Online advertising works by paying salespeople commission on every sale they make. These salespeople will change company every 14 months on average, so generally have very little actual loyalty to their company, and are just interested in their commission.
Although there are numerous exceptions to the rule, they will often not necessarily know what they are talking about, but are practised enough in their spiel to convince their customers that they know more than they do.
This is a somewhat harsh generalisation of course but unfortunately it is very difficult to tell the difference between actually knowledgeable and talented sales people, and the charming idiots.
This is important for you to know, because in reality, when you buy advertising space from someone over the phone, you are in practise really only dealing with the salesperson and not the company as a whole. The salesperson is just selling, what they are selling is unimportant to them – it’s just a job.
Sure the salespeople’s managers, and the company’s leadership will impact on what they can and can’t do, and how they sell to you overall, but it is important to remember that the sale itself is conceived as a personal relationship between you and the salesperson.
The salesperson will want you to think they are your friend and that they are great at their job, so that when they move company, they can take you and your advertising budget with them.
It is equally worth your time to cultivate a good relationship with them; if you can convince them that you will be a regular lifelong customer of theirs, they will make efforts to give you better customer service than perhaps your budget would otherwise garner, and may call you to give you a good deal whenever they need to make just a little extra money to hit their goals.
We know this sounds excessively cynical, but it’s the game that they are already playing with you, so you might as well take advantage of it rather than be taken advantage of.
The industry is too big for this way of doing business to change any time soon, and the honest truth is – you will probably actually like the salespeople who you deal with.
They are trained to make you like them, and they are paid a lot for it so they are usually having a good time at it, and will want you to have a good time too. If you just stay focused on results, and don’t let yourself be confused by jargon, it can be a pleasant experience all round.