The Case for a Toll-Free Number

October 2005
by Bryan Farrish

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Most people who do radio
interviews for the first time seem to undervalue (if not totally disregard) the
power of having a toll-free number for ordering that they can announce during
their interviews. You must understand that well over half your listeners are
out of their homes, and that the single biggest chunk consists of people who
are listening in their cars.

During an interview, you need to
announce your toll-free order number frequently—about every 5 or 10 minutes,
depending on the length of the total interview—so that car listeners can call
in on their cell phones and order. Home listeners might call too, but they have
other ways to order, and it’s really the car listeners you are after.

The phone number must be announced
not only repeatedly but also clearly and slowly, and it must be easy to
remember, so that car listeners can call it. . Announcing the number only once
at the end of the interview, or worse, just posting it on the station’s Web site,
will almost guarantee that you will get no calls.So, you ask, how do you get
away with announcing your number so often? Won’t the host perceive that as too
pushy? No, not if you do two things: First, confidently and politely slide your
order number into your interview. This takes practice, and the technique can be
learned. Second, offer some sort of Top 10 list that listeners can call in and
arrange to get free via em

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