What Skeptical Business Owners Need To Hear


(By Paul Weyland) Business owners are nervous. Some are panicking. Many are still in shock. After all, it’s only been a month or so since their world was upended. Many local business owners aren’t sure they’ll reopen. And, some are canceling their broadcast schedules because they don’t see the point in advertising at all right now.

We’ll get some of that business back as states relax some of the harsher rules imposed on them since the virus darkened our lives. But in the meantime, here are some of the things we should be telling local business owners as we emerge from a situation that no one has ever been through before.

  • Consumers are still in shock as well. Local businesses could help soothe a still wary and nervous public by communicating precisely what they can do right now to make people’s lives safer, more convenient or more fun/luxurious. In other words, businesses must disrupt the viral disruption by sharing good talking points in language that consumers absolutely understand. Well-communicated commercials have one job. To convince a portion of the buying public beyond a shadow of a doubt that the client’s plan for their success is better than the consumer’s own plan. Left to their own plans hatched out of panic and chaos, who knows what consumers will do with their money?
  • Tell small business owners, like the movie Meet the Parents made clear, consumers have “circles of trust.’ The first circle includes their close friends and relatives. The other circle contains those businesses that consumers already know and trust and still frequent, even though the business might have had big price increases over the years. Why do we keep these businesses in our “circle”? Because we think they’ve got our backs. Tell business owners that your stations could be their bully pulpits and that your job is to get their business into your listener’s/viewer’s “Circles of Trust” as quickly as humanly possible. That’s what we do. We help build long-term relationships between consumers and our advertisers by teaching them value. We’re uniquely suited for this job…even in a pandemic.
  • Remind business owners that when they’re not communicating with our loyal listeners and viewers, even now in a crisis, that they’re allowing their competitors and perhaps false rumors to define their futures for them. Consumers have a lot on their minds right now.  As a business, you must remind then frequently who you are, what you do, how to get in touch with you and most of all, specifically why you should matter to them right now. It’s a fact that many entrepreneurs know things and have things right now that would make people’s lives easier. Safer. More convenient.  In fact, they may hold the key that would allow nervous, stressed consumers get a better night’s sleep. If, in a spot you could identify and solve a problem that has literally been keeping awake at night, that’s more of a Public Service Announcement than just another “commercial.”

As restrictions ease up, savvy local business owners have the opportunity to develop long-lasting relationships with our audiences. So that when it’s appropriate for them to spend money, they don’t have to go to Google or Amazon. They already know where they can get what they need locally. And they feel like they already know the business before they even walk in the door or call.

Paul Weyland can be reached at 512-236-1222 or visit paulweyland.com.


  1. There is no waste of time or words in absolutely nothing of what you are pointing out in this article, you are always very successful, advertisers and their advertising, nothing simple this topic that with simple adjustments or adaptations could revolutionize advertising for the world of advertising. Radio

  2. We are positive that Paul’s intentions here certainly are good, but this column is suggesting that these opinions and “philosophies” be conveyed to direct advertisers. This is not realistic or applicable in the real selling world to businesses– most business people don’t want to be “lectured to” or hear a salesperson’s philosophy. In fact, that approach could be damaging. Clients want to hear specific IDEAS, and they want to hear hard facts … not what we think “theoretically” they should be doing.

  3. By all means, have the advertisers write their own commercials.
    Next, they can be introduced to online courses in self-dentistry.

    • Is that all you got out of my article? I NEVER said that. We’ve had a discussion before about your trolling my contributions. Is it time to have that conversation again, “Ronald”???

  4. Nice post as always Paul! Agree 100% Thought about you as we talk to clients and stations … those that will survive in the radio industry will teach businesses how to write their own commercial. Using good questions, the more they talk specifically about what the customer needs, what will happen if they don’t work with them, and how it will make life easier letting the business help them – that gets them excited and now it’s a matter of what’s the most affordable way to put that message out there. Another great way to get them on air – get them pregnant by interviewing them on air and telling their story. When they love hearing it, next step is figure out a way to do it again. 🙂


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