I have experienced many slick sales people coming through my door trying to sell me the newest advertising solution for my business. Or other ones trying validate why their antiquated media is still relevant.
Here are some of the questions that I ask them.
How can I track results?
Do you have a business owner in the same industry who has had success with your advertising? If so, can you give me their contact info so I can ask how it worked for them?
Are you offering media that is growing or dying? Why?
For each dollar I spend with you, will I see four dollars of business and be able to track it?
A friend was approached by a publication that wanted his construction company to advertise so I asked him this... how many calls came in? how many jobs did you get to quote? How many contracts will you get as a result of the advertising?
Most sales people are trained to give you information that is best case scenario but not realistic. Example:
Take 6,500 distribution and find out how many DO NOT get read and thrown out as there is always waste. -1,500
From there, when someone picks it up, think about how many will make it to your page (page 15... - 50%).
Once they make it to your page, how many will see your small ad pressed with 12 others?
Of the people who see your ad, how many are in the market to build a house at that exact time?
From there, can you create an ad that is compelling enough to get someone who will be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on their new house to call you?
WE WILL TALK ABOUT VANITY METRICS SOON SO STAY TUNED!
My point is... there is always a way to track your advertising so work on it.
Think outside the box and ask questions. Don't take anything at face value.
Have fun learning, gaining knowledge and apply wisdom.