How To Use Radio Right

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Hungry people look for food.

Sad people look for hope.

Ambitious people look for opportunity.

Oppressed people look for escape.

But if food is available and you are neither sad nor oppressed and your ambition is — for now, at least — satisfied, you are contented.

Contented people look for entertainment.

Most Americans — unless they are in the bottom 25 percent of household incomes — are contented. Money, they have. Time, they do not.

The salesperson who wins the customer’s time is the one most likely to win their money.

What currency do you offer in exchange for the time of your clients and your clients’ customers?

Do you offer them information? Information holds little interest for persons who aren’t currently in the market for your product.

Information is valuable only to the customer who is currently, consciously in the market for a product they haven’t already chosen in their heart. This is when the search engine optimization efforts of all your competitors will wiggle and wink at your customer from 46 different directions. SEO is a last-minute, last-ditch attempt to win the affections of the undecided and uncommitted.

Why not win your customer’s heart before they need your product?

Great ads make customers think of you immediately — and feel good about you — when they finally need what you sell.

Would you like to win your customer’s time and attention?

Give them entertainment.

Entertainment: “A thing to which a person chooses to direct their attention due to the pleasure it brings them.”

We direct our attention to many things each day that do not bring us pleasure: the obligations that come with employment and the ambushes that come with life; tax returns and kids in trouble; lawsuits and medical problems.

Entertainment is a currency. You would be amazed at what you can buy with it.

Contented people look for entertainment. All people look for identity.

“Who am I? What are my beliefs, and what is my purpose? Why am I here? Where are my people?”

Much of what we buy is purchased to remind ourselves — and tell the world around us — who we are.

Entertain your customer, and they will give you their time. Help them discover their identity, and they will be your friend for life.

Forget targeting through demographically correct media choices. Begin targeting through relationally correct ad copy.

Learn the language of your new friend.

When you’ve learned to see and feel and think as your friend does, your ads will start working wonders. It’s not demo-targeting. It’s psycho-targeting.

Your power doesn’t come from facts that you know. Your power comes from stories that you tell.

“When psychologists Melanie Green and Timothy Brock decided to test the persuasive power of narrative, they found that the more a story transported us into its world, the more we were likely to believe it … The more engrossed a reader was in the story, the fewer false notes she noticed. The sweep of the narrative trumped the facts of logic. What’s more, the most engaged readers were also more likely to agree with the beliefs the story implied.” — Maria Konnokova, The Confidence Game

Eric Barker’s additional research included the following nugget: “Nothing beats a story when it comes to convincing you of something.”

Good marketing is relevant. This means the customer relates to it and feels connected.

Good marketing is credible. This means it agrees with the customer’s beliefs.

Salespeople offer facts, hoping to change the customer’s beliefs. They want the customer to make a new decision based on this new information. And the method often works. But only after you have convinced the customer to give you their time.

To win the customers’ time, you must offer them entertainment, remember?

Well-told stories are entertaining.

The salesperson who wins the customer’s time is the one most likely to win their money.

Have you been bludgeoning your customers with facts and data? Engage them, instead, with stories.

Storytelling is a sport that requires training and practice. It is an art that requires boldness and restraint. It is the essence of radio.

Learn the sport of storytelling and you will thrive. Your manager will wire your commissions to your beach home in the Caribbean. People will clap and cheer as you walk down the street. Business owners will cling to your clothes and not let go. You will fling success from your fingertips.

Or you’ll just continue to do what you’ve been doing.

It’s your call.

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