Speak to the Listener


I was standing outside a shop in Nairobi one day, when suddenly the church over the road sprung into action. They had obviously invested in the most powerful speaker system their tithes would stretch to. They had turned the amplifier past the “loud” setting to the “incredibly loud and distorted” setting. Now the preacher was screaming at me. It’s not just religious groups that think you get a person’s attention by shouting. How wrong they are. You attract people to you by being warm, inviting, sincere, honest and open. If you want to attract a member of the opposite sex you don’t shout at them. If you’re a sales person in a shop, you don’t rush up to the customers and yell in their faces!! But many people think it’s OK to shout at the listener to “get their attention”.

In radio advertising you don’t get the attention of the listener with an intrusive sound effect like a klaxon or alarms, you do it by demonstrating how the product or service can meet one of their needs. Listeners are already listening. That’s why they are called listeners. They may, however be “zoned out”. That is they may not be concentrating on your advertising message. That is, unless you meet them where their mind is at. Have you ever been to a party, and someone at the other side of the room mentions your name? You hear it through all the chatter and music: Why? Because the person is talking about something that interests you. In this case, YOU!!

Many advertisers think that if they talk about things that interest THEM, that people will flock to them, but telling isn’t selling. It’s not what the advertiser wants to SAY. It’s what the listener needs to HEAR.

Some marketers say that part of the advertising process is to create a “desire”. I think that’s rubbish. People already have desires, wants and needs. Successful advertising demonstrates how the product or service fulfills that particular need or desire.

So think… why DO my existing customer base already do business with me?

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