An “IdearcChallenge” from me to CEO of Idearc Media, Scott Klein, is to “carry the bag” for just one week. Show your reps how to manage 30 appointments in one day.
Just spend one week out in the field. Until you can show that you are able, willing, and capable of carrying the bag….. everything you say is just lip service.
That’s my .02 cents.
Most of Idearc’s talented sales managers, folks like Steve Ridgeway, former employee John Seidenstein, Scott Laver, Dave Lewis, and countless other folks all around the country, who I admire and respect, have all carried the bag. It changes your perception on what it is to “sell advertising.” Once you have done it, your understanding of the task and it’s challenges differ greatly than that of the folks in corporate towers, marketing departments, and those bean-counters in the finance departments.
NEWSFLASH: SALES IS EASY WHEN THE PRODUCT WORKS, YOU HAVE A BETTER APPROACH, YOU MANAGE TO RESULTS, YOUR CULTURE REWARDS EMPHATICALLY ACCOUNTABILITY AFTER THE SALE.
I am not at all impressed with the direction my former employer, bankrupt Verizon Yellow Pages publisher Idearc Media, is headed. Your sales model is wrong. Why? Because it is a sales model. To become a small and medium-sized business marketing and advertising consultant you must carry the bag. Unfortunately for business owners not all bag carriers are capable of being marketing consultants. Some just know how to sell advertising and not how to actually advertise. Do you have a clue about what questions to ask a business to identify areas of improvement? Do you know how to determine whether your client is a candidate for your solutions based sales process and products? Or do you still think that all businesses need to invest in Idearc/SuperMedia advertising? Scott Klein seems to think that every business in America needs a ad in the phone book, based on his expectations of 30 appointments per day.
How can you sell the product the same as it was years ago? You can’t? It is a quicker conversation when it is understood that you must advertise in the phone book. Now with a fragmented local search market, yellow pages is no longer the only solution. Idearc Dallas Gallup Usage Study (Idearc Fort Worth Gallup Research.) Not as convincing as it was years ago. So why is Idearc’s Search Marketing Local product difficult to sell? Price. Ambiguous Contracts. Longterm Agreements. Lack of Arbitration. In the Event of Failure To Perform Recourse. Lack of Accountability from Sales. Poorly Designed Bid Processes and Keyword Research. Poor Effort to Incorporate Analytics and Web Design Conversion Strategies…. shall I keep going? Honestly, I think if someone is doing PPC outside of Google Adwords, Adwords Editor, and other effective and transparent tools from Google, they are just getting scammed. The problem is, they need high margins and a means of recovering from the losses of Yellow Pages Print Decline. Currently just about 91% of Idearc’s core business is Print Yellow Pages last I checked.
Another A.D.D. Moment:
(stay tuned for http://www.DallasDIYPPC.com, don’t lose the time and talent invested in your Google & Yahoo PPC campaigns by choosing companies who use proprietary systems and offer zero campaign ownership)
Klein needs to realize his biggest assets are not the companies systems (SuperMcTool), but the companies people. Including the campaign managers. I have seen many previous Idearc PPC managers at area PPC training courses such as the Google AdWords Seminars for Success and the Dallas Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association meetings. It is usually after they leave Idearc and reach out to learn more advanced techniques. The talent at Idearc never touches Idearc Client websites. They have a different department for company sites than client sites. Take a look at this site for an example of the YP companies website design work:
http://www.allactionftworthcarpetcleaning.com/ pretty horrible if you ask me! Take a look at what 43 phone calls to AT&T will produce: http://www.TheTransmissionShop.com. You may ask why it took 43 phone calls for him to get this sort of quality site, but I assume that is just the nature of the Yellow Pages Website Development departments. Not the employees faults, as I assume they just work with what they have available. No kidding but the carpet cleaner attempted a redesign but the developer said they can not change the colors on the “website templates.” Both sites being redesigned by a more competent web developer.
Might be a good time to migrate to something 2005+ vs 2001 prior. Something not made for IE6 browsers? Something like Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, or ModX CMS?
Scott, I think it is time for you to show your “media consultants” how it is done! Just spend one week carrying the bag. See how long you can refrain from leveraging your position as a CEO. If you can better understand the trials and tribulations related to your “sales business model” and start chipping away at them…..
You might just become a better CEO for a media corporation. Take a look at TMP Worldwide’s division 15Miles as an example.
YOU MIGHT START THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX… or as we used to call it:
“The high security corporate back offices at the Airport” with the lavish bathrooms and corporate concierge service.
What is Google’s likely response to the SuperGuarantee?
“All a consumer has to do is pay by credit card and they will have a faster recourse of action when something goes wrong then to deal with this slow process offered by Idearc that only refunds you $500. The SuperGuarantee is just a gimmick. It was copied from ServiceMagic. Idearc knows they will not have to pay out claims. It is betting on it.” – Some Fool Wiser than the CEO of Idearc
“A new gimmick won’t stop the companies train wreck leadership.” – Mike Stewart