Winning new business is a primary initiative for every local media seller. Growing and diversifying your customer base increases revenue and helps manage churn, but nobody said it was easy. Highly competitive markets make getting meetings and closing deals much more challenging.

How hard is it out there? Local business owners receive inquiries nearly every day. In our recent webinar, The Future of Local Media Sales, Jeff Schmidt of the RAB said this could be up to 40 per month!

So, how can you differentiate yourself? We’ve gathered tips from our experts to help you win more new business.

Go Back to the Basics

This may be obvious, but we think going back to the basics of prospecting is often overlooked. It begins with your VBR (valid business reason). Too often, salespeople forget this fundamental step. You’ve got to tell your target what’s in it for them to meet with you. It needs to focus on that specific business and its needs. It has to be personal and not a templated email or script. If you attempt to contact these advertisers with something generic, they’ll ignore you. It’s an immediate turn-off for them because it shows a lack of research. You need an icebreaker that gets their attention. Here are some ideas.

  • Share content about their industry that highlights a trend, challenge or insight. Doing this shows you are tracking their vertical. Add in some commentary about what this content means for their business and why it matters.
  • Use data to define an opportunity in the market. Data is available for every industry and market, often driving advertising decisions. For example, you could highlight a stat on consumer spending trends and how they can take advantage of these with the right campaigns.
  • Acknowledge things they are doing well in terms of advertising and marketing. Then, add some ideas on how to improve campaign performance with a mix of tactics to help them meet a goal.

Do the Math

Unused capacity is something many businesses want to avoid. Some may factor this in for emergency services, like plumbers, roofers and other trades, but they want the rest of their schedule to be full. Otherwise, they are losing money. Senior living facilities don’t want excess capacity either, as empty rooms are a cost.

In these examples, you can address capacity issues by doing the math. How many trucks do trades have? How many rooms do facilities have? It may not be an exact science, but you can do some calculations on what these holes in their schedules or occupancy levels equate to in terms of revenue. Then, define how you can help them generate new business to fill these up.

Odds are that they are advertising in many channels already, but that doesn’t mean they’re effective or that they’re seeing any return on that spend. Open capacity signals that it’s not performing well. You can advise them on how to realize those returns.

Leverage Your Market Knowledge

Of those possibly 40 inquiries companies receive every month from media salespeople, most probably aren’t local. A high percentage are probably agencies with a national presence and no actual knowledge of the market.

Being local matters to businesses in your area. You know what’s going on in the microeconomy of your city, town, county or state. That matters because every region has different needs. Nothing exemplifies this more than hiring and recruitment. On a national level, there’s been steady job creation throughout the year and record-low unemployment.

A new analysis revealed that 17 states have an all-time low unemployment rate. Other states are still faring well but have more people seeking jobs. In the context of engaging advertisers, it’s important to explain your state’s specific numbers. Going deeper into the stats and combining them with other hiring trends data will be valuable to them. You’re not coming to the table and saying unemployment is too low and that they’ll have to be a unicorn to find workers. Instead, you’re being specific about your market and the needs of job seekers and employers.

Ensure Advertisers Know You Can Execute All Their Advertising Needs

In a competitive market, one of the easiest ways to stand out is the fact that you can help them with all advertising options — linear and digital. They can purchase radio or TV spots from you, any digital tactic and O&O (owned and operated) inventory. Very few organizations can be a one-stop shop for local businesses.

Talk about your capabilities to do it all and how an integrated campaign of linear and digital boosts results. You can provide them with the reach of traditional media and the targeting of digital. There’s lots of data to verify the lift that linear ads give to digital. Working with one partner will likely also save them money and time.

Help, Don’t Sell

The last piece of advice for winning new business is to be a strategic advertising partner in building relationships with customers. Focus everything you do from the first contact on how you will help them achieve their goals. Come to the table with ideas and enthusiasm. When you approach conversations this way, you’re helping, not selling. Absolutely no one wants aggressive sales tactics in their face. What they do respond to is people who care about their business and community.

Salespeople get a bad rap, but most of you do what you do because you want to help companies. Ultimately, people make buying decisions based on emotions. If they see you as a valuable resource and someone invested in their success, you may end up with a customer for life.

Keep Winning with More Great Resources

Get more ideas on winning new business with these resources:

The Broadcast Marketing Playbook: Helpful Tips and Strategies to Attract New Advertisers
New Companies Are Entering Your Market: How to Build Relationships and Win Their Business
How Broadcast and Media Sales Pros Can Win New Clients


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