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Radio Account Executive
An Interview with
Senior Account Manager
KHTO and KZRQ
The soldiers out on the line selling those 10-, 30-, and 60-second commercials are the account executives. These people must know the audience and match them with a particular program day part (Mogel 187). An account executive’s job is to uncover who the client’s customers are, show how many of those customers a commercial can reach, and to be cost-efficient and effective with the client’s money (Blades). Many hours of research can be necessary before an account executive pitches a possible commercial idea to a client. Often, salespeople will help the client with commercials. The account executive must be able to think creatively when constructing a commercial to set his or her client apart from the competition (Burnum).
A typical day for an account executive consists of cold calling potential clients, meeting face-to-face with potential clients for sales presentations, researching a client’s needs and competitors, running radio promotions, and possibly collaborating with a producer when creating a company’s commercial. There are no set hours though, since an account executive’s hours are dependent on how motivated he or she is to sell commercials. Without the account executive, a radio station would have no operating revenue for business.
There are numerous employment opportunities to be an account executive since every radio station needs salespeople to generate revenue for the station. But competition is fierce since radio stations want a small, cost-efficient sales force that can sell lots of commercials rather than a cost-exorbitant large sales force selling very little commercials.
An account executive would start out at around $24,000 to $40,000 a year. But more experience and larger client base would earn a more seasoned account executive $60,000 to 70,000+ a year. Radio stations are different in how they compensate account executives. Some work at a salaried position while others work on commission as well. But an account executive’s salary is directly proportional to how much work he or she wants to put into the job (Tedder).
Advancement opportunities for account executives are numerous. An account executive is one of the low rungs on the ladder as far as radio sales are concerned. Account executives can move vertically in a radio station if they obtain jobs like a sales manager position or a general sales manager position but a decent amount of maturity, experience, and leadership skills is necessary for these positions. Account executives can also move from station to station as well.
A degree in marketing or advertising is beneficial for the job. However, a formal education is not necessary in order to be an exemplary account executive. There is no course on how to sell radio in college. That has to be taught in the real world and one way that can be accomplished through internships (Blades). If one can learn about radio from the inside and have a good sales manager mentoring him or her, the possibilities are endless. Also, a computer background would be beneficial in order to process collected information into a sellable presentation quickly (Burnum).
Essential skills an account executive possesses include: excellent communication skills, organizational skills, dedication to the job, and creativity. The more person-to-person contact there is between a salesperson and a client, the better the business is (Tedder). A client will come back if a commercial is successful in bringing customers in. A client will also come back to an account executive if the client feels that the salesperson has taken the time to personalize their business relationship. But that commercial will never come to life if an account executive doesn’t have the creativity needed to get the client publicized effectively. An account executive must be eager to build upon knowledge constantly in order offer more to the customer.
An account executive must be thick-skinned and not afraid of rejection (Blades). He or she must have an extroverted and dynamic personality in order to create excitement for a potential client when pitching ideas. An account executive must be self-starter and never be satisfied by what has been accomplished. A willingness to learn will also help since the consumer market changes constantly. A person could also be money motivated in order to maximize his or her potential as an account executive (Blades).
Internships are the best way to gain experience in radio sales. Internships give a potential employee a chance to learn on the fly as well as give an intern a distinct advantage over someone with no experience in radio sales. Any experience in sales would be useful on the road to becoming an account executive. Also, a basic understanding of accounting and economics would give an account executive a better understanding of the fiscal side of advertising sales.
The face of the radio industry has changed drastically with the conglomeration of radio stations. If a company has a few stations in a market, that company can lower its advertising rates if a client buys commercial time at more than one station. This has led to heightened competition for advertising dollars between fewer radio stations. Mergers have also led to the downsizing of sales teams as well. Since there are so many stations in competition with each other, account executives must show that their station has their own niche market that serve the client’s potential customers. The proliferation of the Internet has also contributed to the increased amount of information an account executive can synthesize when creating a sales plan for a client.
As stated before, internships would be an excellent way to get real world experience in the radio industry. If one puts in the extra hours, reads lots of trade magazines, and establishes networks with people inside and outside of the industry, he or she has unlimited potential. One must be a hard worker, have dedication, and a great attitude in order to be a great salesperson (Tedder).
There is no set career path in order to be an account executive. Some account executives have been in radio their whole lives and some others had a completely different career than that of radio sales. But some things that tie all account executives together are self-motivation, excellent communication skills, great organizational skills, creativity, and the need to make lots of money.
The pros for each account executive are different. An account executive’s salary can be open-ended (Burnum). One can build a well-paying and fulfilling career if hard work is put into the job. One person commented that the most fulfilling thing about the job is being able to see the successful implementation of a marketing plan that she helped plan out (Blades).
The cons of being an account executive also vary from person to person. Some con’s are the stress of trying to achieve one’s goals or feeling like there are ten things to do for the next day. There is also a feeling of inadequacy when there is room to improve something. Sales can have the feeling of a 24-hour a day job since one is always trying to think of ideas to pitch to clients or potential clients. Sometimes people find it hard to separate their job with their personal life because it seems like they are working all the time (Tedder).
Radio Advertising Bureau Services
1230 Greenway Drive, Suite 500
Irving, TX 75038
Fax: (972) 753-6727
The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) serves as the sales and marketing arm of America’s commercial broadcast industry. In pursuing this objective, the group’s literature emphasizes radio’s advantages, like high listenership, the effectiveness of daytime and weekend radio, and the medium’s dominance with the “auto audience.” The RAB also conducts training sessions and workshops (Mogel 197).
