List Of Advertisers Best Turn-Down Lines To Advertising Salespeople
Telling It Like It Is--An Advertising Salesperson's Life Is Sometimes Miserable
You have the salesmen. A salesman. And if you are a woman, a salesperson. I like that last one better. Sales persons have a tough job--selling things to potential clients in and out of the city to help them have a more-successful business. If you have never attempted to work as an advertising salesperson, I urge you to DON'T DO IT, unless you love to be rejected, lied to, be given run-around's, and frankly, detested by some clients who actually need advertising to increase the traffic in their businesses.
What Makes A Good Salesperson . . .
- Patience - if you are not patient, then your chances of succeeding are minimal.
- Friendly - this is a great asset if you are going to make it as an advertising salesperson.
- Good Memory - is helpful, but not expected. You can use notes to help you remember the client's names, their favorite football team and children's birthdays.
- Endurance - you will endure many turn-downs on your way to being a "top dog" in the sales department.
- Stamina - will benefit you greatly. Advertising sales is not for the ones who are tired and just lag behind. The sales go to the strong, outgoing salespersons with large amounts of stamina.
What Makes An Unsuccessful Salesperson . . .
- Rough - appearance. This tells the potential, high-end client, that you do not care about how you look, so how are you to care about the client's advertising campaigns?
- Selective Hearing - is a negative in the ad sales game. If you do not hear every word and thought the client expresses, then you will be lost when it comes to closing the sale.
- Overbearing - attitudes, well, they do not belong to an ad salesperson.
- Short Temper - in an ad salesperson means one thing: FAILURE. Maybe a nasty letter from the client who you told off because he didn't spend a lot of money for ads you were selling.
- Bashful - no explanation needed. If one is bashful, he or she needs to work at Disneyland in Orlando as a dwarf during the summer vacation season.
Sales persons far and near, are known to sell things from life insurance, cars, Bibles, land, vacation get-aways, investment plans, and I suppose the most difficult item to sell, besides life insurance, is ADVERTISING. Radio advertising to be exact. This is a very personal story for me, for I know a good friend who, for years, worked both--on-air at a local radio station and when he was off the air, he sold ads or "spots," for the radio station in the afternoons. He stayed sad and depressed most of the time. He seldom had a smile on his face.
By way of explanation, there is a big difference in newspaper advertising, a job that I had in 1975, and selling radio spots. A newspaper has those big, full-page ads in color that promote everything from new cars to used cars, furniture to clothing. Newspaper ads are sold by the column inch. And the bigger the market and circulation of the newspaper, the more-expensive the ad becomes. Newspaper ads are called display ads. A newspaper also has ads called 'classified ads,' that are for individuals who are renting their homes, selling a car, or looking for a house-broken dog. These are not as expensive as display ads.
A radio station, depending on the market they are located, has 'spots,' segments of air, that are sold by the minute. A local FM station near by hometown sells spots for $5.00 per 30-seconds. That can ad up after a while, but if the ad representative or salesperson is on top of his game, and sells himself to the client before he sells his product, the spots, he might be on his or her way to a successful career in radio advertising sales. Some radio advertising is sold in packages. To explain. Let's say you are a car dealer who wants spots located at just the right time--drive-time from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. for the office workers, or during football season, another highly-popular time for advertisers to buy packages. You tell your radio ad sales rep to put your spots into a 'drive-time package,' which your spots will be strategically-placed at any given time between 7:00 and 9:00 a.m. And your package would cost $300.00 a month, not a spot, so you are actually saving money by purchasing ad packages instead of a few spots. Fact: some of the bigger radio stations located in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Birmingham, Alabama, that is near to my hometown can sell a single 30-second spot for as much as $1200.00 and that is a bargain for the coverage these giants of the radio industry provide.
During my limited time in radio ad sales from 2000 until 2002, my friend, Kenneth "Dr. J" Jackson, (a real guy), would meet for coffee during our down-times, which was a lot of the times when ad sales were not going well, and talk over several cups of coffee at our local Burger King. Jackson and I have been great friends before I tried and failed at radio ad sales, and after we both left that 'jungle' behind a few years ago. Kenneth Jackson the perfect radio ad salesperson. He is patient, soft-spoken, a great listener, easy to get along with, and not overbearing or bashful. "I just got tired of being turned down," Jackson said to me after he resigned at the radio station where we both worked. And I understood what me meant. Fully.
To cheer each other up, we would sit, sip coffee, and compare the various lines that our advertisers would use to turn us down when we would call on them for radio advertising. Some lines are sensible, while others are bizarre. And then there are some lines that defy a NASA engineer's sophisticated thought processes. I am totally serious.
Here are a few samples of
Advertisers' Best Turn-Down Lines For Radio Salespeople . . .
Let me take a look at it and we will get back to you. Not a chance, Jack! This, we found out, is a cover-all line shared by advertisers who will not 'take a look at it,' your proposal, although so cheap you will not make any commission, and just conveniently not call you back.
Sounds good. Holler back at me and you do. Holler back at the would-be, high-dollar advertiser only to find out that he has left for a two-week vacation in Bermuda. And this is strange. He has just opened his car lot. But what hurts the worst is that you hear his spots on another radio station while he is gone. Wouldn't it be the honorable thing to do, and I mean the "skip town" advertiser who led you on to just call you and say, "not interested"?
