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Mastering The CNA



If you’re following along at home, you know I like to bring up the sales media playbook often and that it is the world’s most simple playbook – prospect, cold call, needs analysis, present, close and service. If done often enough and well enough, the job simply comes down to how hard you want to work at it and how much money you want to make.

While all the steps have importance, it’s rare that you’ll find reps (or managers) who are very good at all of them. To me, being really good at the CNA – or Client Needs Analysis – is what can really set you apart and make a good seller a great one.

The first thing I like to do on any first-time call is to thank the person for taking the time to learn more about how we might be able to help their business grow. They’re all busy people and clearly if they took the meeting they have some interest in learning more – but remember they only care about one thing, and that’s making more money.

Next, I try and put them at ease and let them know that I’m not here to sell them anything today. After all, how could I? What would I sell them if I don’t know much about their business. This is what needs to come from the CNA. Ask enough questions, dig for enough information and walk out of that meeting with the answer to the question, “What do they need that I can provide?”

There are literally thousands of questions you can ask in a CNA. Pick your favorites and stick with them, but also be prepared to take the conversation wherever it goes. Don’t read off a list of questions or have questions in a particular order. Nobody likes talking to robots, people like to have conversations.

My personal favorite topics to ask about start with the information we need the most – who they are trying to reach. Who are their very best customers. Don’t accept a generic answer such as “anyone who can drive a car,” keep asking questions until you can picture the person or people the client is describing. The more you know about the target, the more you can use their characteristics to narrow down where to reach them, when to reach them and what may be best to say to them.

My favorite topic to talk with a business owner about is why they’re better than their competition. What business owner doesn’t love to talk about the guy across the street and everything they do wrong. If you’ve gotten the client comfortable enough and you listen carefully, you should be able to write some good copy out of their answer.

I worked with a local hardware store once where the owner gave me a beautiful dissertation on why his store was better than Lowe’s and Home Depot. “My guys have been in this business for a combined 230 years,” I remember him saying.  “At those big box stores, you could be talking to a kid who was in the toaster department two weeks ago!” I immediately went back to the station and had one of our DJ’s (of course, the one the prospect mentioned to me in the CNA that he really liked) cut an endorsement ad. The spot talked about how the people who work at the local store can help you with your projects because they’re incredibly knowledgeable with over 230 years of experience. It went on to ask why anyone would go to a box store, where you might be dealing with someone who was in the toaster department two weeks ago.

I’ll never forget the look on the hardware store owner’s face when I played him the spec spot. He loved it. The guy he listens to every day on the radio, just did a commercial using the store owner’s words he probably says several times a week to anyone who will listen. In this particular case, one good question and one great answer really are what led to the sale.

In most cases, the difference between making a sale and not making a sale is all about if what we ultimately present answers, in the prospect’s mind, the key challenges they have – the pain points or what it is that keeps them up at night.

Once you’ve gone through and asked a good amount of questions and really probed for the most helpful answers, this should be fairly obvious to you, but don’t leave the meeting without making sure you have heard everything correctly.

“I’ve already got some great ideas in mind of how we can work together, but just so I make sure I heard everything correctly, here’s what you’re looking for…” List off a few of the things you wrote down and give a quick recap. Now you should have all the ammunition you need to build a killer integrated marketing strategy to present, that will provide a solution to the business’ key challenges.

Lastly, but most definitely not least – what is the client willing to spend for a solution to their problem? You have to be able to leave the room with some parameters of a budget. I’ll generally start the money topic off by simply asking if they have a budget range in mind and when they, inevitably, say “I really haven’t even thought of it,” or “just put something together for me,” I will throw out various numbers until I get some information I can use. Hopefully, you’ve asked good enough questions about their products and what a customer is worth to them so that, worst case scenario, if you have to take a guess at it, the guess will be an educated one.

In the end, the better questions you ask, the better answers you’ll get. The better the answers, the better presentation you can make to addresses the needs of the client. The better the presentation helps fix the pain, the more likely you are to close the deal.

BSM Writers

Keeping Premier League Games Shouldn’t Be A Hard Call For NBC

“Beyond its massive global fanbase, the Premier League offers NBC/Peacock a unique modern 21st-century sport for the short attention span of fans.”



NBC Sports is facing some tough, costly decisions that will define its sports brand for the rest of this decade.  A chance to connect with viewers in a changing climate and grow Peacock’s audience as well.  However, making the right choice is paramount to not losing to apps like Paramount+ (pun intended).

NBC is currently in the business of negotiating to continue airing the Premier League as their current deal ends after this 2021-2022 season.  NASCAR is contracted to NBC (and FOX) through the 2024 season.

NBC’s tentpole sports are the NFL and the Olympics.  

Negotiations for the EPL are expected to go down to the wire. Rather than re-up with NBC, the league is meeting with other networks to drive up the price. NBC has to then make a decision if the rights go north of $2 billion.

Should NBC spend that much on a sport that is not played in the United States? It’s not my money, but that sport continues to grow in the US.

If NBC re-ups with the Premier League, will that leave any coins in the cupboard to re-up with NASCAR? Comcast CEO Brian Roberts hinted that there might be some penny pinching as the prices continue to soar. This may have been one of the reasons that NBC did not fight to keep the National Hockey League, whose rights will be with Disney and WarnerMedia through ESPN and TNT, respectively.

“These are really hard calls,” Roberts said. “You don’t always want to prevail, and sometimes you’re right and sometimes you’re wrong, but I think the sustainability of sports is a critical part of what our company does well.”

Roberts was speaking virtually at the recent Goldman Sachs 30th Annual Communacopia Conference. He told the audience that between NBC and European network Sky, that Comcast has allocated approximately $20 billion towards these sports properties.

