The Business Track in Radio
The sales staff develops lists of potential sponsors called "leads." They pitch advertising opportunities to sponsors and close deals to sell time, signing contracts with advertisers and sponsors. Some of the sponsorships include prerecorded commercials, testimonials and 30/30s (half commercials and half content related to the sponsor). For example, a pharmaceutical may run a 30-second spot, followed by a 30-second health tip.
Public and community radio stations are supported by underwriters and donations from listeners. The key to building a career in radio sales is continuing to develop a better and better track record. Some may argue it's all about the numbers, but a high degree of creativity is needed to develop and sell sponsorship opportunities that others may not see.
There are two basic types of sales positions, local sales and national sales. Local sales reps primarily go after local sponsors like car dealerships, restaurants, lawyers, and a flurry of other small businesses trying to market their services to the local community. National sales reps manage the accounts of national sponsors seeking to target their products or services to local communities.
Below is a typical career path for sales in radio:
- Sales Assistant (Median entry-level salary is $20,000)
- Account Executive
- Sales Manager
- General Sales Manager