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Getting Radio Active

Radio is a powerful, far-reaching medium that can be an incredible source of leads as you crank up your “buying machine”. It has the ability to spread your message throughout your entire target market at one time. It also allows you the flexibility to test and change your offer as often and as quickly as you need . . . usually in as little as one day.

Further, radio allows you to use live recorded testimonials. There is nothing more powerful to motivate your listening prospect than a testimonial. The passion and vigor of a once-distressed homeowner who is now relieved because you were able to solve his or her problem will pierce the emotional hearts of people who are listening. They will identify their own personal situation with the testimonial on the radio. A strong testimonial will assure your prospect that others have gone before them, making them feel comfortable and increasing the chance they will respond to your message.

Another reason radio expands your market is the fact that 11% of the adult population are functionally illiterate. That’s almost 18 million adults who can’t read. What’s worse, almost 36 million adults have only an 8th grade reading level. With radio, you can reach prospects who won’t read your ads in the newspaper, won’t read your letter in the mail and won’t pick up your flyers. However, don’t think for a minute that these unfortunate people are unemployed and don’t own houses, because many of them do work and have their own home! With radio, these prospects don’t have to read to get your information, they only have to listen.

Finally, there is a sense of warmth and sensitivity that can be created more effectively on radio than through the print media. An excellent announcer with good copy, carefully chosen background music, and strong testimonials can truly break through the clutter and drive your message home.

What Stations Should I Use and How Much Should I Pay?

I recommend using local talk, Christian, sports, news, and oldies stations. Radio costs will vary depending on the size of the market and the station’s prominence. You could pay as little as $10- $15 dollars per spot on a small local radio station or thousands of dollars for regional coverage. The cost of each radio spot will depend on the number of people listening to the station as indicated by the station’s ratings. Stations subscribe to various rating systems (similar to the Nielsen ratings for TV) in order to learn what share of the total market they’re reaching. The higher the rating, the more people are listening, and the more you’ll pay per spot. This also applies to different time periods within the day.

However, if you’re not careful, you’ll pay for more coverage than you need. For instance, say you do business in a small city of about 100,000 people and only 50 miles away is a major city of 900,000 people. A powerful station (50,000 watts) might cover both cities and charge high rates for the million people you’re reaching. In this case, your advertising dollar is being spent to cover an area of which only 1/10th is your market! A smaller station, covering only the city in which you do business, would probably be a better value for your marketing needs. Before you buy, find out what area the radio station covers and determine if it makes sense for you. Your costs will also vary with the programs on the station so be careful. You’ll pay a mint to advertise on the Rush Limbaugh Show or during the radio coverage of the Super Bowl. Unless you have a big budget for radio, I recommend staying away from the “big-hit” efforts that will swallow up your whole budget.
Radio is most effective when repetition is used. You should plan on running your ad a minimum of 6-8 times per day. Another factor to look at is the station’s demographics “that means getting to know the age, and other important factors about its average listener. Your account rep will show you these figures.

Why is this important?

Well, I’d think that if most of the station’s listeners are between the ages of 18 and 25, they’re not going to be owners or buyers of houses, right? On the other hand, if the station has large numbers of people 30 and up, these are likely to be your market.

Once you’ve decided on a station, it’s time to negotiate with the station manager or sales manager for the best rates on spots. Most everything in life is negotiable, however radio rates are even more so! Typically, Run-Of-Station (ROS) spots are the least expensive because the station puts them wherever they want. If you ask for fixed times, or “drive time” from 6 to 10 in the morning, the spots will be much more expensive.

Get Creative With Your Negotiating Efforts

Some smaller stations will work with you on a per inquiry basis. Simply put, your spots are run free (or at a nominal charge) and you pay the station for each inquiry they get. Radio stations will do this hoping responses from the ad will be overwhelming and they’ll make more money than if they charged a flat fee. A per inquiry method allows you to save cash, and you pay only if the ad produces results, therefore minimizing your risk. You may find the stations less willing to do this for an untested commercial, but it’s still worth asking.

A lot of radio stations will barter for services. Do you have a service or product that is of value to them in return for some air time? Use everything in your negotiating arsenal.

Finally, always ask, “Is this your best deal?” This one little question has saved me thousands and thousands of dollars over the years in all of my marketing efforts. You’ll be amazed at how often you can squeeze a little more out of them on price.

What should I say in my radio commercial?

Most commercials scream at the prospect . . . “We’re the biggest!, We’re the best!, We’re the oldest!, We offer the best quality, the best service!” But these kinds of statements have nothing to do with what benefits the prospect. Unless you tell them quickly how they can benefit, the prospect will tune you out or change the station.

Give them what will solve their problem: Tell them how you can buy their house in 24 hours, with no commissions, no contingencies, and pay all cash!

Okay, I know the 24-hour bit has your stomach in knots. Most of your callers will fall into the Get The Deed mode. Can you close a deal within 24 hours? If not, you missed the boat. All it takes is the sellers signing a deed at their kitchen table. If the deal is really that good, you can even push a closing agent to complete a cash sale in 24 hours. The truth is, I’ve bought over 1,600 houses and only one of those deals required a 24-hour closing. It was all cash and I whipped out my MasterCard.

I can’t remember ever being asked about the 24-hour closing from a seller.You must also decide what kind of marketing campaign you are going to use… A one-step or two-step approach. For those of you who have not attended my boot camps (shame on you!) I’ll quickly explain the difference.

