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Advertising Reps Are Snake Oil Salespeople

I bet that title grabbed your attention. You realize that our profession doesn’t have the greatest reputation, right? During a recent conversation with the general manager of a multi-franchise car dealership, he shared his view on advertising salespeople. Admittedly, this is one person’s opinion but…

As we learned from the dealer, knowing HIS business is the key to earning his business. Our goal with these tips is to give media sellers some tips on how they might be able to earn time in front of a decision maker at a dealership. Here’s the shocking truth our veteran dealer revealed:

“I don’t have the time to sit down and hear a pitch,” he stated. “I don’t understand your world, and I don’t try to understand it. When someone sits in front of us and talks about frequency and air time and all this, that doesn’t mean anything to me. My world revolves around the question of: How many cars is it going to help me sell? I’ve got an agency that calls me once a week and sends me an email once a week telling me what the latest thing is that’s working in other markets. I don’t take the calls. Everybody tells us the same thing. Everyone says their advertising works, everyone says they’re number one. Most advertising salespeople are snake-oil salespeople.” This dealer admitted to having some great relationships with advertising salespeople over the years, but when we asked how many new reps he’ll see this week, he said, “ZERO.” Two things stuck out in this dealer’s mind as to what might prompt him to meet with an advertising rep:

Referrals - A friend or business colleague recommending a person to him would likely earn a meeting.

Seeing him after hours - Not a single rep has ever called him after 5 p.m. on a weekday, but he works till 8 or 9 most nights. If an advertising rep came to see him at 7:15p.m., he would likely have time for them.

Are you willing to work after 5 p.m.? Are you willing to get your current customers to call your dealership prospects first? These are two ways we’ve found that will lead to the likelihood of being able to start a new relationship with a car dealer.

RAB.com has a wealth of information for calling on car dealers. RAB offers an Automotive Tool Kit, Instant Backgrounds, Consumer Behavior by Format, Auto Buyer Profiles, The Pitch, Ad Spending by Category and a whole lot more. Look for these tools under Sales Tools at RAB.com. If you need help, just ask RAB!

Automotive continues to be a very strong category for advertising revenue. Your RAB is committed to helping you with tools and resources to impact this critical sales category.

Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at Jeff.Schmidt@RAB.com. You can also connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB