What is the value of these four little words?
I was asked to write a blog about something I know, or some point of view…anything that might educate, spark discussion or demonstrate G/L’s culture.
Well, with my 25 years of experience on the front-end of ad agency business development, I thought I’d write about something that meets all these criteria: the value of a rejection.
Call me modest, but I think I represent a great ad agency. We’ve got an upbeat, talented staff. We develop campaigns that have netted clients impressive results. We continue to define and redefine many companies’ brands that excite their customers and rejuvenate their employees. Heck, we have even saved a few careers by helping clients change course to achieve greater results.
All that said, it really doesn’t mean much unless someone with the authority to hire us actually knows about us. So, I spend my time trying to evangelize the marketing world about our agency. I do my research, and I am specific about who I contact. My objective is to reach out to decision makers in manufacturing, healthcare, cable communications and a few other verticals – industries where we think G/L can make the best impact for a client. I have identified hundreds of companies that I believe could use our expertise, they just don’t know about us yet. So, I start with a phone call. For those that I don’t talk to, I’ll leave a voicemail message and follow-up with an email. And after a few days, I’ll repeat the cycle. Maybe it’s my Marine training, or because I’m just naturally persistent, but I never give up until I get a resolution. After all, it’s not about me or my agency, it’s about the client and how I believe we can provide value to their marketing efforts.
Which brings me to the point of this interesting blog: the value of rejection. I realize Chief Marketing Officers and Marketing Vice Presidents receive many calls and emails from guys like me. One marketer said she receives ten voicemails each week. The way I figure it, if each voicemail is two minutes long, she spends close to 18 hours each year just listening to voicemails similar to mine. Also, if you add the time she reads and responds to emails, mailings and other promotional items agencies send her, another couple of hours a month can be added. She could easily invest over 48 hours in simply reviewing information. Compound that with the thousands of marketers experiencing the same routine, and it is no wonder the nation’s productivity reports have been so low.
So, my advice to her and others like her: when a salesperson contacts you and you feel there isn’t a need or have no interest, just say so. There is a lot of value in the words “No thanks. Not interested.” It will save you so much time. Plus, it will help the salesperson (me) to focus on those that need an exceptionally talented ad agency. But that’s just my modest opinion. What’s yours?