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PHONE NUMBERS IN COMMERCIALS

QUESTION:

I'm a Creative Services Director at a regional, service-oriented radio station in Southwest Iowa. And I'm having a heck of a time convincing my sales people and their clients that "phone numbers do not sell." Got any ideas for me to get the point across? I need ammunition!

DAN REPLIES:

Idea #1: Have the Iowa Broadcasters Association bring me in to conduct a seminar for your all the state's salespeople to teach them something about radio advertising. (This is unlikely to happen; the IBA doesn't like me.)

Idea #2: Ask them: "When is the last time you were driving down the street, listening to the radio, and you pulled over so you could write down a phone number you heard in a commercial?"

Idea #3: Ask them to tell you the phone number of:
1) Their dry cleaner
2) Their favorite restaurant
3) Their favorite department store

Idea #4: Explain that radio commercials are NOT the same as newspaper ads. Newspaper ads fill up the white space with cold, hard information: Phone numbers, addresses, store hours, etc. Radio commercials, on the other hand, establish emotional connections to motivate consumers to ACT on the sales message. Why waste ANY of those precious 30 or 60 seconds to recite a phone number that they just aren't interested in?

Idea #5: Explain that virtually everyone has their own telephone book, and they consult it when they want to locate a phone number. UNTIL THEY WANT THAT NUMBER, they have no use for it.

Idea #6: Have your station purchase RADIO ADVERTISING: A CRASH COURSE FOR RADIO SALESPEOPLE from our catalogue...Then have the salespeople listen to it.

Idea #7: Do not allow your salespeople to refer to themselves as "Advertising Consultants" unless and until they have learned something about advertising.

Idea #8: For clients: Explain that they are expert at their businesses; YOU are expert at motivating your audience to act on their valuable sales messages.

Idea #9: Ask them to recite phone numbers for:
A) The local McDonald's
B) Microsoft
C) Disney World
D) The local Subway Sandwiches franchise
All of the above are incredibly successful business. And they use their advertising to SELL their products, not to fill up time with meaningless (i.e., when no one is interested in them) numbers.

Idea #10: Send for our helpful booklet, "HOW TO USE A TWO-BY-FOUR ON YOUR SALES PEOPLE."

Idea #11: Fight the good fight, knowing that you will not always win it but taking in solace in the sure knowledge that YOU are right and THEY don't know what they're talking about.

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