June 7, 2017

We’ve all heard the objections from our prospects:

How can underwriting be effective when I can’t mention pricing in my copy?
How can public radio spots be effective when I can’t promote sales or specials?
How can underwriting announcements on public radio, with all of the wording restrictions, have value like the spots I run on commercial radio?

I receive a lot of questions from underwriting salespeople asking for ways to overcome objections about underwriting copy. But before we are even confronted with objections, we have to communicate to prospects that underwriting is not just about the copy. If the prospect’s objections focus on that issue maybe it’s because we haven’t:

  1. Shown a match between our listeners’ demographics and his target market.
  2. Fully convinced the prospect of the value of reaching our listeners.
  3. Explained that, in an underwriting credit, less really is more.
  4. Received buy-in from the prospect on these issues.

By asking your prospects thought-provoking questions, you can prevent objections, or at least uncover them early. When it comes to handling copy objections we first need to know how to handle any kind of objection. Here how you address a prospect’s concern and how it can help you get their commitment and the sale.

1) Acknowledge the objection.

Don’t avoid or dispute the objection. Acknowledge it. Don’t become defensive. Instead, keep your focus on the customer by saying, “I hear your concerns regarding the importance of your underwriting announcement’s wording.”

2) Qualify the objection.

Before you respond to an objection, get the details. Listen and learn before you leap. (If you rearrange the letters in the word listen; you get silent). Ask questions to get to the heart of the objection and make sure it’s not a smoke screen that’s hiding another issue. Listen to everything your prospect says so you can understand what’s motivating his response.

3) Work toward the same goal as your prospect.

You’ve got to be on the same page as your prospect. Guide the conversation to a higher level by realigning your purpose with your prospect. It’s about reaching your audienceyour prospect’s potential customers – with information about the prospect’s business or service. Stay focused on the prospect’s objectives.

4) Reposition your proposition.

Your value proposition is what satisfies your prospects’ wants and needs, and it’s what motivates them to buy. For example, when prospects object to the wording guidelines, reposition your value proposition by explaining what we know about public radio listeners. For example:

  • More than 70% of public radio listeners say that a company’s support of public radio is a positive influence on their decision to purchase that company’s products and services.
  • 80% of public radio listeners say their opinion of a company is more positive when they discover that the company supports public radio.

5) Move on.

Once you’ve addressed your prospects’ concerns, pick up where you left off before the objection and ask them to take the next step toward buying. Don’t be shy about asking for a commitment. Believe it or not, they’re expecting you to ask for it.

If the copy objection is still there…

Underwriting credits share some very important elements with commercial radio advertisements, TV commercials, billboards, bus cards, and just about any kind of advertising vehicle.

When you get right down to it most commercials, advertisements, and underwriting announcements include these three pieces of information:

  1. WHO the client is
  2. WHAT the client does or offers
  3. HOW to get in touch with the client

And that’s really what the sponsor wants the listener to know. As a matter of fact, that’s what the listener needs to know. As focus groups and surveys have indicated, that’s all the public radio listener wants to hear: a brief message with no jingles, inane chatter, or clutter .

It all goes back to knowing about your prospect. The more you know about her business and her objectives, the better you’re positioned to establish your credibility. That’s true whether you’re working with large or small retailers directly, or vendors, manufacturers, distributors, or advertising agencies. You need to show that you know enough about your prospect’s business and his challenges to help him make good strategic marketing decisions that will help him meet his objectives. A well-written underwriting credit is just icing on the cake.

Manage digital buyers and agencies