Radio Hed: Why Before How

Radio-Hed-Logo-2By Jeffrey Hedquist

A successful commercial engages me, its intended audience in a selling sequence, often in this order:

1. Sparks and keeps my interest by telling a story about me.

2. Knows me, knows my wants, needs, desires, hopes, and dreams, understands my frustrations. Speaks my language.

3. Reminds me of my pain, perhaps of something missing in my life.

4. Sells me on a solution.

5. Lets me know where to go to and how to take advantage of the solution.

If this selling sequence makes sense to you, then why would you begin your commercial with step 5?

Yet we do it all the time, based on the advice of someone who told us to get the client’s name in early and often.

My advice: give listeners a reason to buy before you tell them to take action – to buy, order, visit, experience, call, click, text, sign up or opt in.

My experience suggests that giving the audience a reason to respond, and then offering them a way to respond will work best. Put the why before the how.

Flip.

However this, like many rules can be broken, sometimes with good results.  Here’s an approach that breaks several of my recommended practices. Would a commercial that was all call to action with no discernable benefit work? You tell me.

“Make a $2,562 phone call to Aardvark Auto Mall right now. I can’t tell you anything else, just call. Are you calling yet? Why not? Oh, you need the number. OK, here it is: 555-1212.

“Now call. The $2,562? You’ll find out when you call. Can’t remember 555-1212? No problem, just look up Aardvark Auto Mall and call.

“The $2,562 call. I can’t say anything more. Aardvark Auto Mall. 555-1212.”

I suppose you could say the “why” in that spot would be curiosity.

Would it work? Anyone brave enough to try it? Let me know how you do.

© 1997-2011 Hedquist Productions, Inc. All rights reserved.

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