Negotiating in the world of radio.

Interview with Barbeth Pinkney

Me: How involved are you with negotiations in your everyday job?

Barbeth: I negotiate just about every day. I am a Senior Account Executive for two radio stations in Phoenix, Arizona.

Me: How long have you been in radio sales?

Barbeth: About 25 years.

Me: Who do you negotiate with and what are you typically negotiating about?

Barbeth: I negotiate with owners of small to medium sized businesses. Most of the time we negotiate about how much their they will pay the radio station for the advertising they do with us. The business owners, of course, want the loswet rate possible, or free, but it is my job to get them to understand the value of their advertising and accept a higher rate. 

Me: What do you say to them to get to them to understand the value?

Barbeth: I tailor the benefits of our station to meet the needs of their specific business. Once they see that their advertisements with us can bring more customers into the business they feel more comfortable with spending money with me. 

Me: Do you ever have to use objective criteria as well as specifics about their business to convince them to buy?

Barbeth: Yes, all the time. I use past successes that I have had with other clients to prove to them that radio works. There is also software that I use such as Arbitron, Media Monitors, and Xray that allow me to pull reports that show how much money is currently being spent in radio by business owners. This allows my client to realize that it must work since other people are spending so much money in this area. 

Me: With negotiations, conversations can sometimes get a little intense, how do you deal with negativity from the client?

Barbeth: When you are asking someone to spend money things can definitely escalate pretty quickly. I try my hardest to remain calm because at the end of the day I want this person to spend money with me. I re-assure the client that I appreciate his passion and his time but that there are certain rates that I must stick to. I let them know how successful radio advertising is and try to add other things into the deal to convince him to buy. Adding in free stuff usually always works and calms them down.

Me: How do you use your leverage and power to benefit you in your negotiations?

Barbeth: The thing to always realize about sales is that as a seller you have what your client needs and wants. As long as you always realize this than you will always win. My leverage is my knowledge about radio and knowing that it can increase their business. My power in the negotiation starts with the very first conversation. If I say that I am going to do something I always do it, and if I tell him I won’t give my client a discount unless they purchase more than I stick to my word. In the radio industry it is all about showing the value of your station, and not diminishing that value but just giving everything away for free. If you make it a habit of making exceptions they will expect that every time and not spend as much money with you as they could. 

Me: Thank you Barbeth for taking time to chat with me!

Barbeth: You are very welcome!

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