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The right way to sell Sirius

Howard Stern’s campaign to push Sirius Satellite Radio through the holiday season continues tonight at 12:05 a.m. with a stop at ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” He’s already been on CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman” and NBC’s “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.”

While Howard should be commended for his sales effort, there is something fundamentally wrong with this approach.

Yesterday I was on the road for nearly three hours and I listened to Stern’s show on Sirius the entire way. His guests included Martha Stewart and Pamela Anderson. He opened gifts (one of which was an African American child) and attempted to literally shred the gifts he didn’t like (the child remains intact).

It was, in short, a terrific show.

But here’s the problem.

If you see Howard on Letterman or Conan of Kimmel you’ll enjoy Howard. And you’ll be reminded of how you’ve missed Howard – on Letterman or Conan or Kimmel.

You will not be reminded of how you’ve missed Howard on the radio because what you see on the TV chat shows is TV chat show Stern not morning radio Stern.

In other words, chat show Stern is giving you a taste of the wrong product. The best illustration of what you’re missing on Howard’s radio show is a piece of Howard’s radio show.

Any ten minute stretch from yesterday’s show would do a far better job at selling the show (and Sirius) than the ten minute segment Stern would produce on Letterman, Conan, or Kimmel.

I heard the show. It was outstanding. You’re missing out.

But how do YOU know that unless you hear it for yourself?

So Sirius, stop selling so hard. If you want listeners to know what they’re missing then give them a taste of the content you want them to pay for.

Offer up a free sample.

Not just once. And not just online. But all the time. And everywhere.

Put the samples before the audience like a speedbump on a one lane road. Don’t force consumers to take detours or to make ambitious cognitive leaps.

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