Yesterday afternoon, I completed an hour-long interview with a planning consultant to research a story about some changes to Ottawa’s zoning bylaws, that have created consternation, controversy, and massive legal fees. I knew this story would not be an easy one to write when the planner told me: “I have trouble understanding this stuff” — and this guy is not a novice.
Of course, within the next week, after some additional research, reading a rather thick file of planning and court documents, I’ll be able to boil the story down to an article for the internal newsletter of the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association (GOHBA) and Ottawa Construction News. This is my skill, and I realize not everyone has it.
Late yesterday evening, I followed up on an email exchange between a prospective client and one of our company’s sales representatives. She had expressed anger that the sales representative for a joint venture partnership had screwed up her advertisement, and she wouldn’t want to advertise there any more. I looked at her company’s website, and saw a two-page (nicely designed, but thin on content) Godaddy-hosted site. So I wrote her a brief Marketing 101 email.
Mark, Thanks for the Marketing and Sales 101, however I have been in the hospitality industry for over 30 years as both a Director of Sales and Marketing and as a General Manager of 4-5 star properties.
First, money is not the issue, just not wasting it on advertising to my competition.
Second, (publication) completely screwed up my ad, period. (Sales rep) is a nice guy but not in my league.
Third, I have already secured business by doing my own direct marketing campaign.
Fourth, if you want to win someone over, try not to be so condescending.
Have a great day!
Wham. She brought me down to my place really quickly. I had made assumptions based on limited direct information and accumulated experience, and truly rubbed her the wrong way.
At times like this, I realize how dangerous it can be to simply assume anything.