Radio Hed: They're Not Just Spots, They're Sales Calls

Radio-Hed-Logo-2By Jeffrey Hedquist

Morris Hite, legendary ad man has been quoted as saying:

“Advertising is salesmanship mass produced. No one would bother to use advertising if he could talk to all his prospects face-to-face. But he can’t.”

As radio advertisers we often forget this truism in an effort to be clever, funny or outrageous. Those qualities can be effective ways to get a listener’s attention, but what we want our commercials to do is convince the listener to make the call, visit the web site, go to the place of business, request the brochure, attend the free seminar or ask for the free consultation.

Then it’s up to the advertiser and their staff to close the sale when the prospect responds to the commercial.

One way to create an effective radio commercial is to listen to and learn from the most effective salespeople your client has. It may be the owner, sales manager, or top salesperson. These are the people who are on the front lines and spend most of their time in front of their customers every day.

Ask them to sell you their products or services, watch them as they sell to their customers, record their pitches on the telephone or speeches to rooms full of prospects, eavesdrop and take notes. Get a copy of the telemarketing scripts they use, read their training materials. Make sure you monitor only the very top salespeople. Often they will use stories, examples, analogies, comparisons and case histories as part of the sales process. Listen to how they overcome objections.

Guess what? If you’ve taken good notes, your campaign is just about written. Although it’s mass salesmanship, a radio commercial is still speaking to one person at a time. You could break the sales process down into steps and do a series of commercials, based on the phases of a salesperson’s pitch.

Good salespeople do all the things a good radio commercial does. They get their audiences’ attention and they make their solution relevant to the problems, discomfort, pain or challenges their audience is experiencing. They answer the prospect’s question, “What’s in it for me?” They tell stories, give examples, and get the prospect to envision how this will enhance their life. In some cases they may do a take-away.

As you know, it’s rare to close a sale on the first call. That’s where radio shines. Each spot the listener hears is a like a sales call. If you create a sequence of interesting radio “sales calls” then the audience gets to hear the first one, and the next, and the next several times each. Let the client’s salespeople help you write the campaign and let radio’s built-in repetition, work for you to close sales.

© 2005 Hedquist Productions, Inc. All rights reserved.

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