Comcast CFO Michael Cavanagh spoke virtually at the Bank of America Securities 2021 Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference and echoed that the company is in a good position to make some strong choices in the sports realm. 

“The bar is really high for us to pursue outright acquisitions of any material size,” Cavanagh added. “We got a great hand to play with what we have.”

While the European investments involve a partnership with American rival Viacom, the US market seems to have apparent limits.

Last Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol Motor Speedway was seen by around 2.19 million people. It was the most-watched motorsports event of the weekend. That same week eight different Premier League matches saw over 1 million viewers. More than half of those matches were on subscription-based Peacock. 

Beyond its massive global fanbase, the Premier League offers NBC/Peacock a unique modern 21st-century sport for the short attention span of fans. A game of typical soccer fan is used to a sport that is less than two hours long. The investment in a team is one or two games a week. 

My connection to the Premier League began before the pandemic.  When I cut the cord in late 2017, I purchase Apple TV.  Setting it up, it asks you to name your favorite teams.  After clicking on the Syracuse Orange and the New Jersey Devils, I recalled that my wife has family based in London, England.  They are season ticket holders for Arsenal, and that family redefined the word “die-hard” fans.

I’ve long been a believer that sports allegiances are best when handed down by family. I love hearing stories of people loving the New York Giants because their parents liked them, and they pass it down to their children.

I’ve successfully given my allegiance to the Devils to my young daughters. 

By telling Apple TV that I liked Arsenal, I get alerts from three different apps when the “Gunners” are playing. The $4.99 is totally worth it to see Arsenal.

Whenever I told this story, I was amazed to see how many other American sports fans had a Premier League team. Students of mine at Seton Hall University rooted for Tottenham Hotspurs, while an old colleague cheers on Chelsea.

Global Is Cool': The Growing Appeal of Premier League Soccer in America
Courtesy: Morning Consult

This is not meant to say that NBC should sign the EPL on my account. The key for any US-based soccer fan is that between Bundesliga, Serie A, and other leagues, there will be no shortage of soccer available on both linear television and streaming services.

Besides, Dani Rojas did say that “Football is life.”  NBC, originator of the Ted Lasso character, should make keeping its Premier League US connection a priority.

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BSM Writers

Media Noise – Episode 45



Today, Demetri is joined by Tyler McComas and Russ Heltman. Tyler pops on to talk about the big start to the college football season on TV. Russ talks about Barstool’s upfront presentation and how the business community may not see any problems in working with the brand. Plus, Demetri is optimistic about FOX Sports Radio’s new morning show.

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BSM Writers

6 Ad Categories Hotter Than Gambling For Sports Radio

“Using sports radio as a back page service for gambling will have a limited shelf life.”



For years sports radio stations pushed sports gambling advertisers to early Saturday and Sunday morning. The 1-800 ads, shouting, and false claims were seedy, and some stations wouldn’t even accept the business at 5 am on Sunday.

Now, with all but ten states ready to go all in on sports gambling, sports radio stations can’t get enough of that green. Demetri Ravanos wrote about the money cannon that sports gambling has become for stations. Well, what if you are in one of those ten states where it isn’t likely to ever be legal like California or Texas? Where is your pot of gold?

A Pot of Gold Articles - Analyzing Metals
Courtesy: iStockphoto

Or, let’s face it, the more gambling ads you run, the more risk you take on that the ads will not all work as you cannibalize the audience and chase other listeners away who ARE NOT online gambling service users and never will be. So, what about you? Where is your pot of gold?

Well, let’s go Digging for Gold. 

The RAB produces the MRI-Simmons Gold Digger PROSPECTING REPORT for several radio formats. In it, they index sports radio listeners’ habits against an average of 18+ Adult. The Gold Digger report looks at areas where the index is higher than the norm – meaning the sports radio audience is more likely to use the product or service than an average 18+ Adult who doesn’t listen to sports radio. The report, generated in 2020, indicates that sports radio listeners are 106% more likely to have used an online gambling site in the last thirty days. That’s impressive because the report only lists 32 activities or purchases a sports radio listener indexes higher than an average adult. I looked at those 32 higher indexes, and I think we can start looking for some gold.

Using sports radio as a back page service for gambling will have a limited shelf life. The gambling companies who commit significant money to get results will continue advertising and chase the others away. So, the future of sports radio needs to include other cash cows.

If it is evident to online sports gambling services that sports radio stations are a must-buy, who else should feel that way?  I looked at the Top 32 and eliminated the media companies. ESPN, MLB/NHL/NFL networks, and others aren’t spending cash on sports radio stations they don’t own in general. But Joseph A Bank clothing, Fidelity, and Hotwire should! Here’s your PICK-6 list I pulled together that’s hotter than sports gambling:

  • Sportscard collectors, Dapper Labs, Open Sea- read about Sports NFT $.
  • Online brokerage firms-Fidelity, Charles Schwab, Robinhood, Webull, TD Ameritrade
  • Golf courses, resorts, equipment, etc.- we play golf at home and vacation
  •,, TripAdvisor, Airbnb, Carnival Corporation, and we’ve used Hotwire in the last year.
  • FedEx, UPS, U.S. Postal Service, Venmo, PayPal, Zelle-we wired or overnighted $ 
  • Jos. A. Bank,,, we went to Jos. A. Bank in last three months

The sports card/NFT market is 32% hotter than the sports betting market for sports radio listeners. Everything on the PICK-6 is at least 100% more likely to purchase than an average 18+ Adult who doesn’t listen to sports radio. All listed are at or above indexing strength compared to sports betting. The individual companies I added are industry leaders. Bet on it! Email me for details. 

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