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My Boss Doesn't Get It
Posted 06 June 2010 - 11:08 AM
One example is he got an idea that instead of just putting our phone number on the website to change the phrase to read that they need to call us for "audits" of their business to see if they need to buy our product. And of course it needs to be done immediately with no research, testing, and on the homepage and every other one and front and center, replacing all of our carefully crafted h1, headlines.
So my question is, how do I deal with his personality and "ideas", because just saying no just makes him more adamant and e-mail the Vice President and CEO, and he has no interest in my explanations of why things should be done?
Posted 06 June 2010 - 11:22 AM
Run some A/B tests to see if this call to action is useful, and if so, how useful -- how much does the "call us for an audit" thing need to stand out? If he's 100% wrong, maybe this will shut him up. If he's even partly right, you've done your job and (hopefully) you've also demonstrated how important it is to test new ideas rather than just changing the site on a whim.
Posted 06 June 2010 - 11:43 AM
Posted 07 June 2010 - 06:26 AM
Assuming I'm right (like some kind of pushy salesman) my experience is that pushy salesman types are good salesmen because they are so self-important and bombastic that they make more sales than reasonable sensible people, but they're not nice to deal with when they are trying to sell you something you don't want, or when you try to tell them something they don't want to hear, for exactly the same reason.
The only way I know how to deal with these people is to switch off to them and ignore the badgering. As far as possible tell them what they want to hear, the rest of the time tell them 'this is how it is, like or lump it' and don't get into a discussion about it or bother trying to convince them of anything, and definitely try not to care about whether they like it or not because they certainly don't care if you like their approach.
Although this sometimes makes the pushy salesman think I'm an a******e, I start off thinking they're an a*******e so I in my mind that's all about even; oddly, this approach has sometimes even improved my relationship with such people.
Just re-read your post and seen that you have answer to this guy - I might adapt 'this is how it is, like or lump it' to 'I disagree with your idea, but if you want to over-rule me that's your responsibility' - although I might not :-s
Edited by rolf, 07 June 2010 - 06:40 AM.
Posted 07 June 2010 - 10:33 AM
Posted 07 June 2010 - 11:57 AM
We have all dealt with salesmen with egos larger than the sun , who lie to themselves as much as anyone else about their knowledge, skills and abilities. They simply BS their way into sale after sale with customers only finding out after the fact that they have been taken, leaving someone else to deal with the fallout.
For the majority of people out there, the word "audit" actually brings up negative connotations including the potential for headaches and aggravation.
When you are looking for information online, the thought of having to contact a salesperson to get it is many times a turn off from the start, contacting them for an audit is really a turn off.
Unfortunately, companies have no idea they are not getting sales they might have otherwise due to the way they choose to word things or by trying to force contact when potential customers are not yet ready to DEAL with a pushy salesman.
Simply the term AUDIT (or even having to deal with a salesman in some cases) leads one to expect reduced productivity from employees, (many times pointless) intrusive questions that take time to research and answer, extra hours spent gathering evidence and reports, dusting off documentation you haven't seen in ages.
Everyone knows a salesman is going to come up with unflattering observations as a result (which they will then use to try to make the sale...whether you actually "need" their service/products or not).
Even terminology like an Evaluation of your current situation and/or needs would be more appealing than an audit...but then tact is not something pushy salesman possess a lot of in the first place.
Posted 09 June 2010 - 09:34 AM
You need to see if you can get a policy in place where changes are NOT made to the website without prior testing. That means you don't directly tell the salesman no, but you politely accept all his suggestions and have him fill out a website change request form, which then gets approved by some upper management type to start testing, which then means results are returned to that upper management type after an appropriate testing time has passed (let your test run for a month or so for decent data) and then the decision is made whether or not to implement it.
I believe bureaucracy was invented specifically for this type of situation.
And in all honesty, you should not be making sweeping changes to a live website without benchmarking and testing the results. Fix a broken link, adjust margins that don't look right on Safari, etc is all fine, but changing the marketing strategy of a site should be carefully implemented, not tossed out there on a whim.
Posted 13 June 2010 - 02:14 AM
Almost guaranteed to stop him in his tracks. Being expected to fill out a website change request form (which almost certainly would be beneath him or not worth his time), which has to be reviewed and approved by others would be a great way to help stop him from pressing your buttons and expecting you to jump.
You do need a process in place where he gets that you were not hired to do his bidding, but to work to benefit the company. You have qualifications he does not, which is why he is the salesman and you are the one working with website content.
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