The Life of a Radio Rep

A Conversation with Terry Wood

General Sales Manager, AMI Radio Group

Interview and photo by Savanah Mandeville

“It takes more energy to maintain mediocrity than it takes to pursue excellence.” -Matthew Kelly

Terry Wood is a fixture at AMI Radio Group. Going on 15 years as a sales representative, he knows the business like the back of his hand. Growing up, Terry never planned to go into sales, but his love for country music and KKOW radio led him to take a leap of faith and start down a new path at AMI. Turns out, Terry is just as passionate about growing local business as he is about country music. Today, he’s the general sales manager and leads a team with a common goal – seeing our business community thrive. SMTO’s Savanah Mandeville visited with Terry to learn a little more about what makes him tick.

Tell us about the life of a radio rep. What do you do in a typical day?

Radio reps are constantly working on their pipelines to ensure they’re continuing to enhance their clients’ businesses. Along with working new leads, we are always on the lookout for new creative ideas that can set our clients above their competition.

What do you love most about your job?

The thing I love most about my job is informing our listeners about a business. This gives the owner the opportunity to grow their business and fulfill their dream, and it means a lot to me to be part of that. A lot of small businesses have their whole life tied into this dream, so getting information out about the business and their product is very satisfying.

What is a challenge you face and how do you overcome it?

A big challenge I face in today’s market is that advertising budgets change every year. Whether we are in a recession or whether the economy is booming, we have to be prepared to be flexible. The challenge with growth, like what we’re seeing now, is there’s more marketing competition popping up daily. The good thing for me is radio is still very powerful. In fact, nine out of 10 people listen to AM and FM radio daily. As a radio rep, we need to inform the local direct business owners of the benefits of using radio advertising in their marketing plan.

Tell us a little bit about the team you work with.

I’ve been lucky to work with very talented people at AMI Radio Group over the years. I believe it comes from the owner, Gene Bicknell. He wants all of his employees to succeed. When you work with people who are passionate about their job, it makes reaching your own success easier. You feel like part of a team or a family, not just another job.

Looking back over the last 15 years, what is one of your fondest memories at AMI?

Some of the things I’m most proud of are helping with local charity events from Operation Santa to St. Jude’s to raising money for the local fair boards. With eight different stations, we have a lot of different demographics, which presents unique ways we can help out and give back.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I’ve been married for 15 years to my wife, Karen, and we have four daughters. The younger two are very active in sports, so they keep us busy! I’m also on the parish council at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Frontenac as well as serving as grand knight of the Knights of Columbus at Sacred Heart. My main hobby is golf, and although I’m terrible at it, I enjoy laughing and hanging out with the guys.