Get More Phone Calls With a Better Invitation To Call
by Tracy Johnson
Radio personalities all over the world report that phone calls to radio stations are lower than ever. It’s true, and there are many reasons for the decline in call volume. But there are a lot of things we can do about it. The simplest and most effective method is providing a better invitation to call.
In my seminar on demand Fill Your Phone Lines, I share several keys to getting more calls, including these tips:
- Actually answer the phone. Why would listeners call back if they get a constant busy signal or endless ringing with nobody picks up? By the way, if you’re in the personality business, why wouldn’t you have a phone screener?
- Put calls on. This may sound like a chicken-or-egg thing, but nothing causes the phone to ring like putting callers on.
- Make strong statements. A powerful comment or polarizing statement will provoke callers that otherwise wouldn’t engage.
- Leave Something Out or Get Something Wrong. These techniques are like magic tricks for driving phone response.
- Simplify the topic. Tell listeners exactly what you want and they’re much more likely to respond.
But there’s one technique that will deliver more calls, and that’s simply being more intentional about inviting participation. Just follow the example set by infomercials.
A Better Invitation To Call
No matter how inspired listeners feel, they won’t call if they don’t feel invited. And many listeners just don’t feel welcome to call in.
They rarely hear the phone number. That doesn’t mean you haven’t announced the number, but they’re not paying much attention.
I recommend radio personalities deliver the phone number like a TV infomercial:
- Give it slowly and clearly. Listeners aren’t able to keep up with you when you rattle through it too quickly. Enunciate each digit clearly and slow down!
- Repeat the number. Your audience hasn’t memorized the number, and remembering phone numbers isn’t that easy. Double up and give it again. Three times isn’t too much.
- Perhaps most importantly, deliver the invitation to call at the point of action. Infomercials never invite viewers to call at the beginning of the broadcast. They wait until you want the product. Then they make it easy to participate!
A Great Example of An Invitation to Participate
Many personalities are shy about asking listeners to call. They feel if they push it too hard, they’ll sound desperate. Or it will sound like they’re hyping the phone number too much.
But that doesn’t have to be the case.
Listen to this example of a terrific invitation to call from syndicated DeDe In The Morning:
Here’s why this is so effective:
It’s specific: DeDe puts out the call to hear from men, and she wants them to call right now. Defining exactly who you want to call will provoke a greater reaction.
It’s easy: She narrows the topic to asking if it’s “fair or foul”. By removing the “homework”, nearly anyone could call in. They don’t have to work that hard to participate.
Repeat the number: DeDe gives two numbers to call, and takes her time in delivering the digits. Then cohost Lady Jade repeats the number again.
We may not be able to cause listeners to call as much as they once did, but with a little attention to some basic techniques, we can attract far more phone action than we are. Don’t give up! Spend a few extra seconds to invite the audience to participate, and you’ll be amazed at how much the phone rings.