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Advertising Season!

In this column, our man GCom discusses advertising salespeople’s tricks and how silly they are. ______________________________________________________ Written by GCom Damn! I almost forgot about it until yesterday. “Advertising Season” is my term for the second and fourth fiscal quarters of a year. Roughly April to June and October to December. These are the times when people looking to score [...]

In this column, our man GCom discusses advertising salespeople’s tricks and how silly they are.

______________________________________________________
Written by GCom

Damn! I almost forgot about it until yesterday.

“Advertising Season” is my term for the second and fourth fiscal quarters of a year. Roughly April to June and October to December. These are the times when people looking to score my money come filing through my phone and door with a sales-pitch. The various phone-book people, the kitchen magnet people, the internet people, the newspaper people, the pet-branding people, the custom pen people, the buried-by-foliage billboard people, the kids meal flyer people, etc, etc…

For any of you advertising people who are reading this, here’s a little advice for when you deal with me: don’t drop my first name. Assuming that you can use my first name as soon as you get to talk to me is just going to put a black mark on your attempts for me. I know it’s a ploy to try to build familiarity and improve the chance of selling me whatever it is your hawking, but I know it’s a ploy, and I resent it. If you want to get into a business relationship with me, do not assume that being overly friendly will help… I’m very polite about it, but it almost always comes down to the numbers. Dropping my first name to whatever Filthy Assistant answers the phone in an attempt to seem like you are my friend or something… I don’t appreciate the presumption. 9 times out of 10, no matter how cool a deal you may have, because you used what I feel is trickery, I’m going to disappoint you. That’s probably just me, but I like me, and I’ve no plan to stop being me.

So, yesterday, the advertisers found me. The first one was a simple phone call, trying to get me to go with an online advertising firm. I’ll make the recap of the encounter short, but I basically (after a question and answer session with a very polite young man) was unwilling to spend vast sums of money on some kids in a dorm who make web-pages, don’t own their own equipment, have no contracts, or use the word “Man…” at the end of every sentence (“I dunno, man… I’ll have to check, man… We can do that, man…”).

The next advertising salesperson was a young gent trying to get me to plaster my name all over a statewide advertising newspaper. He came in, gave me a very nice approach, dropped the name of a person we both knew in common (which in this rare case was a good move on his part), and didn’t pressure me. He was prepared with a rate-sheet (you’d be surprised how many sales people can’t tell you on paper the cost of what their services cost. They often pass you along to the next person in their chain.). If the money had been a bit easier on me, and the demographic was better, and the company hadn’t treated me shabbily in a previous encounter (the salesperson had no clue about that, so it wasn’t his fault), I may have considered it a bit more. I ended up saying “No”, but the salesman hit me just right with his pitch, was friendly, and I’m keeping his card on file in case I change my mind. While I said no for the immediate future, he’s on my mind. Decent job as far as it goes for a salesperson dealing with me for the first time.

The third sales-job came in the door about 10 minutes after we’d gotten the previous one out of the way. It was at this point I slapped myself in the forehead and went “Oh crap, it’s advertising season.”

This pitch was on a much more professional level of approach. Would I like to advertise my store on a large “Hotspots of the City” poster? In my head I thought “Yes, yes I would.”, but that voice can be misleading and hurt you. I listened to the rest of the sales-pitch, and while the price for this was tolerable, the thing that killed the deal for me was the distribution method. In this case, this company was going to be getting this “Hotspots” poster to the public by placing a stack of said poster inside local churches for people to pick up if they were so inclined. I really don’t think that’s the best method of advertising for most places, let alone a comic store, so once again I declined.

Besides, I spent some time in a Catholic school. Churches make me feel funny.

As I got this third advertising salesperson out the door, I looked at Filthy Assistant Dusty. He had his bemused expression on his face, which is just about all one can do when they realize this is probably the start of a full-scale assault.

“I think that’s enough advertisers for today.” I stated to him and looking at the clock (which said that I’d been thrown a verbal assault of this nature three times in the past 45 minutes).

He nodded and asked “What is that? Like three?”

“Something like that. I have thusly had my fill of this for today at least.” I replied.

“Got it.” Said Filthy Assistant Dusty, as he kicked into soldier-mode and I felt understood that at this point, full phone screening was in effect.

I strode back to my office (and my spicy lemon tea, which was getting lonely without me) muttering “Enough of that.”

As of today, I’m burnt on advertising sales-pitches. Someone trying to sell me something at this point will be frustrated. Be warned.

-Gary

Discuss here.


Posted originally: 2006-11-10 12:27:10
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