COO Steve Burke says the way to counter competition from telcoTV competitors is to put “feet on the street” and get local. Burke made the comments at the Merrill Lynch 2008 Media Fall Preview in Marina Del Rey, Ca. Burke is talking about getting back to cable TV sales and marketing basics – knocking on doors and taking names. According to Burke, it’s working. “In places where we’re competing against FiOS, we’re doing better this year than we were last year or the year before,” he said.

Cable, more so than telco has a long legacy with knocking on doors. I can remember some decades ago, when the cable man showed up at our door. He was an excellent salesman because he managed to co-opt my brother and I into the sales process. There we were, the three of us trying to convince my mother how desperately we needed that 30 channel package. After all, what household in the early eighties could get along without HBO? She respectfully declined. But it didn’t last long – she eventually gave in. The moral of the story – feet on the street banging on doors works. And cable has much more experience at it than telco. Is this tried and proven sales strategy behind telco’s DSL losses last quarter?

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