The Key to Successful Selling? Be Willing to Evolve

September 27, 2019
Industry News
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As I explored all that the  NAB’s Small Market Television Exchange had to offer, I heard time and time again the desire for local stations to evolve their way of selling beyond the “package”. And since “evolve” was the theme of this year’s meeting, I thought it would be appropriate to explore this topic.

Station sales representatives are tasked to sell a never-ending supply of packages. Packages seem appealing because they combine a station’s TV inventory with their digital products. The package may also tie in a theme and feature a singular price tag wrapped together in a PDF. With one package sold, you are one step closer to hitting all your revenue goals. However, the packages never stop coming, and they rarely achieve the results you’d like provide your clients.

Before I joined the local team at Comscore, I had been an Account Executive at a station in a top 30 market. While selling my station’s programming and products, I always shied away from selling packages. Selling a package would help me hit my numbers for one month, but it was a sure fired way to get a client to say the dreaded, “I tried TV once, and it didn’t work.” I wanted to avoid that at all costs. Therefore, I took to my research tools and focused in on selling advanced demographics by creating proposals entirely informed by the data. But I was in the minority. Some of my coworkers that thrived in selling packages, had also stayed late and struggled to hit their numbers. I always presumed that the old mindset of package-based selling was to blame.

Creating a package requires an enormous amount of work from the station’s sales management teams. They want to create a desirable deal, but they are motivated to sell specific inventory, and include rates that must be high enough to clear the books. Then they need to format the package together which can cause quite a headache for stations who are technologically challenged. This creation process requires time from management that may be better spent attending sales calls with their staff. Continue Reading
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