Wow. Friday was one of our biggest days here at the Blur. I guess lots of people are concerned about radio advertising … or the sales folks who peddle it.
First, of course there are exceptions to every rule, but the exceptions do not disprove the rule. Like I said and will say another million times, “I love radio advertising under the right circumstances for the right business.”
If you think radio advertising is right for everyone in every circumstance, you’re either a fool or a shill. Prove me wrong. I’ll publicly apologize.
My partner, Roy H. Williams, has bought arguably more 52-week radio schedules for more small businesses than anyone in America. He’s also quoted to prospects and clients by radio sales people more than anyone in America. So, when he writes about the 7 Habits of Highly Defective Radio People, he’s qualified and should be given due respect:
1. Highly defective Radio people accept no responsibility for a clients failed ad campaign. They read motivational books and listen to motivational tapes in the mistaken belief that the job of a Radio sales rep is only to prospect and close the sale. The success of these ad campaigns is always “someone else’s job.”
2. Highly defective Radio people are obstinate and irrational in their beliefs. They will argue that a bad ad on the Radio is better than a good ad in any other media. And when it comes to Radio, they believe that their format is the only good format and that their audience is the only good audience.
3. Highly defective Radio people will say things they would never put in writing. They’ll tell you whatever it takes to make the sale but will later insist they never said it. Simply stated, they are deceptive.
4. Highly defective Radio people have no real understanding of Radio. They’ve usually just memorized a series of phrases they’ve been told will help them “overcome objections.” Asking them a question is like pulling the string on a plastic doll — Pull One: “Loyal audience.” Pull Two: “Time spent listening.” Pull Three: “How can I earn your business?” (Pull Three also triggers a mechanical handshake and a little plastic smile.)
5. Highly defective Radio people lack the courage of their convictions. When it comes to spending other people’s money, they’re full of all kinds of brave talk. But when the time comes to sell their home, they would never think of buying a Radio schedule and having an open house. They feel that it would be much safer and wiser to list their home with a real estate agent who will run ads for it in the newspaper. (For those who are wondering, the answer is “yes,” I’ve always purchased a Radio schedule when I was ready to sell a home; and the technique has never failed. The answer to your second question is that I paid rate card.)
6. Highly defective Radio people believe that they have “rights.” Should you decide to buy Radio from someone else, they will demand that you explain. Should you attempt to explain, they will argue. Regardless of how often they have wasted your time this way, highly defective Radio people still believe it is somehow “required” that you return their phone calls and that they are “owed” an appointment.
7. Highly defective Radio people have little authentic concern for the client. They spend a lot of time learning how to sell Radio advertising, but none learning how to make it work. Highly defective people always need a huge account list, because few of their clients ever call to say, “Let’s do that some more.” They will sell a little Radio to a lot of people, instead of a lot of Radio to a few.
Thanks, Roy, and thanks to the managing partner of Wizard of Ads Australia, Craig Arthur, for helping me locate that bit of Roy’s. Radio reps, small business owners, and anyone who wonders what make people do the things they do would do well to sign up for The Wizard Chronicles newsletter – a disproportionately good storehouse of valuable chunks of marketing, strategy, and media buying advice.
It’s second only to Roy’s Monday Morning Memo in my list of weekly things to read.
We’ll be conducting our radio advertising interview on Thursday. We’ll record, transcribe, and share probably this time next week.
UPDATE: Here’s Part 1 of the Interview.