Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Three Lies

Did you ever lie to a sales person? Think about your answer carefully.
Of course you did!
How about the last time a carpet cleaning salesperson phoned you at home? Didn’t you say something like, “Sorry, someone just cleaned my carpets last week.”  It wasn’t true, but you politely dismissed the sales person’s pitch.
When an insurance agent  cornered you,  have  you never  said,  “I just  renewed my insurance last night, but  you can call me next year”?  Or, how about telling a salesperson on a car lot,  ..Just looking”.
You lied!  But that’s really not such a bad lie, if you understand the motivation.    It’s called, “reciprocal empathy” or the fear of rejection.
Everyone fears rejection, and you, as a salesperson, understand rejection like no one else. You are basically a decent person, and because you have empathy, you do not want to outright “reject” the carpet cleaning solicitor or the insurance salesperson.   Instead, you would rather tell little white lies to get rid of them, gently.  When the clerk asks, “May I help you?” your immediate response is, “Just looking,” even though you went there to buy.
Your clients are no different. They lie to sales reps every day.  I mean that in the nicest possible way. They don’t want you to feel rejected, so they have perfected the three biggest lies which always work. When I say, “work,” I mean these lies get rid of 90 percent of advertising salespeople without making them feel personally rejected.
The three biggest lies told to advertising salespeople are:
1.  Business is too good. I couldn’t handle any more.
2.  Business is too bad. I can’t afford to advertise.
3.  My budget is all gone, or, my plan for the year is complete.
These “lies” are not a rejection of you or your company. They haven’t said “You’re too expensive” or, “You have the wrong audience”.   Instead, they have internalized the rejection, putting the blame for not buying, on themselves. These lies work because you still feel good and you don’t have to defend yourself or your company.
I submit to you that these are ALWAYS lies, however. Everyone in business wants more business. And, if they believe you can help them get it, they will add to their capacity, change their media plans or even borrow more advertising dollars from their own mothers. Always.

Shouting Outside the Box

 In “Twelve Causes of Advertising Failure”,  by Roy Williams, he identifies “over-confidence in qualitative targeting” as one of the primary causes of advertising that fails.
Nowhere is “qualitative targeting” more misguided than in business-to-business marketing. Many business-to-business marketers forget that business people are people too… they follow their favourite sports teams on the radio, they listen for weather reports, and they each have their own musical tastes.
The internet has totally changed where businesses are located. The old days of targeting “business zip codes” to reach businesses have long passed. Technology has made it possible to operate more businesses from home than ever before.
The “qualitative targeting” misnomer has also resulted in the misguided pursuit of “the decision makers”, creating marketing campaigns which bypass the decision “influencer”.
Consider a printing company trying to attract more business accounts, for example. They’ll often target the person who signs the cheques in an organization, but when that individual needs more business cards, more often than not, they’ll ask a receptionist or executive assistant to get three quotes.
It’s that executive assistant or receptionist who chooses which printers get to quote on the business cards.
Imagine the impact of a radio campaign that says “The next time the boss asks you to order a printing job, consider ABC printing….we’ll make you look like a hero.”
The best marketers use the element of surprise to create unpredictable campaigns. There is an element of surprise when a “non-traditional” business-to-business advertiser tells their story on-air.
The ENS Media Inc. advertising success formula is: 

Share of voice = Share of mind = Share of market 

    A whisper can be the dominant share of voice, “outside of the box”, if everyone else is shouting in the box.