Playing cards at the club…and other reasons why we don’t get hired

Hiring an agency….no matter if  it’s on Michigan Avenue or  Main Street Hooterville, clients have their reasons.  The Ad Contrarian has another excellent message inspired evidently by Seth Godin. Both are very good.  And it got me to thinking about business on our level here in Teeny Town.

I don’t belong to a country club. We have TWO of them here in our 45,000 population town. Lot’s of OLD money here. LOTS of Good Old Boy stuff going on. We have several kitchen table ad shops.  One describes herself as “The Walmart of Advertising”. (You can imagine the stuff they put out.)  Then there’s the guy who used to run an Auto Glass business who decided to be an Ad Agency. He has a fair bit of clientele because he’s learned to “talk the talk and walk the walk” of the system.  He sells below average work to his country club pals.  It isn’t about strategy, quality, message or execution … it’s about who won at cards Tuesday night at the club.  And that’s ok.

I have a wall in our reception area that “showcases” some of the work done by Auto Glass Guy and Walmart Girl.  Prospective clients can look at our competitors work without ever having to step foot in their offices. I want them to see the difference.

I know I’m not a very good networker. I hate schmoozing with people I don’t respect or care for.  Business After Hours…YUK. Chamber events? No thanks. I’ve really tried to be better at this game, but I just don’t have it in me. And, word travels fast in a small town: That “over-the-top” adchick….man, she’s tough…and bossy. Right. I am NO order taker. I ask them respectfully, if you know how to do this, then why are you here? Clients who work with us do so because we help ’em sell their stuff and do it better than the Auto Glass Guy and the Walmart girl. We want to get the business because we are clearly the best in town. (That’s what a new client said.)  Not because we pretended to be someone we’re not.

I don’t play that game. What else ya got?images-1

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6 Responses to “Playing cards at the club…and other reasons why we don’t get hired”

  1. Muonwar Says:

    Without bad, sad competition, the pearls wouldn’t stand out.

  2. Teenie Says:

    Can you adopt me, adchick?

    I agree with you 100%. I worked at a big agency eons back, and playing that game took half your day’s worth of energy. But, if you didn’t play, you were conveniently left out of a lot of good stuff. I remember staying late and seeing poker games with the “popular” people–hand-picked to play by the president. It was nauseating.

    Honesty is the best policy in advertising, too.

  3. jeff Says:

    I love the idea of putting the other agency sub par work on display.

  4. golublog Says:

    I hate schmoozing too.

  5. sagn Says:

    Can you post a link to images of the others’ work please?

  6. adchick Says:

    sagn: Post a link? We’ll try to get that done.

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