In the past two weeks I’ve received calls from two different companies that employ professional liars.
They were salesman selling some of the most obscure advertising I’d heard of.
I received these calls because my financial planning business (which doesn’t take on new clients) is still a powerhouse agency in the city of Long Beach.
The first guy called and wanted me to buy advertising on a bench at the golf course that my office is adjacent to. In his pitch, he went on to describe to me how they had surveyed the members and asked them what type of business they would use if they could get them to advertise on the bench, and the answer was “insurance.”
And to think I spent all those years advertising my insurance services the hard way. All I needed was to buy a plaque on a bench so people could plant their behinds on my logo… If only I had known… (that’s extreme sarcasm for those that don’t know me well enough)
He was quite convincing. Funny thing is, his office is located 2 states away. All his company does is sell advertising space for golf courses. So how did he know what type of services the members of the golf course would like to use? He didn’t. He said what an insurance agent wants to hear, “I’ve got people that want what you do!”
I told him I wasn’t remotely interested in buying ad space where people plant their asses during a round of golf.
The thing of it is, people who play golf on this particular course would be ideal candidates for my insurance services. But advertising on a bench on a golf course is the wrong marketing channel to be using. Advertising is about entering the conversation that is already going on in the mind of the customer. When people are playing a round of golf, they aren’t interested in picking up a phone and calling an insurance agent. That’s not the conversation going on in their head.
The next call I got was from a gal at Vons. She was selling advertising space, again to insurance agents, on the little rubber spacer that you use to separate your order from the people in front and behind you in the checkout line.
Apparently, they just redesigned the rubber spacer to make it bigger. I asked her what it cost and her reply was “$250 a month.” Then she went into her close. Her close was to set me up on an appointment with the local VP of Marketing who was only in the area for a couple of days. My reply was, “No thanks. I can’t think of a bigger waste of money.”
The response back was worth everything! “Well this isn’t Direct Response!”
“It obvious isn’t direct response which is why it’s a waste of money.”
She then went on to explain that having my advertising alongside a web campaign, where people would be surfing the internet, come across me and say to themselves, “That’s the guy on the checkout counter at Vons. I should use him.”
If you have followed me for any length of time, you know that that is absurd!
I assured her that, for the most part, insurance agents are as dumb as rocks and she should have no problem finding one agent with money he wants to throw away. I’m just not that guy.
She thanked me and that was that.
I then headed to the local grocery store to pick up a movie rental from the RedBox machine. There in front of me was an advertisement on the shopping cart from an insurance agent. His slogan, “Working Hard… Working Smart… For You!”
Like I said, dumb as rocks.