Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wed Morning Meeting July 28, 2010


The following conversation is real:

Sales assistant:  "XXXXXXX Newspaper, how may I help you?"

Me: "Hi, I need to place an ad for a new client, but I don't know who handles the category."

Sales assistant: "Oh, OK.  Have you placed an ad with us here before?"

Me: (Keeping a straight face, as we've placed thousands with this paper) "Yes, I'm calling from an agency."  

Sales assistant:  "What is the name of the business?"

Me: "The name of the agency or of the client?"

Sales assistant:  "Your business."

Me: "My business is an agency.  I'm calling to place an ad for a client. Which name would you like?"

Sales assistant: "The business."

Me: (Pushing the "panic" button)  "The agency is Harrison Edwards, and the client is XXXXXXXX."

Sales assistant: "Where is the business located?"

Me: "The client is based in Westchester County."

Sales assistant: "What part of the County?"

Me: "Wouldn't you like to know the category?"

Sales assistant: (silence)

Me: "White Plains. The category is education."

Sales assistant: "Well, I don't know who I'm going to send you to, because there are two people who handle White Plains and two people who handle education. I'll transfer you to the sales manager who can help you."

The sales manager listens to my voicemail and assigns a rep who calls back about 6 hours later.  

There are about eight morals to be learned in this story.  

I find that having multiple reps from one media outlet with multiple "territories" drives me a bit crazy. It's difficult to keep track of so many people (not to mention the inevitable turn-over in the business).  It sometimes feels like a full-time job just trying to keep up with these outlets.  I know that having reps with specific territories make things easier for you as a media outlet, but it's horrible for the agency.  

If your station is considering changing to this method of customer service, I beg of you to look and see how the world of print is fairing these days.  Please stick with the one agency, one rep policy that so many have adopted.  

It all comes down to the most common or common sense:  Try not to complicate and/or slow down the process when somebody is trying to give you money.  

Plus, it's hard to justify an Onstar subscription these days!

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