Annual Contracts – It’s Easy!

Whether you’ve been in the media sales game for six months or 60 years, one of the battle cries has always been, “Get more 52-week business on the books”.

There are two main reasons why stations don’t have more “52-week” business or annual contracts on the books. Before we discuss these reasons, and this may ruffle a few feathers, but I suggest being very careful with using the verbiage of “52 weeks”. Not only does it scare the business owner, but the media rep as well. Let’s be honest, for the most part, out of the small to medium-sized businesses we work with, a large majority cannot afford an “effective” 52-week schedule.

This isn’t to say that you should never present 52-weeks. If they have the ability, present away. Instead of referring to it as 52-week business though, try 12-month or annual contracts. It doesn’t sound nearly as long and is less intimidating to all involved.

So, back to the two main reasons why stations don’t have more 52-week advertising contracts on the books:

Reason #1: It’s simple, we don’t ask or present them. Rarely will a business owner say, “Instead of this 3-month schedule, can you show me what an annual agreement would look like?” A large majority of proposals presented to clients are anything but 12-months. Instead, we present monthly packages and schedules, quarterly packages, and if we get crazy, we might shoot for a six-month schedule. By simply preparing and asking for annuals, you are sure to increase the number you sell. Ask for them!

So why do we present more short-term proposals and contracts instead of 12-month or even 2-year contracts?

Reason #2: Media reps don’t have the confidence to ask. This can be attributed to many things, but I might suggest that the main reason is that they have not been taught or trained on how to make radio work, and therefore are hesitant to present something that they don’t believe in.

Taking action and implementing a plan to do something about reason #2, will dramatically affect reason #1.

Simply putting a 12-month schedule together is not the answer. To make radio or any medium work, we must first understand why and how to make it work.

Do you or your reps understand “strategy”, what it means, and how it can have a major positive impact on a business’ advertising success? Once they understand “strategy” their confidence will soar!

Do they understand how to craft a strong message or are they simply “writing ads” that have little impact on the consumer? Once they understand “strategy” they will be able to write and craft better messages.

There’s more to it than just strategy and message, but being able to talk the talk and walk the walk will increase the response to ads, and again ultimately increase the confidence of media reps.

Media reps that understand how and why radio works will have more confidence in their products and ultimately will present and sell more annual contracts.

It really is that easy!

ENS Media consults, coaches, mentors, and trains managers and account executives at radio stations across North America to increase their local direct sales. To learn how ENS Media can help increase your revenues and train your sales team, contact us.