Pat Bryson: What, Why & How

    • 1373 posts
    November 27, 2023 3:22 PM PST

    What, Why & How: The Secret to Higher Revenue

    by Pat Bryson

    I'm on a new soapbox. In the past few months, I've had the pleasure of accompanying salespeople on their sales calls. I've seen several "presentations." I put presentations in quotes because what some people call a presentation, I call presenting a package. Now, I know that every station has SOME packages: sports, sponsorships, events. But many salespeople still grab a one-page package off the wall and take it to every client. Not only is there no customization, but I've noticed another alarming trend. This is the subject of my new soapbox and today's newsletter.

    As we learn our products, we get pretty good at the "What." These are the facts that explain what a client will receive by buying this package or campaign. We are so used to knowing what we mean by the "What," that we often expect our prospects to know as well. For most of them, they have no idea!

    15X 6A-7P, Mon-Fri.

    This is a typical "ask" I see. We understand what we mean, but our prospects don't. Not wanting to seem uninformed, they don't want to ask questions. But they are uncomfortable not understanding, so they don't buy.

    Note: The frequency shown above is too low to be an OES Schedule. I use this example because it's what I see way too often! We'll save the OES discussion for another newsletter.

    Our next step after the "What" is to explain the "Why?" Why did you choose that particular campaign, schedule or package to present to that business? Linking the "What" to the "Why" requires understanding something about the needs and goals, likes and dislikes of that client. I had one tenured rep say to me, "After I talk to a client, I know instinctively what they need. But then I have to back up and think 'Why' I chose that so I can explain it to the client." Absolutely! But how often do we REALLY do that?

    There is one more step I rarely see except for the 20% of salespeople who write 80% of the business. They explain "What," "Why" and then "HOW." They explain exactly how this campaign will help to fulfill the client's needs and goals. How will it help to solve the business problems that keep them up at night?

    Note: You can't explain the "How" unless you understand the client. When was your last customer needs analysis with your client? If it's been longer than 4 months, you need to sit with them NOW and take a new look at their challenges and needs. External forces are changing business almost weekly. If we don't keep pace by updating our information, we can't keep their marketing campaigns and messages current.

    What-Why-How. I provide a form for my clients to use before each presentation or "ask." I ask them to write down the What, Why and How. No generic responses. I want each one specific to that client. If they can't fill out the form, they need to step back and gather more information. If you explain clearly the "How" I guarantee your closing ratio will go up!

    Happy Selling!


    Pat Bryson is the founder of Bryson Broadcasting International, a consulting firm that works with radio stations around the world to increase revenue by raising the skill level of their sales staffs. Her client list spans from the United States to Canada, Europe, Central Asia and Australia. She has been named one of Radio Ink’s Most Influential Women in Radio for 2018 and 2019.

    Pat publishes the Bryson Broadcasting International Newsletter twice monthly and is the author of A Road Map to Success in High-Dollar Broadcast Sales and Successful Broadcast Sales: Thriving in Change.

    You may contact Pat at [email protected] or visit her website at