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How Do I Break Into Radio Sales?

Most Radio Stations Will Teach You Everything You Need To Know


Updated May 13, 2005
A visitor to the Radio site at About.com writes:


I am so tired of the paperwork that I have to do in [my job], though top producer, I am sick of it. Help! Is it hard to break into radio sales?...Who do I contact and what is the position called? Do I need to know all the radio lingo, Arbitron etc. and do you suggest mailing resume or go and set up appointment?…curious on pay too! – Lori


Actually, it’s a lot easier to break into radio sales than almost any other position at a radio station or company. Radio is fueled by good sales people and is always looking for talented people who can produce.

Having a sales background is definitely a plus. But, many stations are not opposed to hiring new employees who exhibit a willingness to learn and work hard.

The position used to be called “salesman”. Now, though, you’re an “Account Executive”.

The good news is most radio stations are more than happy to train qualified enterprising people. Like any profession, learning the lingo will come over time. But, the important skills you’ll be taught immediately is how to understand Arbitron ratings and the ways to present those ratings to potential clients so they can:

    1. Understand who is listening, when, and for how long
    2 Learn the kind of demographics your station(s) can provide
    3. Why the cost is efficient, and...
    4. The kind of spot inventory (commercials) available

Radio stations generally don’t just throw you out there and say “perform”. Most take several weeks to teach you the sales skills useful in selling radio time, allow you to accompany veteran Account Executives on client calls, and allow you to become acclimated to the world of broadcasting.

You should prepare a proper resume, emphasizing any sales or other business skills (word processing, etc.) you possess. With a proper


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