Let’s start the conversation by saying, “commercial sales is the toughest job at your radio station…period.”
Walk into any radio station and eventually you’ll find the Sales/Underwriting department. They’ll be tucked away somewhere obscure, in a place called the pit. No one wants to kick off the station tour in the pit. They’re usually mentioned as “the department that puts the commercials on the air”. Thanks a lot. Messy desks, paper, and computer monitors. Not much to see here, let’s get to the studio!
Look a little closer and you’ll see some of the hardest-working, dedicated, mission-focused employees your station has. Done right, sales builds relationships with the business community and has your listener’s best interests at heart. And, THEY BRING IN THE MONEY. There, I said it.
Being a salesperson is like being a pro golfer. You have to win the daily war against your mind and avoid the hazards. It’s lonely and negative thoughts can creep into your head. You’re open to spiritual attack and often, you get thumped.
If you lead a Sales Team, join them on the streets. They’ll appreciate you knowing how difficult their job is. Make sure they know you trust them and don’t micromanage. Invest in them, train them and send them to conferences. Don’t be afraid to lose people; operating out of fear doesn’t work. Encourage every one of your salespeople a minimum of three times a week. That fuels them more than money.
If you’re working in sales, “thank you”. I know you don’t hear it enough. Get a buddy (another salesperson) to vent to. No judging, someone who will uplift and encourage you, who loves you for who you are and is willing to hold you accountable. Know your station’s mission and develop your own personal mission statement. This will fuel you to keep you going day after day. You’re growing like-minded businesses and the ministry. Remember, no one has an “S” on their chest. See yourself as a superstar and you’ll be motivated to work just a bit harder. Keep going until you can end the day with one good phone call. Like childbirth, it helps erase all the pain that came before. You’re one of the most vital people at the station and we could not complete the mission without you.
General Manager, WAY Media/Portland
Michael began his career in Christian Radio in 1994 at KCMS Seattle where he started in Sales (with a desk, a phone and a yellow pages) and managed to get enough clients on the air within two months to preserve his job. Four years later, he took on Promotions and Marketing and helped raise the station cume from 112,000 to 454,000. The next year he went to GMA to learn how to promote concerts and began promoting profitable shows for KCMS. He also took on the website and added a live weekend on-air show to his list of duties. The next year he launched a Community Relations Department to go about doing the things they ought to be doing as a Christian Radio Station (serving the community).
In January 2008, he accepted an offer to become Brand Manager for K-LOVE Radio. There, he led a team of 36 Promotions Managers in 16 offices across the U.S. They changed their focus to guerrilla marketing to increase cume and started teaming up with nonprofits to engage with listeners.
With the assistance of Scott Smith, they launched “Make A Difference Tours” where each quarter they would go into a different market, bring artists, and team up with listeners to make their cities better places to live. At the end of 2013 Tedesco moved to Director of Business Development where his team increased r
evenue by 372% in less than four years.
In October of 2017 he moved to New Jersey to serve as Sales Manager of Star 99.1.
In November of 2019 he
moved to Portland to serve as General Manager of WAY Media/Portland.