One-Step Marketing

With one-step marketing, your goal is to “make the sale” – in this case, to get the seller/listener to say “yes” as a direct and immediate result of hearing your commercial. Obviously, that’s a little unrealistic. Unfortunately, most ads rely on this direct-hit approach, even though most listeners are apprehensive about responding to this type ad because it asks them to voluntarily expose themselves to a live salesperson. They’re afraid the person they call will try to pressure them to make a commitment. Unless they’re already “sold” on you or your offer, they probably will not make that call.

Two-Step Marketing

Two-step marketing allows your prospect a less threatening preliminary step before they talk to a live sales person (namely you). The first step would be to have them call a live answering service to get their info so you can send them information.

The two-step marketing method is designed to overcome the listener’s built-in sales resistance.

One of the best ways is to offer them something free. For instance, a FREE Report. With this technique we get our prospects comfortable and more interested by providing them additional information, and we still get our sales message to them through the free report.

This special report will convey much of the same information they would have gotten if they called you direct. However, your prospect is just calling for a free report–not much commitment or risk in that.

Two-Step marketing will increase your responses by as much as 5 to 1 over one-step, direct-hit advertising, because it removes all apprehensions about picking up the phone and calling. I’ll go into more details on how to handle these calls a little later. While I recommend two-step marketing over one-step marketing, both can be used effectively when done right and frankly I bet 95% of my students do one step only because it’s easier and less work and expense. I must confess that includes me. Now it’s time to write your copy.

Your radio commercial should follow what’s known as the AIDA approach:
• Attention (strong copy & upbeat music)
• Interest (what’s in it for me)
• Desire (benefits with testimonials)
• Action (what do you want them to do)

Let’s look at some commercials. Look for our use of AIDA in the copy. By the way, if you don’t like the sound of your own voice (and who does!) you can let a station announcer read your copy.

Sample Script for a Sixty-Second Radio Commercial

Upbeat public domain music, fade to background…

Announcer: Are you a homeowner looking to sell your home? Are you about to be transferred or promoted, or have you been recently laid off? Have you fallen behind on your house payments? Results homebuyers may buy your house on-the-spot! We’re not Realtors and we’re not associated with any real estate agency.

Results Homebuyers buys houses and we can buy yours immediately! For details, Call 000-0000 and get our special free report that reveals:
• How easily you can have your house sold . . . in as little as 9 days!
• How your mortgage payments, even back payments, can be taken care of immediately.
• How you can sell even if you have no equity in your home!
• Why you never have to become a landlord to get the money out of your property.
• Why you never have to pay a commission to sell your home, because Results never charges a commission!

Results buys houses… and results has a program to buy your house too! For your Free copy of their Special Report, call 000-0000. There’s no obligation, and you’ll receive your report within 3-4 days. Call a 24-hour recorded message to order your report today, 000-0000.
Bring up music, fade out…

Sample Script for a 120-Second Radio Commercial

Upbeat public domain music, fade to background…

Announcer: Are you a homeowner looking to sell your home? Are you about to be transferred or promoted, or have you been recently laid off? Have you fallen behind on your house payments? Results homebuyers may buy your house on-the-spot! We’re not realtors and we’re not associated with any real estate agency. Results buys houses and we can buy yours immediately! For details, Call 000-0000 and get our special report entitled, “You can sell your home within 24 hours”.

This free report reveals:
• How easily you can have your house sold…in as little as 5 days!
• How your mortgage payments, even back payments, can be taken care of immediately.
• How you can sell even if you have no equity in your home!
• Why you never have to become a landlord to get the money out of your property.
• Why you never have to pay a commission to sell your home, because Results never charges a commission!

Results buys houses!

Sample Live Testimonials
1. “When we called Results Homebuyers, time was running out. I’d been transferred and we had to move. We couldn’t afford double payments! Results Homebuyers paid all our mortgage bills, right up to closing!”
2. “We were four months behind on our payments when we ordered the free report. It opened our eyes and solved our problem. Results Homebuyers bought our home within three days.”
3. “When we built our new home, we never dreamed our agent wouldn’t sell ours before we moved. After waiting for months, we sold our house in one day after calling Results Homebuyers.”

Resume announcer: And Results has a program to buy your house too! For your free copy of their special report, call 000-0000. There’s no obligation and you’ll receive your report within 3-4 days.

Results Homebuyers buys houses! Call our 24-hour recorded message to order your free report today, 000-0000.

Bring up music, fade out…

A one-step approach would have the prospect call for a free, no-obligation phone consultation. In this case, you would have to either answer the phone yourself, hire someone else to do it, or get your answering service to pre screen calls. To your prospect, this is a little more threatening than the free report. You’ll have to test the two different approaches to find out which one works best for you.

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6 Responses to Getting Radio Active

  1. CRES Mandujano says:

    very good information I w’ll find inf in a local radio station

  2. James Noullet says:

    good information thanks Ron

  3. John Rogers says:

    Good info. Radio can reach many people that may not read your print ads, thus getting more advertized too.

  4. Brandi Tarquinio says:

    cOOL!!

  5. Brandon Dickman says:

    Do you happen to have copy for just a 30 second commercial?

  6. Ken Breeze says:

    It would be very interesting to get an update on this strategy since the market has changed dramatically in terms of people using the internet “radio stations” like Spotify, Pandora, Apple Radio and the like. Especiallly since digital technology allows for much better targeting and much less loss of advertising dollars.

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