We gonna 'lay in the weeds' this line still boggles my mind. Only snakes lie in the weeds. Vipers to be exact. I had a car dealer tell me this with a straight face. My sales manager said to not waste my time on people like this, so I didn't. Hope that he didn't get in a bed of fire ants. As comic, Jerry Seinfield says, "that's a shame."
Gimme your number and I'll call you back tomorrow if you bite on this, you are not a sharp radio ad salesperson, you are a large mouth bass about to be hauled in by fishing champion, Bill Dance. A few truthful advertisers, I say a few now, will call you back, but not many. Just call them back when they 'forget' to call you like they say, and casually fade out of their business. The forgetful advertiser will not miss you.
Your spots are just way high this line coming from a furniture dealer who sells junk furniture. And you show this person that your ad package is almost free. Some advertisers, let's be real honest, are just cheap. No way you can change them, so create a new list of clients right away.
My wife doesn't like your music and you are basing your decision on whether or not to run your ads with my station by a woman who hasn't seen daylight in years for she stays shut up in your home watching Real Housewives of New Jersey, smoking Newport cigarettes and maxing-out your Visa card. Yeah. This makes sense. Oh, we could spend $200,000.00 a change our format that has worked for years--just for you and your wife and that $100.00 package you aren't buying. Yeah. Good luck staying in business. Do you also ask your hermit wife for permission to watch Monday Night Football too?
My stomach hurts when I hear the cost of your package this turn-down line is in the same category as "we gonna lay in the weeds," turn-down line. This was actually said to me by a plumber who had a lucrative plumbing business and said he was a Vietnam vet. I applauded that very much. He told me point-blank that each time his stomach hurt, meant for him to not do so and so. And I had worked it out with our program director to place his spots near the hottest broadcast of the morning: the obituaries. Small town radio stations where I live broadcast obituaries for the benefit of their elderly listeners. Still, I wouldn't want to have to fork out a few bucks for Pepto Bismol to help a man's stomach when it hurt.
Gotta take this call clever. A mastermind of turn-down lines thought of this years ago. You are sitting in the office of a real estate broker. He is almost sold on your economical package when the phone rings. He tells you with a beaming smile, "gotta take this," and he yaks and yaks for thirty minutes---laughing, slapping his knee at something funny the person on the phone has said. Now for the ultimate insult. He swings his high-back leather chair around so he doesn't face you as you are forced to wait. And wait. While he continues yakking. But you notice as you look through the glass front of his office that his secretary is having an equally-good time on the phone. Could it be? A clever way for him to hit on his secretary while insulting you? Think about it.
He's gone to Florida on business his obedient secretary, "Barb," tells you when you arrive at the time that the advertiser said to be at his office. He set the appointment. Not you. So you hide your disgust. Smile and sheepishly say, "that's fine. I will call later," and you are about to leave, but you see him, the advertiser, sitting with his salespeople in a side office leaning back with his shoes on the table eating Krispy Kreme doughnuts like they will not make any more doughnuts ever. He accidentally sees you, and swiftly looks away. This is a great indication that you are not getting his business. Oh you have been 'given the business,' but not one that pays for your gas to get to his office.
I can't see what you are selling this is a cute line. Who can see air? And the radio spot as it is being broadcast? Does he not know that you are from a RADIO STATION, not a NEWSPAPER? Or does he even care to know the difference?
Buddy, can you 'get with me' Friday evening? when you hear 'buddy,' from someone who doesn't even know you, then it's a safe bet you are not going to sell this man any radio time. But, being true to your loyal nature, you show up on the Friday evening that he is talking about and when he sees you, he says, Now what was your name again? After you spent three hours talking to him watching him write your company name down, your name down on his desk pad, and now he has memory problems? Just graciously shake his hand and say something nice to him and leave. Do not waste your time, for it is valuable. More valuable than his.
Words and Phrases to Listen For while talking to an advertiser that will let you know that he is not going to do business with you . . .
- The advertiser says, "huh?" a lot mostly in mid-sales pitch. This tells you he isn't interested. Or listening.
- The advertiser says, "cost?" that can only mean that he doesn't want to or will not pay his bill "if" he runs your cheapest package.
- The advertiser says, "you like jam or jelly?" his mind is not focused on your product. Say jam and close out this sales call.
- The advertiser says, "hmmm," a lot while he is 'acting' like he is reading over your radio station brochure. This is his unconscious way of turning you down ahead of time.
- The advertiser says, "gotta think about it some more," and he has already 'thought about it' for six months. Does he really expect you to suddenly have an Ad Give Away just for him?
Before I close, just let me extend to you, the salespeople of America, my fondest salute for the thankless job that you do to keep our great country running. I mean that.
And a final piece of free sales advice: Take your time before you start your sales calls. Do some background research on your potential client, legally of course, by talking to other advertising salespeople who might have called on this potential client and see how they fared with them?
And call first to make an appointment. Gasoline is expensive. Too expensive to waste driving from town to town making unannounced ad calls. Do yourself and your radio station (or whatever business you work for) a huge favor. Make sure that the client will be in their office when you arrive.
Nothing, and I do mean, nothing is more frustrating than having to sell ads to an empty chair.