RADIO INTERVIEW 101 Why You Got Zero Sales from your Interviews
New for 2013: It's the most common complaint ever made by people who have done radio interviews and were trying to sell things: "I got no sales!". Of course not; these people did not do them right. Nobody seems to know how to do radio interviews right. That's because whoever set the interviews up for them did not tell them how to do it correctly. Of course I'm referring here to direct-response interviews, where the goal IS to get direct-response sales. I'm not referring to awareness-building interviews, which are a separate topic.
If you are trying to sell books, consulting, coaching, speaking, or products using radio direct-response interviews, the number of sales (or leads for higher priced items) you get is dependent on three things: Listeners, Minutes, and Announcements. Matter of fact it is almost a math equation: Sales = Listeners X Minutes X Announcements. If any one of these fail, you will get zero sales (or leads).
It used to be, what happened to almost every single person we talked to was number 3: They did not announce their purchasing contact info. But in the last few years another problem has crept up: They had no listeners to their interviews. Don't fool yourself by thinking, "But the interviews went so well.. they were such nice people." I'm not talking about how the dialog went; I'm talking about sales. If you got no sales, then you did it wrong. Here are the details about how the above works:
1. The number of listeners to a radio program is proportional to (a) the size of the city it's in, (b) the station's rating in that city, (c) the time of day of the interview, (d) the day of the week of the interview, and (e) the popularity of the program you are on. You (the guest) do not have much say in any of these. Note that web stations, and non-commercial stations, have almost no listeners and you will get probably zero sales no matter how long you talk on them.
2. The number of minutes your interview lasts is dependant upon (a) how much other media coverage you have up to this point, (b) how many other radio interviews you have done up to this point, (c) how many radio hosts have recommended you, (d) your topic, and (e) your picture. Note that you have direct control over every one of these. Also note that one thing in particular is missing: Your voice. They will not judge your voice, because they usually make the decision without hearing your voice. All they care about is how many callers you get during your (live, not taped) interview. Not how many NICE callers you get, but how MANY callers you get. Big, big difference. If you get a large number of callers, ESPECIALLY angry ones, they will keep you on the air longer. Much longer. And you have direct control over all of this.
And now the big one...
3. Announcing your contact info is the only way for listeners to buy your book, hire you to coach, book you for speaking, purchase your product, etc. If you think that having the host (maybe) announce your website at the end of the interview is going to generate any action at all for you, you are very mistaken. Matter of fact, if you did interviews in the past where the host's announcement was the only announcement that was made, you wasted probably every minute of these interviews.
Half of all the listeners are in cars, and another large part is outdoors, and all of these people have cell phones. This is one reason for the big increase in talk radio stations; because listeners can easily call in. These listeners, however, are probably not going to start surfing to your site. Even getting them to dial a phone number takes lots of work, and lots of announcements of your purchasing phone number. The fact is, and this is from experience, that listeners call right then and right there (during the interview), or they don't contact you at all. It's estimated that 90% of all orders come in this way. So if you are getting any web orders from just announcing your site once at the end of the interview, then you are missing 90% of the orders you would be getting by repeatedly announcing your purchasing phone number throughout the interview.
It was the job of the person who set up the interviews for you to instruct you how to do repeated announcements, and then pre-setup with the hosts/producers so that you'd be allowed to do it. And by repeated, I mean at the start, at the end, and then at LEAST every five minutes during the interview. Thus, in a 15 minute interview, you the guest (not the host) would announce your purchasing phone number at least five times. And if you think it would seem "strange" or "corny" or "salesy" to do this, then you were never instructed how to do it properly in the first place.
While it's beyond this article to explain how to do it properly, I can say that all your announcements should include a phone number with a voicemail that can take multiple messages simultaneously (preferably your cell phone, but a voicemail box will do), so listeners can call at that very instant while they are in their cars, or outside, before they forget your number. Half of all radio listeners are in their cars, and another large part is outside; they can't write anything down, they can't visit a website, and they can't remember anything. If they are going to contact you, it has to be right there, right now. And if you are selling high-dollar items (speaking, investments, etc), then you want them to call you personally anyway so you can have a real conversation with them. For the remaining radio listeners who are at home, a website is ok, but only if supplied it along with the phone number. Unless of course, you are happy with 10% sales.
If you need further proof of why repeated announcements are necessary, just think about all the TV commercials you've heard that say "call now, 1-800-345-6789, that's 1-800-345-6789. Again, 1-800-345-6789, that's 1-800-345-6789". They paid for their time on the TV and can say anything they want about their product (and their commercials are airing many many times throughout the week), but they STILL take the time to announce their phone number REPEATEDLY. Why? Because people have to hear it REPEATEDLY in order to be able to dial it, and to REMEMBER to dial it. Announcing it only once or twice, or just announcing a site, will not work.
Next topic: Specifics About Getting Speaking Engagements From Radio Interviews
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