Tuesday, August 24, 2010, 01:12 PM
Posted by Administrator
For a couple of years, I have not advertised with ATT or the Yellow Pages. I had always found their prices too high and their salesman to be bullies.

Two men from ATT Advertising came to see me about three weeks ago to try to sell me internet advertising. I asked them to come back and give me prices.

A few days later, they came back with prices:
-$675 per month...more or less...for "pay per click". Google can charge $12 for every time some clicks on a featured website. ATT...a bulk buyer of google clicks...says they could do it for $2 a click.
-$1,000 per month...more or less...to be one of the featured 5 or 6 lawyers in a category in yellowpages.com (google "yellow pages" and then put in, for example, "criminal lawyer" and "palm beach gardens or boca raton".

I was undecided. As they left, I told them that the real advertising decision maker was my secretary.

The next day, the larger man called. I told him "no".

Two days later, they both showed up again and planted themselves in my office. They stayed planted through a conference call I had scheduled with a state agency. They stayed through phone calls. They stayed.

The younger man, who was the boss, had always made it clear that he did not think that he was "selling me". I had always told him that, as a former salesman (cars, motorcycles & computers), I didn't see anything bad about the word "sales" and that I hoped he was trying to sell me...(if not, then what WAS he doing?). At our final meeting, he said "I'm not like a used car salesman." I reminded him that I had been a used car salesman; didn't particularly rip people off; and had learned a lot from the experience.

The young man was indefatigable...a word I have never used before (incapable of being tired out; not yielding to fatigue... THE RANDOM HOUSE DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, THE UNABRIDGED EDITION, 1966, 1967). He never stopped selling and never stopped denying that he was selling. "Would you do it if it were free?" "You told me last time you would spend $10?" "Don't you think you would get more business?" "Do you really not think that the advertising would pay for itself?" He tried to express disbelief that I wouldn't go along with what he was suggesting (...wouldn't buy what he was SELLING).

Finally, I asked the older man to walk with me. We went outside and I told him "I told you that the decision maker on advertising was my secretary. You violated the first rule of sales----speak to the decision maker."

At this moment, the younger man ran out of the office. He was very agitated. "They sent my son home with the walkers.", he said. It was the first day of school. His son was supposed to be driven home. Now, he said, they couldn't find his son.

The older man went back into my office to get their papers. As the older man he walked out, the younger man said to me "I was going to give you a free ad in the Wellington directory."

Then, they left. I phoned the next day to see if everything was okay with the son.

I don't think I'm getting the free ad.

RULES OF SALESMANSHIP (thanks to Joe Trivisone frmrly Burroughs Corporation Territory Manager and Frank Simone frmrly Sales Manager, Volkswagen of Bayside):
1) Deal only with a decision maker.
2) Make your customer want to be like you...live your life.
3) Ask for the order.
4) Whoever talks first loses.

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