I couldn't disagree more with Mark Margulies' article entitled "Which Medicine Do You Think Is Best For You?" [Nov. 1993 RAP]
Offering a prospect a choice of two spec commercials is NOT a sign of "lost control" or that a salesperson is "not doing their job." In my opinion, Mr. Margulies is mistaken when he implies that in other professions the customer isn't given CHOICES. Unless the patient is unconscious, doctors don't just say "take this" or "do this." There are CHOICES to be made by the patient. Use the brand name drug or perhaps the generic. Have the elective surgery now or maybe after the holidays. The doctor works with the patient to determine what makes the most sense for the given situation. The patient might even decide to "live with it" and forego surgery entirely. As far as the mechanic and the fuel injector go, there are also CHOICES to be offered by the mechanic and made by the customer. Install a new one or a rebuilt? LIFE ITSELF IS CHOICES. Even when buying advertising, CHOICES need to be made -- print, broadcast, radio, TV, budget, scheduling, copy!
As far as a production person getting "bitched at" about the lack of results from a schedule goes...in 22 years in all phases of the business at 18 different stations in large, medium, small, and micro markets, I have NEVER heard of such a thing! Salespeople may catch hell but not production folks. In either case, the proper response is a fantastic Jim Williams (radio sales consultant) question: "What do you think you did wrong?"
Mr. Margulies is correct when he writes clients need to realize that what they like and what may work for them may not be identical. Most advertisers hate the local newspaper but buy ads regularly. Many dislike the formats of the stations they buy but realize the value of the audience being reached.
Mr. Margulies is dead wrong when he states "positive feedback and results" will turn a client into a friend for life. Sorry, Mark. There's no such thing. The competition is always at work chipping away at whatever relationships are developed. Continued good service is a must!
I believe Mr. Margulies needs to make 10 to 15 calls a day on local merchants for a couple of decades and then write another article. My interpretation of his recent article is that he knows IN ADVANCE what will generate results for a client. Balderdash. This is impossible and anyone who promises results is either a fool or a charlatan. The only promises radio salespeople can make are that they'll run the copy and schedule agreed upon and that the merchant will promptly pay for what was aired.
Chuck Larsen, Owner/Operator
104.5-FM/1580-AM, Cozad, NE
Thank you for your opposing views. This is what makes RAP the unique forum that it is!