Odds of an air talent making a transition to sales?

What are you doing to make money in these tough times? How are you motivating your staff?

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jhonair
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:34 am

Odds of an air talent making a transition to sales?

Post by jhonair » Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:05 pm

I have been on the programming side for 16 years and have been an on-air talent, production director, promotions director, and am currently an on-air talent. I am ready for a new challenge, and I believe that it's sales. Not only am I ready for the challenge, it will also lead me toward my goal of being a GM of a station, and eventually...God willing...owner of a station, or stations. The only problem is, I do not have a business degree. The only "Sales" experience I have is from retail jobs that I have worked part-time while working part-time in my early radio days. How difficult will it be, or will it even be possible, to make a transition into a sales role at this point? Will I need to go back to school for a business degree? How can I get my foot in the door? My current station is small market, and currently has no openings in the sales department. Any advice would be appreciated.

KRAUTSTYLE
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2014 7:14 am

Re: Odds of an air talent making a transition to sales?

Post by KRAUTSTYLE » Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:25 am

Being in your position once before it CAN happen. Since you have/are the Prod Director you have even a better chance to succeed.
You know the intricate parts of the commercials (What to say & NOT to say) so that in itself makes for a better sales person.

Your creativity can bring new excitement into the meeting with clients because you can explain the details of how it works and such.
I am in a small market too.. VERY small (12K population) and with that comes a certain ability to know a lot of your already potential clients or current ones.
I personally do not think a Business degree will help/hinder you at this moment.
Just my .02 and hope this maybe helped a little ??

J.T
987therock.com
La Grande, Oregon

jhonair
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:34 am

Re: Odds of an air talent making a transition to sales?

Post by jhonair » Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:04 am

Yes, it did!! Thanks J.T!!

johnnyhotnutz
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:13 pm

Re: Odds of an air talent making a transition to sales?

Post by johnnyhotnutz » Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:19 pm

Dear JH....
I was in the same boat as you. I DID transition into sales and did pretty well. Did it for over 3 years. Being on air, etc is a great pre-requisite to doing radio or TV sales. You don't need a college or business degree. You have PLENTY to offer. Many stations would hire you in a heartbeat. Give yourself about 2 years to really get going well. I work for CBS radio at an O & O. They train really well. If you are in a position to work for a corporate station, you'll get excellent training. Good Luck! :)

jhonair
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:34 am

Re: Odds of an air talent making a transition to sales?

Post by jhonair » Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:28 pm

Thanks, Johnny!! I have to admit, these responses are better than I expected. I thought I was going to be laughed off the board. Haha!!

zachstohr
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:30 pm

Re: Odds of an air talent making a transition to sales?

Post by zachstohr » Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:10 pm

Very good odds. I've worked in radio since 99, and made the transition to sales in May 2008. I still do some voice tracking on the side, as well as most of my clients' prod. Knowing the product you sell is something most sales people can't legitimately speak to. Heretofore you've been "the product", which gives you more credibility than the package slingers that make up the majority of AE's.

pine
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 8:45 am

Re: Odds of an air talent making a transition to sales?

Post by pine » Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:12 am

Another problem of switching to Sales after being on the programming side, you might find yourself missing being on the air.

thelegend
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:48 am

Re: Odds of an air talent making a transition to sales?

Post by thelegend » Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:09 pm

do you have a pussy? :mrgreen:

tdw844
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:08 am

Re: Odds of an air talent making a transition to sales?

Post by tdw844 » Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:21 pm

If as some of you have posted here are eager to move on to the GM chair and believe the only way to do that is through the sales department please note.

I went from Program Director to General Manager without the transition through the sales department. I spent massive amounts of time with the sales people at the last stations I was programming to learn the ins and outs of their side of the game. I traveled with them, experienced their rejections (although not personally), worked with them on proposals and then I spent time with the sales managers so I had a solid understanding of the entire department.

I firmly believed that it wasn't necessary for me to give up my side of the business, programming, in order to become a GM. My strength was industry knowledge, people skills and strong management abilities. I was fortunate to find an individual who was President of a newly formed broadcast group who believed my whole overall background, programming, legal, business and ultimately some sales awareness as well as amy management skills qualified me to move to the position. Since then I have had three very rewarding GM positions, each one more interesting and highly compensated than the last.

My recommendation is that you should pursue your desire to become a General Manager by sticking to what you know best. Learn as much as you can about the sales process, including inventory management, rate setting, negotiation, direct vs. agency business, etc. Then seek out those individuals in the business who recognized your MANAGEMENT skills, not just programming and not just sales, to pitch for your dream job. Be sure you fully understand the entire business operation and how all the parts work together to insure profitability for ownership. There will be sales people and on rare occasions some air talent who will make more money than you do as a GM. You, however, will have one of the most rewarding jobs and careers you could have in the business and you will be handsomely compensated as well.

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