Job Title: Account Executive
Description: Join one of the best radio sales teams in the Fresno Market! We are KMJ radio, a
division of Infinity/CBS Radio, one of the nation’s largest radio companies. We
offer people a real opportunity to grow financially and personally in a fun and fast moving profession.
If you’d like to know if selling radio advertising is for you, look into this opportunity! If selected, we will pay you while you teach you our business, and we’ll keep training you as you grow. We offer great training, high income potential and an excellent benefits package.
· Excellent verbal and written presentation skills
· Must be a creative thinker
· Have the ability to learn how to develop great sales and marketing campaigns for prospective customers
Infinity Broadcasting is an Equal Employment Opportunity. Women and Minorities are encouraged to apply!
Date Posted: 10/09/2000
Job Type: Full Time
Recruiter: Company: Infinity Broadcasting
Contact: Jennifer Gerow
Address: 1071 W. Shaw
Fresno, CA 93711
Q: What is your title?
A: I am a senior account manager for KHTO and KZRQ.
Q: What does your job entail?
A: My job entails contacting businesses, whether they are locally owned here in Springfield, or if they deal with an advertising agency regionally, or even nationally all the way to New York.
My job is to uncover who my customers’ customer is, show them how many of those customers I can reach, how frequently I can reach them, to be cost effective and efficient, and to deliver business results.
Q: How many hours a week do you work?
A: A good day is from 8 to 5. Last night I was up until 2:30 in the morning doing budgets for next year. But usually I work Monday to Friday from 8 to 6. We also have lots of promotions I attend during the weekends as well.
Q: How would you get your foot in the door as far as trying to get your job is concerned?
A: The radio industry is desperate for sales people. We have more than we can handle. The best way to get in if you’re interested in the sales end is to start as an intern in college. That would be the ideal situation. Learn about it from the inside and find a good sales manager. Normally, someone without sales experience would start calling local businesses or knock on doors. But if you have a good manager that teaches you on the property and teaches you good questions to ask, you can make a lot of money.
Q: Can you give me an salary range for an account manager?
A: I would say in Springfield, Missouri, a radio account manager or anyone in sales, would probably average $35,000 a year starting out up to $100,000 a year.
Q: What set you apart from the other people you were competing with for this position?
A: I worked very hard. I got to work early, worked late, and learned the radio business from the ground up. I knocked on doors, learned about the radio industry, read lots of trade magazines, networked with people all throughout the United States, and took online training with the Radio Advertising Bureau.
Q: What attracts you to your job?
A: I love what I do. I love delivering results for my client and I have pride in the company I work for. I love nothing more than finding a new client that never been on a radio station that I know will benefit from making us one of their marketing partners.
Q: What do you look for when you are interviewing a potential sales representative for this company?
A: I look for someone not afraid of rejection and who is thick-skinned. Someone who listens well and is very personable. If someone is eager to learn I know I can teach him or her anything.
Q: Could you go over your educational background?
A: I went to SMS but did not graduate. I quit my junior year. I didn’t know what I wanted to be back then so I quit school. I went to Houston to work for Phillip Morris USA, sold Yellow Pages for a while, then came back here ten years ago. I’ve been in radio for ten years now.
Q: Is experience more relevant in a sales position than a college education?
A: A degree in marketing would help, but I’ve not met anyone yet that’s learned to sell radio in college. That is something that we have to teach or they have to learn somewhere else.
Q: What things contribute to your success here?
A: I’m enthusiastic and I work very hard. I like delivering results for my client and I like what I do.
Q: Have there been many changes within radio advertising?
A: The whole market has changed with the conglomeration of radio stations. If a company has a few stations in the market, that company can lower its charge rates if its client buys commercial time at more than one station. It has become much more competitive.
Q: What are the pros and cons of your job?
A: Pros-It is fun to develop people, see implementation of my plans.
Cons-stress of not reaching my goals, finding people that will be able to follow through
with what I ask them to do.
Q: How do you motivate your employees to do the best I can?
A: I find that most of the people are motivated by money and days off. I think a good salesperson must be money motivated to reach their potential.
An account executive’s readings and resources might include:
Radio and Records Inc.
10100 Santa Monica Blvd. Fifth Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90067-4004
Radio and Records Magazine-For over 25 years, Radio and Records (R&R), has provided the radio and recording industries with the very latest in news, sales, marketing innovations, and the most credible airplay data in the radio industry (rronline.com).
Ms. Kandee Blades
322 E. Walnut, Suite 2000
Springfield, MO 65806
Phone: 417-873-2020 Ext. 266
Mr. Brad Burnum
The Mid-West Family Broadcast Group
319-B East Battlefield
Springfield, MO 65807
Phone: 417-886-5677 Ext. 126
Mr. Todd Tedder
DIRECTOR OF SALES
Clear Channel Communications
1856 S. Glenstone
Springfield, MO 65804
BigJobs.net. Retrieved October 31, 2000 on the World Wide Web. http://www.bigJobs.net.
Blades, Kandee. Personal Interview. 27 October 2000.
Burnum, Brad. Personal Interview. 30 October 2000.
Mogel, Leonard. Careers in Communications and Entertainment. New York: Simon and
Radio Advertising Bureau Online (2000). Retrieved October 30, 2000 on the World Wide Web.
Radio and Records Magazine Online (2000). Retrieved October 30, 2000 on the World Wide