A guy I used to work with used to say something really funny (but true) about advertising sales people. He said:
“THEY’RE NOT YOUR FRIENDS!”
He said this because in this particular company, the sales people were somewhat empowered to make media buys. And when these sales people would come to us (the Marketing Dept.) with a media buy, they would say, “My friend is a rep at this radio station and she’s giving me a great deal” or “My buddy sells billboard space and he’s cutting us a special rate”.
He coined this phrase because he had to literally convince our people that they really were not friends with the reps. The reps were just selling them.
I’m not sure if I need to go as far as saying that you can’t be friends with them, but I do know this: If ad reps sincerely cared about your business:
- They would check in with you on a quarterly basis to see how your brand is performing and not just when it’s time to re-up the contract.
- They would report the growth or other positive news of the medium they’re selling throughout the year – and not just when you’re up for renewal.
- They would bring opportunities to the table that are good for the brand and not just for their bonus check.
As always, there are some exceptions to the rule but for the most part, THEY’RE NOT YOUR BUSINESS PARTNERS.