Hooked On Phonics

In Seth Godin’s book Permission Marketing, he talks about the success of Hooked on Phonics. Their nationwide radio advertising helped them grow from zero to over $100 million in revenue, without trying to sell anything in the ads. They didn’t even mention the price. They simply sold the benefits of the program by asking potential customers to call the toll free number to get free information on how to help your kids. This was a no-brainer for the potential customer; free information to help my kids. Of course millions called and gave permission to Hooked on Phonics (HOP) to learn more about the product.

Simply asking permission to have dialog turned out to be much easier than trying to actually make a sale in a 30 or 60-second ad. Once permission was granted, HOP was able to take all the time it needed to sell the customer…because the customer was asking for more information, actually inviting HOP to give them more details about the program.

These days, people are too busy and are confronted with too many choices. It’s hard to ask them to stop for a second and really listen to your message. Are you prepared to take the time to actually build a relationship with potential customers instead of just selling one product to one customer at a time?

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