Advertising Sales – Faces?
Email me at (firstname.lastname@example.org) should you have some unforgettable advertising sales experience to share with fellow Media Owners here.
Advertising Sales has always been an “Art”, not a job. On top of racing towards multiple deadlines and meeting targets, there are also the “pain” of meeting advertising agencies, clients and running everywhere in between. Ad Sales is one of the most challenging sales jobs in the market among all the sales positions if you ask me. Nothing comes close.
What makes the job even more painful is when faced with some of the weirdest people in the industry. Tough Job?
Let’s take a look at the various “Potential Encounters” that a typical Media Owner may come face-to-face in a typical day…..
The “Dirty Old Man”
Account Servicing people will know what I am talking about, especially females. Once a female executive came to me ask me for advice. This is her story…
“I made an appointment to see this Mr. X from this sports equipment company. He looks like he is in his late 40s. He is well dressed and speaks with a gentlemen’s accent. But he keeps asking me to try out his machines”.
Hmmmm. I don’t see there’s anything wrong with doing that right? I thought to myself.
“But it’s every time he insisted I try his machines whenever I show up at his office wearing skirts. And some of the machines required ‘Opening and closing my legs’ and it is very embarrassing.”
Ah, I see the picture now. Surprisingly, such perverts still exists today. These advertisers take advantage of their position being the client and put these female executives through such an experience. I told this female executive to bring along a male colleague during her next visit to this Mr. X.
There’s another incident whereby a female colleague was “forced” to have lunch with this client from a cruise company. This is yet another man in his late 40s and he speaks with intentions, filled with hints and manipulated conversations suggestively to female executives who tried to sell him advertisements. This female executive is so scared that she kept sending out smses to all the male colleagues and asked if anyone is nearby to come to her rescue. This man even tries to offer her a job working with him!
The “Traditional Auntie”
This is yet another type of client which will drive account servicing people crazy. For a start, this type of client does not believed in advertising. There are male & female versions of such people, but however, it’s the latter that many avoids or hate to service.
Typically, it is considered a milestone by getting this client to agree to a sales presentation by you. Next, will be the even harder step of convincing “a cow to eat flowers.” I was servicing this optical company a couple of years ago.
The person in charge of advertising was this Mrs. L. Now, Mrs. L had been working for this company for many years. She had been advertising in the same media year after year. She only believes in advertising in media that she is familiar with. For example, she read “Sisters Pictorial (Jie Mei in mandarin)”, and just because she read this magazine, she thinks the whole world out there reads the same magazine and she advertised heavily in it. Crazy you may think, but that is how she qualifies good media.
I tried several times over the years to convince her to try advertising in other magazines but she never once did. Except a couple of ads that she gave me when I was representing some bigger magazines that she had heard or seen before. Sad isn’t it? The market had changed drastically since she started in this company decades ago and she is still in that era. Buying patterns had evolved and there are more and more better magazines in the market today and she still insists on advertising in magazines no longer read by this generation.
I stopped calling her for 2 years already. No point talking to a cow.
This is the type of client that “knows everything”.
I came across this marketing director from a hotel when I was representing a food magazine many years ago. Let’s call him ET.
ET : So how may I help you with today?
Me : Oh, as spoken on the phone, I am from the XXXX magazine. I am here to
understand your marketing plans better so that I may make some recommendations
for some advertising & promotional tie-ups.
ET : I see, what is the circulation like?
Me : This magazine has an audited circulation of XXXXX and a readership of
XXXXXXX. It’s circulated monthly and can be found in..
ET : I know I know, I’ve seen this magazine in many places.
Me : Good. It has reviews and good editorials and….
ET : I know I know, it even has “Hotel of the Month”, “Restaurant of the Month”…
Me : Wow, you seem to know my magazine very well.
ET : Yes, Yes, I there are also articles on wine selections, luxury goods, cars….etc.
Me : Then since you know our literature so well, will you advertise with us?
ET : Er………………….. but is this magazine effective? Is it really audited? Is it…..?
Me : ………………. Thank you. Bye.
I stand up and walk towards the exit. Wasting time right? First he claimed that he knows everything, and when I pop the question, he starts to find excuses. I didn’t think answering him will make any sense or made him buy any advertisement, so I made the exit and retained my dignity.
Well, the above are just examples of some of the weirdest people we encounter. I believed there are more “characters” out there in the advertising market. Just be careful, play your cards right and be extremely street-smart, especially ladies.
Now, anyone wish to try my “Sports Weight-Lifting Machine”?
* Total 409 Road Idiots Encountered on SG Roads.
* All Road Hoggers Dead.
* More "Media Free Play" from The Government.