talking complaining about marketing. I’ve talked about some of these before (the perennials) but they haven’t gone away and the new crop that is filling in the already crowded garden of my inbox is dumb and getting dumber by the day. Here’s a short selection from the previous two weeks:
“It’s been a while since we’ve talked” – Actually, we’ve never talked. I know that we’ve never talked and when you suggest that we have on the Subject line of your email, you are begging me to send it to the trash. Buh-bye.
“Can I have 15 minutes of your time?” – No! Maybe, if I get a time machine and I can set it to the point where I was standing in line to see “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” you can have 5 minutes of my time. But I’ll be 10 years old and I’ll probably still want you stop talking after 2 minutes. Oh, and you have to buy the popcorn.
“I was speaking with your boss…” – No, no you weren’t. This seems to be a perennial because I’ve written about it before, but sales people seem perfectly comfortable beginning a conversation with a lie. Maybe you did ask to speak to my boss. Maybe his secretary told you that I was the person you should ask for, but you weren’t “talking to my boss” the way you make it sound. It’s not like you and he are best buds and while sharing a few beers last week he said “oh, you know who you should talk to, you should talk to Dan…” I’m pretty sure that never happened.
“(our company) has been selected for the 2014 Best of (our town) for Insurance” – Oooh, lucky us. All I have to do is pay for the plaque and buy the book. I’m pretty sure that we’re the only insurance company in this town because we have been selected for this “prestigious award” every year since we moved here. I’m sorry that our lobby is missing the 10 or 12 “Best Insurance Company” plaques that should rightfully be hanging on the wall, but I don’t think we can afford this honor.
“One of our special programs closes tomorrow” – Does it now? See, the fact of the matter is that I don’t believe any part of this. First, I don’t think your program is as special as you want me to believe. I think it’s the same program that you had last week and I think it’s the same one you will have next week. In fact, I think it’s just about the only program you have. Second, I think that if I called you next Tuesday and offered you the same price you are asking today, you would snap that up like bacon crumbles on French toast.
OK, if I don’t explain how this is a case of “fool me once shame on you…” my editor will:
When my wife and I were dating, I was living in temporary housing. I had just signed a lease on a rental house, and I was planning to start building furniture as soon as I moved in. I spied a “3-Days Only” sale on a Sears Craftsman Radial Arm Saw in the Sunday paper. 3 days only! I asked her if I could buy this saw, pick it up in her car and store it in her apartment for a month. She agreed. I think that saw has been on sale ‘3-days only’ multiple times throughout the 31 years we’ve been married. Still, it was a great saw at a good price.
“Get your complimentary VIP PASS here” – Huh? What makes me a VIP? Why would I want to go to an event in New York City to hear a man I’ve never heard of talk about 100 other people I’ve never heard of. Your email ends with “Cocktail attire required” – what does that mean? According to one website:
“Cocktail attire is usually described as less formal than formal attire, but not too casual. Similar to but usually slightly less formal than semi-formal attire…cocktail attire can vary depending on the location and event; the most important element is that the outfit fits well and looks sharp.”
Well, I’m glad we cleared that up. I like that website and it does go on to offer some specifics, including the fact that “dark jeans can be acceptable.”
“I would like to follow-up regarding my previous email…” – Did you consider that I simply ignored your previous email? Since I have received both emails and phone calls referencing a previous email or phone call (it works both ways) that I ignored, let’s establish a few facts:
1 – I am not obligated to speak to you or read your email.
2 – Your asking me (a second time) to speak with you doesn’t alter fact number 1.
3 – My ignoring you is actually saving us both time because if I were even the least bit interested in your product, I would have responded to your first contact.
I am easily swayed by good marketing. I first bought things like Bushes Baked Beans and Dijonnaise because I liked their commercials and I would buy anything Stanley Tools slaps a FatMax logo on. I do talk to sales people and I do respond to emails that seem genuine or interesting and where the marketing people have gone to the trouble to actually try to match me to a product that a reasonable person would think I/our company would find interesting. So, if I recognize your marketing as being bad, it’s really bad and you should make it stop.