Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Good Salespeople

Man you would not believe the lengths that this guy will go to in order to make it the most difficult possible for me to cut back on our spending with his account. Usually, meetings with YP reps are 10-15 minutes of sales pitches and contract signing. My meeting with him started at 11:30 and is just now over at 1:15. All because we wanted to scale our spending back from around $1200 to $600. He acted like it was just impossible. He talked and gave me alternatives and pouted about how he just hates to see us lose so much business because our ad isn't a full page in the yellow pages... sigh. I don't really believe much business comes from the yellow pages. I kinda think, (i.e.) if you're looking for a bakery, you'd look in the yellow pages under "bakery" and just read down the list and probably call the location that is nearest to you. That's it. I think the location is the primary factor for people when choosing among similar businesses in the yellow pages.

What do you think?

I don't think it matters what size their ad is, especially when it's a sizeable one and they have to flip the page to even see it.

Oh yes, if it were an impersonal system, I would click and make all of our ads the bare basics - regular listings. No ads at all. No bold print. But the very saddest part is that what keeps me from doing that is the rep. They have tactics to make you think it's way too complicated to do that. I believe one of this guy's tactics was to wear me out with an almost 2 hour long meeting... during the time when normal people eat LUNCH no less! When he realized I wasn't budging (I couldn't, I have to meet the budget that is set for me), he called his own boss and asked him, "now what can we do for this company?" as if he was the intercessor to the big bad yellow pages just trying to help me out. His boss ran a few numbers, took about half an hour on the speaker phone with him, and finally got me a figure just under $700. Ok, it had been too long, his tactics were working. I couldn't take any more of his enthusiasm and sales pitches and "miraculous success stories all because of an ad on the cover of the yellow pages." $700 was good enough for me. It brought me well within my budget and leaves me a little room because we haven't lined out all the books for the rest of the year quite yet.

I feel worse than I did this morning, I think its because I was putting on a fake smile for 2 hours straight. The ache in my neck and shoulders has traveled up to my face. Haven't had lunch yet - but I didn't bring anything so appetizing. It's a salad but I didn't have anything really good to put in there. I'd almost rather not eat at all. Maybe I'll go home for lunch, not that there's anything there, but I can lay down and rest my eyes.

I know I'm sick, and I was trying to put my finger on "the feeling." What is it that causes you to just know you're sick, even if you're not throwing up or have a fever? It's that I have an awful taste in my mouth... seriously.

So I'm really thinking I can ask my boss for a raise. But not today... today I dressed like crap to reflect the way I'm feeling. No, maybe tomorrow. This morning, my big boss (as in over my boss) called me into his office and asked me if I would take on two volunteer positions. One is to be on the 4-person committee for planning March of Dimes fundraisers, and the other is to put in about 5 hours teaching at some local schools about business. The second one, yes, I am a little nervous about what I just signed up for. The first one should be easy. I'll get to work with 3 girls in the office that I've kind of always wanted to get to know better, so I'm really seeing that as a good thing.

So about the teaching thing. I have experience working with junior high kids, which is primarily what I'd be doing. I don't have any details yet - like I don't know if it's 5 hours a day...week...month? It's something my big boss has done himself over the years and he said the director of it saw my article in one of the local magazines (that's another story entirely), but she emailed my big boss and asked him if I'd be willing and able to do it. It's out of my comfort zone, but just for that reason, I feel like I should do it. Afterall, this isn't the company I plan on spending the rest of my career with and this isn't the town I plan on living in the rest of my life, so now's the time to take the risk of looking like a fool. On the flip side, it also makes me look willing to do anything, which should help my request for a raise (c:

After taking on 2 more volunteer positions and having a 2 hour meeting with that YP rep, AND being sick, I feel like more money is an acceptable request at the moment.

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