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RAB Research Archive

No creative department? No problem!



They’re The Six Most-Dreaded Words in Sales: “We tried radio, it didn’t work.” Ugh.

It SHOULD’VE worked. The advertiser and the station were a good fit. They bought enough frequency. But the copy was ineffective.

At many stations, even in big markets, reps write their own spots. And I don’t think that’s necessarily a disadvantage. If there is a Creative person, he or she is back at the station, managing the commercial conveyor belt, not sharing the valuable needs assessment dialogue sellers have with prospects, valuable insight.

Another reason sellers can be effective writers is because they’re…sellers. And account executives I work with at client stations are improving results and mitigating churn by simply addressing retail consumers with the same syntax they interact with retailers.

I’ll say that another way, and I promise this isn’t double-talk: Talk to your-customer’s-customer (listeners) in-the-same-order that you converse with your customer (the advertiser). Stay with me on this.

A real smart guy I worked with several decades ago called them “The 5 Steps of Selling Anything to Anybody:”

1. Pre-Approach
2. Approach
3. Pitch
4. Negotiate
5. Close

Think of accounts you’ve prospected. Even if you don’t view HOW you got the order in those particular terms, you likely GOT the order by following those dance steps, in that order.

So write the spot the same way. Before you type a word (Pre-Approach), understand how what’s being advertised will benefit the consumer. Then cut to the chase in that first sentence (Approach), which, ideally contains “YOU” or “YOUR,” both, if possible; or a sledge-hammer imperative: “IT’S ONE A.M. YOU’VE SHARED A COUPLE PITCHERS OF BEER AT THE SPORTS BAR. THEN YOU MADE A STUPID MISTAKE. YOU GOT BEHIND THE WHEEL.”

You’ve set the table for Pitch/Negotiate: “REMEMBER THIS NUMBER. PUT IT IN YOUR PHONE RIGHT NOW.” These are actual copy points for a law firm that specializes in D.U.I., advertising on a client station. You guessed it, a Sports station. The close: “[name of firm], YOUR BEST FRIEND WHEN YOU REALLY NEED ONE. [phone number, real slow, twice].”

More typically, the Close comes too early in the script. Too much spot copy is client-centric (“THE BIG PRESIDENTS’ DAY SALE IS ON NOW AT ADAMS AUTO PARTS”), rather than speaking more-directly to the consumer’s pain: “THERE’S LOTS MORE WINTER LEFT, SO WHY RISK GETTING STRANDED WITH A DEAD BATTERY?”

For more on this, hit YouTube and search “Holland Cooke writing results-producing commercials.”

Source: Radio consultant Holland Cooke





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