The best opening lines I've heard

Selling Radio Direct with Pat Bryson

The other day I called a potential client and a real, LIVE person answered the phone. Wow, a receptionist: Not a voice mail. That in itself was a reason to mark the day on my calendar, but what happened next was even more unusual. Here’s what I heard: “Good morning. How may I make your day great?” 

I nearly fell out of my chair. I immediately smiled and realized that by this simple phrase, she HAD made my day great.

It got me to thinking. What do YOUR clients hear when they call you? “You’ve reached XYZ company. If you know your person’s extension, you may dial it now. Or, hang on the line for an interminable list of extensions.” Or, even better, “Spell the person’s last name.” Or how about, “Our customer service representatives are all busy. Your wait time will be less than one hour.”

I don’t know about you, but my blood pressure has gone up a few notches after dealing with these scenarios. As we talk with our clients about how to entice customers back into their stores, we might want to address making it easy to connect. What happens in that initial contact can make or break what follows.

How about us? How is your station’s phone answered? The person who answers the phone is often the first contact potential clients or listeners have with us. Is it positive? Do we sound like we genuinely want to solve their problem? Does the person who encounters the problem follow it through to completion or hand it off to someone else and never think about it again?

We have two sets of customers: our listeners and viewers and our advertisers. Both are important to our success.

Some great opening lines I’ve heard on voice mail:

“I’m so sorry I can’t answer your call right now. I’m out helping my clients to make a swift recovery from last year. I’d enjoy helping you as well. If you’ll leave your name and number, I’ll call you back quickly.”

“Sorry I missed your call. I’m out discussing with my clients how to find good, qualified employees. If you’re recruiting, perhaps our stations might be of help. Leave your name and number and I’ll call you back.”

“Hi! You’ve reached Michelle Stubenbeck at 88.9 Shine FM and AM 700 The Light. Right now I’m out helping our clients create successful marketing campaigns. Leave me your name and number and I’ll do the same for you.” (This voice mail has Toby Mac’s “Feel It” playing if the person is on hold while the call transfers.)

Note that all of these focused on what the salesperson is doing for the clients. What problems are we helping them solve? We aren’t out “selling radio or TV” we are out working with our clients to raise their revenue, to help them to solve their after-COVID problems. 

I hope your first connection with customers will put a smile on their face. Be the ray of positivity in an uncertain world. Make it easy to connect with you. Don’t lose a customer at “hello”.


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