One of the things I’m always getting asked about is phone calls – how to get listeners to call, how to get better calls, and how to build a dependable core of really good callers. Over the years, I’ve coached hundreds of people on this, so if you want the phones to ring, here you go…
The first challenge for a large number of stations is simply how to get phone response – at all, in some cases. The easiest answer is from my friend Wally (WAY-FM) who says “If you’re not getting calls, it’s because you’re not interesting.”
The fast path to “interesting” is knowing who your target listener is, then talking about what he or she thinks actually matters today. People bond with people who share their likes and concerns. Of course.
But to get high-quality calls, “highlight reel” stuff, is a different level.
Here’s what I believe is the simplest thought to get more and better calls. Remember…
People will rarely have anything great to say about something that’s speculative in nature – “What if…” stuff. What people are best at is talking about something they’ve already experienced.
Games are fine; they’ll get calls. But soft or formulaic-sounding “topics and phone calls” bits are like fast food. That’ll satisfy some people. But if that’s all you’re aiming for, it’s not enough.
Callers, or really good callers?
The next level:
Legendary shows know that tapping into people’s home movies always works. And the more you do that, the more a caller “culture” is created; one that’s funny and more substantial. And it ends up being always available.
It’s SO easy. But it’s an art, too, and it takes discipline.