We were visiting in our office yesterday by a very nice sales rep for a local, glossy, magazine. They had pitched us via email and, every once in a while, we invite them in so that we can hear and evaluate their pitches.
Like I said. Nice guy.
First thing out of his mouth was "who called this meeting, you or us?"
Are you kidding me? You only get paid by commission. You drive around all day selling advertising to businesses. You don't know how the meeting was initiated?
Next question: tell me about your practice.
Again, the mark of an amateur. It's not like we are tough to investigate. How can be talking to a prospect, on your dime, and not know anything about me or my firm (or for that matter that I have an enormous second business teaching lawyers how to handle meetings like this.)
This is a smart magazine. Every month they rotate "special advertising sections" for lawyers, doctors, dentists, plastic surgeons and real estate agents (aka a collection of "dumb money.")
I told him I thought the profiles, where all of the lawyers looked the same, saying the same thing in a format that was identical, was "yellow pages on steroids."
I told him that we only run "direct response advertising." I'm not exactly sure that he even knew what that meant, but he said: "we don't allow that, we are only about branding."
I asked why.
He told me that being in the magazine will reinforce TO EXISTING CLIENTS, that they made the right choice.
I asked about advertorials, and he showed me something that was close to an advertorial in that it did tell a story. There was still no call to action other than "call now for free consultation."
I asked if they were smart enough to put a tracking number in the ad. His response? "We don't recommend that."
He never told me why but I'll tell you why they don't recommend a tracking number:
Because if you actually knew how many leads you were getting from that ad in that magazine you would cancel your spend as soon as you could.
Again, nice guy.
Our conclusion: there are a lot of gullible lawyers out there.