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Sunday, October 5, 2014

(SALES) Remotes! Danger! Danger!

I hate selling live remotes to customers who?ve never done them before and don?t understand what they should expect from them. You must
explain to an advertiser who thinks he wants a remote exactly what it is, what it?s going to do for him, and what it?s not going to do.
More often than not, customers who?ve never done them before think live remotes deliver ?instant traffic.? Sorry, Charlie.
We all know that ain?t the case. They?re just ?live? commercials. The majority of people who stop in are ?radio groupies? who follow stations around looking for free CDs, t-shirts, and lunch. They almost never buy anything from the store, and, when they don?t, your customer will turn the heat of his disappointment on you, making your station ?dead in the water? forever.
On the other hand, for customers who understand what live remotes can
deliver, they can be a goldmine. I know an auto dealer who did 40 live remotes last year, every Saturday at noon. He was spending nearly $10,000 per week between the three stations, plus his regular schedule. Yet even with all three stations there, I never saw more than eight people on his lot. We all know what it feels like when we?re doing a remote and nobody?s coming in and the client keeps pacing the floor.
But the dealer kept smiling and buying. Why? Because he understands that remotes only create an exciting image
to the thousands who tune in to hear him, and hear about his cars, no matter what station they?re listening to. They don?t know that only eight people showed up! If our announcer was doing his job, they think hundreds, maybe thousands were there!
We created an image for him that his is the dealership that?s kicking tail all over the landscape ? and that he?s the guy to see for the best deals anywhere!
So guess what? His weekdays are unbelievable, especially Mondays, and he sells tons of cars between weekends. I think he?s the smartest advertiser in the area ? because he understands.
Here are two other kinds of remotes you?ll want to keep in mind for your customers:
The Do-It-Yourself Remote. The client calls in the 60-second breaks 3-4 times each hour, and we aren?t even at his place. We send over pizzas for his staff and customers and maybe drop off some tee shirts, coffee mugs, etc. With the clients? ego fully engaged, they?ll love doing them and we can give them a price break (up to 50 percent less than when we?re actually there).
The Phantom Remote. In this case we go by and record breaks with all his reps on Wednesday for a Saturday remote. Then, on Saturday, we just drop those recordings into each break, and it sounds live. Again, we send freebies and charge about half the regular price.
In both these cases, the client is unlikely to blame us if no one shows up. Why?  Because we weren?t there! So psychologically, it wasn?t our fault.
Here?s one more: The Free Remote. No, it?s not crazy. In some cases, we?ve done a free remote when we know the client?s place is going to be packed anyway. For example, a large department store in our town has its annual ?Founders Day Sale.? It advertises on radio, TV, newspaper, cable?everywhere. Why do a freebie? 
With the crowd we know
is going to be there, we are sure to have people lined up 40-deep to spin our prize wheel and grab one of our gift shirts. The store manager, looking over the sea of customers, sees only our station at the center of the crowd. Predictably, we get the lion?s share of credit for the success of the store?s big sale?as well as the lion?s share of his radio budget throughout the remainder of the year. In some cases, our client would have asked for a remote for his big sale day already, but if he hadn?t bought it, we?d do it for nothing anyway to build the entirely predictable client perception and reap the future sales rewards.
Remember:  Remotes can be the death of your relationship ? unless you explain to the client how they work. The key to most remotes isn?t how many people show up, but the residual effects it creates through the positive perception in the minds of the client?s customers for weeks to come. If a crowd does show, let it be a nice surprise!
BOTTOM LINE:  Once again, be sure your focus is on moving more product off your customer?s shelves. If it is, and you?re honest about what live remotes will and won?t deliver, you?ll avoid the dangers and reap the benefits.
Gary Ratcliff is the owner of High Impact Communications, Inc. and a broadcast sales author. Visit his LinkedIn page HERE.
(10/1/2014 6:05:09 AM)
Once while I was doing a remote, the car dealer told me he hoped it would rain. "More people come into test drive cars when it rains" he said.
Check the weather reports and schedule the remote when rain is predicted.

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