Gordon Bayliss

Greater Public Corporate Support Advisor and Vice President of Sales and Marketing at WNED
Find me on:

Recent Posts

Reassuring Your Underwriting Clients During COVID-19

Corporate Support, COVID-19

Leave a comment

As COVID-19 cases continue to spread, this is the time to check in with your underwriters and strengthen your relationships.

Keep in mind that your underwriting contacts may be extremely busy preparing for the full impact of COVID-19 in your area.

Here are some suggestions when you contact them.

Express your concern about how they are doing. 

Ask how the virus is affecting their business or how they might feel if COVID-19 becomes more prevalent in your area. 

Find out what they are doing to reinforce their relationships with their customers. 

Are they having to cancel performances or events, or is it business as usual for now? 

If they are shortening their hours, or if they have products or services that are critical for their customers to have during this time, ask how they are reaching their customers and prospects with that information. Their responses will give you some idea of how to help them.

Continue reading →

Upselling and Cross-Selling Your Underwriters

sales strategy, Corporate Support

Leave a comment

How many of your underwriters also buy sponsorships of your other offerings and opportunities? I’m referring to items such as web ads on your station’s website or e-newsletters, program guides, and/or mobile apps? How many of your current underwriters sponsor your station’s special programming features or events?

If your answer is “not enough of them,” then you’re missing opportunities to generate incremental revenue for your station through upselling or cross-selling.

Upselling means showing the value and encouraging the purchase of a related type of on-air media in addition to your underwriter’s current schedule. For example, an underwriter who is buying a “Run of Schedule” could also be a sponsor of one or more specific on-air programs (i.e. music, news, or public affairs).

Cross-selling is recommending that, in addition to their on-air schedule, your underwriter purchases complementary sponsorships like station events, online marketing opportunities, or other promotions. Taking a multi-media approach that includes various marketing opportunities will bolster your underwriter’s name recognition and top-of-mind awareness as they build upon the recognition they receive from their current buy.

Upselling and cross-selling is necessary to leverage more sales with your existing underwriters. While the two terms are often used interchangeably, both offer distinct benefits and can be effective when used in tandem.

Continue reading →

The Nine Best Questions for Your Customer Needs Analysis

Corporate Support

Leave a comment

An important part of selling underwriting is uncovering as much relevant information about your prospects and clients as possible. A customer needs analysis (CNA) can reveal what you need to know to be able to help your prospect or client reach their marketing goals.

The following questions should be part of your CNA, and, though they are basic, they’re important. Even if you have the answer to some of the questions (taken from the prospect's website or other sources), ask them anyway. You’ll want to hear the answers directly from the prospect or client to confirm, correct, or update what you may have found elsewhere.

Some clients know very little about marketing, promoting and advertising their own business. Anecdotally, I’ve found that educated businesspeople buy more underwriting than uneducated business people. When I understand exactly what they don’t know, I can work on specific ways to educate them about public media underwriting and get them on board as an underwriter.

Continue reading →

How to Get More C-Level Meetings to Discuss Underwriting

Corporate Support, underwriting prospect

Leave a comment

Have you ever tried to set up a meeting with a senior-level executive to discuss underwriting opportunities? It can be tough to connect with these very busy people. It seems as though they’re never in their office, they rarely answer the phone, and seldom reply to your voicemail or email. What makes it a bigger challenge is that their assistants are very effective at being gatekeepers, protecting them from interruptions.

If you want to connect with executives, it likely won't happen easily. To set up a meeting, you first have to get their attention.

  • Keep it simple and get to the point. Don't distract or overwhelm with detail.
  • Be invaluable. Realize that you are the primary differentiator today.
  • Zoom in and align. Focus your message on their key business objectives.
  • Raise priorities. Keep your eye on changes that can affect and increase momentum.

You must convey all of this in a 30-second introduction, voicemail, or brief email message.

Continue reading →

Answers to Most-Asked Questions From the PMDMC19 Underwriting Basics Cohort

PMDMC, credit copy, Corporate Support

Leave a comment

When a group of sales reps and managers gathered at this year's Public Media Development and Marketing Conference (PMDMC) to explore and reconnect with the essentials of underwriting, these were the questions they felt were most urgent to their daily work:

How do I get underwriting renewals or increases?

  • Think of how well your membership department has converted members into sustainers. Instead of treating sponsors simply as renewals, steward them like public media marketing-campaign sustainers. Also, weave in components that are valuable to them like digital media, or sponsorship of a station event.

How long should I wait to follow up with an underwriter? How long is too long to not talk with them personally?

  • When your underwriter has signed an annual agreement, ask how often he/she would like to meet with you. Whatever the underwriter says, increase it by one or two times.
  • When a new underwriter signs up for a year, your first follow-up should be two to three weeks after the schedule begins.

How can I close faster?

  • Make sure you’re talking from the start with the person who has the authority and the budget to make a buying decision.
  • Do they have a need?
  • Do they have a time frame?
  • Assess up front: Are their company’s mission and/or vision statements compatible with those of your station?

How can I identify new underwriting prospects?

Check out Greater Public’s Underwriting Category Study for the categories that offer the most potential for stations.

Continue reading →

Staying on Top of Trends in Advertising and Marketing

sales strategy, Corporate Support, underwriting prospect

Leave a comment

When I started working in sales in commercial media, about the year 40 BC (Before Computers), it wasn’t uncommon to ask a prospective advertiser for recent copies of the trade magazines they subscribed to. That was how almost every salesperson learned about the prospect’s industry and business. Back then the prospect was willing and had time to talk about it with sales reps.

Times have changed.

Now, prospects are bombarded by media sales reps. Think about it. In almost every city there may be about 30 salespeople representing various radio and TV stations, and a half dozen or so from the daily, local, and business papers. Add in another dozen sales reps from billboard companies, direct mail and marketing businesses, cable TV, and online marketing companies. It’s easy to understand that a business owner or their marketing person is being called on by dozens of media sales reps every month. Businesses don’t have the time to educate every salesperson about their business, nor should they have to do that. That’s our responsibility.

Continue reading →

How to Get "in the Zone" in Underwriting Sales More Often

sales strategy, Corporate Support

Leave a comment

There’s a familiar phrase in professional sports: “in the zone.” Professional basketball  players on a hot streak shooting from beyond the three-point line are in the zone. Baseball players enjoying a hitting streak might say the ball seems impossible not to hit when they are in the zone. When a golfer’s swing seems effortless, when she sinks her putts on the green with ease, she’s in the zone.

What contributes to being in the zone? Being completely focused on the moment. Everything else seems to fade into the background, including the noise of the crowd.

When performing an activity, and being immersed in the moment, there’s an energized focus. Being in the zone is when you’re completely involved and concentrating on your actions.

In sales, you experience being in the zone, mainly when three conditions are in play:

Continue reading →

Sure-Bet Tactics to Renew Underwriting Clients

sales strategy, Corporate Support

Leave a comment

I was contacted recently by an underwriting salesperson with a question about renewing one of his account's annual underwriting agreement. He told me that the year-long agreement was ending in a month and he hadn’t talked to the underwriter since the agreement was signed the previous year.

I told him he was about ten months late in starting the renewal process.

The way I see it, the renewal process for underwriting should begin when you first sign up a new underwriter.

I don’t mean that you should have a renewal agreement ready to give to your first-time underwriter. However, when a businessperson signs their first underwriting agreement, that’s when it’s time to ramp up your relationship with the account and start to plan for the future. Instead of thinking of the process as a renewal, look at it as a continuation of your business relationship

Continue reading →

How to Better Motivate Your Sales Team This Year

managers, Corporate Support

Leave a comment

When I worked in the sales department at a commercial radio station, the sales manager went to the extreme to motivate the sales staff just prior to the fourth quarter in preparation for the holidays and leading into the new year. 

There was a huge kickoff meeting, with sales contests and incentives such as trips, double the sales-commission rate, and cash bonuses. But all the “rah-rah” and pom-pom shaking can’t fix a motivation problem.

Sales reps continually face outside circumstances that affect their motivation. Prospects and customers tell them "no" over and over again; the timing may be wrong to sell a particular sales promotion; or there may be some personal situation going on affecting a person’s ability to sell. 

As a sales manager I know that the motivation of sales people can affect their productivity. With an eye toward improving the success of your sales staff, here are some ideas to boost their motivation. 

Continue reading →

Nurture Your Underwriting Client Relationships After the Close

sales strategy, Corporate Support, prospecting

Leave a comment

You’ve worked hard to sign up your new underwriter. You started with an initial meeting to learn about her challenges and objectives. Then you followed up with information how your media can provide a solution targeting her desired outcome. She liked your presentation and proposal; your answers to her questions, and she decided to become an underwriter.

What do you do now?

Believe it or not, the sale is not complete. The commitment is there but you’ve not yet started to deliver what she purchased. So, next up… 

Write up the underwriting agreement and have it signed and returned to you.

[Continued below...]

Admin templates

Draft the underwriting copy so it conveys her marketing message and complies with the FCC’s and your station’s copy guidelines. Once the copy is approved, send her a recording of the spot. Let her know she can share it with her employees and post it on her company’s website. 

Send her a schedule of times that her underwriting spots will air during the first week so she’ll know when to listen in to hear her spot.

After the contract is signed, the copy is produced and ready for airing, and you’ve sent her the list of when her spots will air during the first week you’re all done. Right?

There’s still more work to be done.

Continue reading →