Radio Hed: Peer Selling

radio-hed-logo1by Jeffrey Hedquist

Ever try to convince clients to do something on the air that’s out of their comfort zone, different from what their competition is doing, just a little bit adventurous?  If you’ve been mostly successful at this, stop reading and call me immediately.  If you’ve had some challenges in this area, here’s an approach that may work. 

I call it “peer selling.”  All the arguments a radio salesperson, Production Director, agency Creative Director or independent producer can muster will not be nearly as powerful as what their industry peers tell them, directly or indirectly.

Playing them examples of what their peers around the country are doing can encourage them to take the plunge. Success stories from similar advertisers, spots from leaders in their field, especially from those comparable in size, location and target demographics can go a long way in breaking down the walls of resistance to change.

Sources for peer selling information include:  RAB, R.A.P., Award Shows like the Radio Mercury Awards, copy and production services for radio stations, samples from stations in other markets (reciprocal trade), the Interep Radio Store, sample tapes from production houses, spots you’ve taped off the air.  Collect ‘em, categorize ‘em, use ‘em.

Put together tapes for various categories and make them part of your selling arsenal.  The more you can get an advertiser to step out and be different, the more successful their radio can be.   

Let ‘em hear what their contemporaries are doing.  A little peer pressure can go a long way.