This week I want to talk about your education, or more importantly who is educating you? As a general rule, you should never get your marketing education from the same person who is trying to sell you advertising, and this applies to all forms of advertising, both offline and online.
The Sales Rep has one job to do: sell you advertising. And that’s what they’re going to do. It’s not their fault if you’re naive.
When I first moved to Cairns from the Gold Coast my business boomed, even without me gaining any additional business knowledge. But in all the excitement, I almost went broke because I signed up for advertising that was a bad fit for my business and my target market.
I was led to believe that reach was more important than frequency, and I overspent and blew my marketing budget. It was a painful learning experience, and it took me a few years to fully recover, but there was no one to blame other than myself.
Hindsight is a great teacher, and this is why I know for a fact you need to understand marketing, even if it’s just the basics. This is why I think you have to have a business mentor who has experience in dealing with sales reps and extensive marketing experience.
If your Sales Rep invites you to a marketing workshop, put on by their company, it’s okay to attend, but don’t sign anything at the event and be aware that their opinions will be biased. Radio is always better than television – all you need to do is ask your Radio Rep., and TV is far better than radio, ask your Television Rep.
And newspaper-advertising trumps them both – just ask your Newspaper Rep. And if you were confused about online marketing versus traditional offline marketing, don’t be concerned because they will both tell you why their product is better, and they can even back it up with statistics and flashy charts, so they must be right.
You may think it’s more comfortable to work with a media agency instead of individual Sales Reps and this may be true. You only have to deal with one shark instead of multiple sharks, but remember, one big shark can do more damage and do it faster than a pack of smaller sharks just taking smaller bites.
The big difference with a media agency, though, is they will help you plan your media campaign as well as buying advertising space on your behalf, so if you’re busy, this may suit you perfectly; however, you need to check the credentials of the company before committing.
Who have they worked with in the past? Can you contact any past clients? If the media agency is just a one-person company with a business name, you want to see their resume and review their experience. Check them out just like you would any employee.
Beware The Con
If you’re approached with an advertising proposal over the telephone, always request information via email and ask for a contact number so you can call them back and verify their existence.
A few years back my Receptionist received a telephone call from a Police Officer wanting to speak with the business owner urgently. Well, of course, they got me because it was the Police. When I got on the telephone, he quickly explained it was not a Police matter, so there was no need to be concerned. Instead, he was calling to find out if I wanted to advertise in the local Police Journal.
I had come highly recommended, but he couldn’t recall the person (of course not because he was making it up). After his long speech, he informed me I could pay via credit card, over the telephone. I asked if he could email me the information so I could think about it and he said he couldn’t because he didn’t have an email account (that’s odd).
He also couldn’t fax the information because he didn’t have a fax machine, and finally he couldn’t give me a return telephone number because he did not know what it was. When I asked which station he was located at, he hung up. Yes, it was a con, but I was acutely aware.
Don’t get disheartened. Not all Sales Reps are trying to rip you off; some are honest people with a good product, and eventually, you will develop close, trusting relationships with many of your Sales Reps as they get to know you and your business.
I hope you get something from this weeks Five Minute Friday and if you have any questions, please email me at
It's No Secret Business Conference
On the 17th and 18th of August 2018. I will be holding a 2-Day It's No Secret Business Conference in Cairns and this year's theme is 'Communication, Persuasion and Influence'. My Keynote Speaker is David M Frees from Pennsylvania, who was also my guest on Podcast Episode 2. Bookings are NOW OPEN, and for more details, please visit my EVENTS page. (Limited to 50 attendees)
First 16 Pages of My Book – It’s No Secret There’s Money in Small Business.