Industry Views

Monday Memo: Hearing is Believing

By Holland Cooke

Every time I visit a station, I meet with sales, and I leave ’em a thumb drive of “spots that have produced results elsewhere, for businesses just like yours,” magic words on local direct retail sales calls. Help yourself to these, all of which produced results.

— Key Lending Solutions and AdvantaClean demonstrate using unscripted client interview sound bites and minimal announce copy.

— Here’s a straight pitch I wrote for the guy who maintains my home water system.

— When local retailers are defending against lower-cost big box competitors, local radio can be their best friend. Here’s a spot I produced that differentiates based on service.

Here’s the spot that had been airing when the client said “It’s not working.” I asked the rep: “Can we make it a 60 instead of a 30?” And I asked her to send me the jingle, and to interview the client and his customers on her smartphone, and send me the raw audio. Here’s the spot that got the advertiser to renew.

— Here are two spots I wrote for a tech retailer, one pitching convenience/security systems, the other pitching Home Theater.

Sure…A-B-C, “Always Be Closing.” But successful reps I’ve seen in action make that first call the C-N-A, “Client Needs Assessment,” 20 questions, ideally capturing the interview audio for use as you hear above. And they begin the second call saying, “Based on what you told me…” and hit Play.

Some things are easier to demonstrate than describe. And if you’re on-air talent who also sells, you are advantaged.

Holland Cooke ( is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author “Spot-On: Commercial Copy Points That Earned The Benjamins,” a FREE download; and the E-book and FREE on-air radio features Inflation Hacks: Save Those Benjamins;” and “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books.  Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke