and much more.

As to when to give up, Jon shared some startling statistics from Sales Gravy: 48% of salespeople never follow up with a prospect.

25% of salespeople make a second contact and stop.

12% of salespeople only make three contacts and stop.

Only 10% of salespeople make more than three contacts.

2% of sales are made on the first contact.

3% of sales are made on the second contact.

5% of sales are made on the third contact.

10% of sales are made on the fourth contact.

80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact.

So, it's not just about qualifying prospects and approaching them correctly. It's also about having professional persistence. Think of the last two prospects you've let get away. Was it after you made twelve contacts?

On Monday, we'll share some tools and resources available from the RAB to help you in this process.

Happy Friday!

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

Source: Jeff Schmidt, SVP of Professional Development